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| less than a minute read

How to use trade marks to tell if the remote firm you have joined actually exists!

This is a bizarre and fascinating story that could perhaps only happen in a global lockdown time. Everyone was working remotely so it took some considerable time for people to realise that the agency was fake. The con eventually started to unravel when one of the employees tried to find out more about the company's physical office and found that it did not exist.

As mainstream, genuine businesses move to being wholly remote in the future, even checking for a physical office may not reveal the deception. It is interesting to note that there do not appear to be any trade mark applications or registrations for the word MAD BIRD in any jurisdiction in relation to relevant design agency services. This should have been a red flag for a supposedly marketing savvy design agency.

Perhaps this will become a standard check for people signing up to work in a remote only business?

The Zoom call had about 40 people on it - or that's what the people who had logged on thought. The all-staff meeting at the glamorous design agency had been called to welcome the growing company's newest recruits. Its name was Madbird and its dynamic and inspirational boss, Ali Ayad, wanted everyone on the call to be ambitious hustlers - just like him. But what those who had turned on their cameras didn't know was that some of the others in the meeting weren't real people. Yes, they were listed as participants. Some even had active email accounts and LinkedIn profiles. But their names were made up and their headshots belonged to other people. The whole thing was fake - the real employees had been "jobfished". The BBC has spent a year investigating what happened.


brands & trade marks, womeninip