Finding your product copied and being sold online can be a stressful event, but if you have followed some basic steps you have a very good chance of getting the fakes removed and also deter counterfeiters from targeting your brand. Here we have listed 4 steps about how to deal with counterfeits.
1) Register your Intellectual Property
1.1) Register your trademarks
Registration of trademarks is the first step to protecting your brand. A trademark is not limited to being a corporate logo. It could also be a jingle, your registered business name or even a scent.
Brand owners should register their names and logos as trademarks in all countries where they intend to market their products and also consider countries where counterfeits are rife, such as China, Vietnam and Thailand.
IPAustralia allows business to register in a trademark in multiple countries with one application.
1.2) Register your domain names
If you have a trademark you should register the corresponding domain name in at least the .com and .com.au domain name spaces. They should be an exact match and ideally registered in the .com and relevant and important overseas markets. Similar to trademarks, brand owners should consider defensive domain name registrations in countries where cybersquatting is rife, such as China (.cn).
1.3) Secure your social media identity
These days, social media registrations are a part and parcel of the brand protection registration process. To avoid brand confusion or brand damage, it is preferable that brand owners register their brand in the core social media platforms relevant to their verticals. brandsec can register up to 100 social media handles within minutes.
2. Monitor your brands across the web
B2B marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, Taobao and Alibaba (to name a few) are now a primary medium for fraudsters to sell and ship counterfeit and grey market products directly to customers in large volumes. It is important to quickly identify when and if your product is copied or understand and prioritise the worst cases in terms of brand damage or income loss.
You can’t address what you can’t see or quantify. It is critical to understand the scope of the problem across the many different platforms available for legitimate and unauthorised sellers to market your goods. Marketplace monitoring technology and specialised anti-counterfeit analysis teams enable brand owners to rapidly detect infringements relatively quickly and before damage is done. Good monitoring tools should provide advanced functionality to find, profile and enforce action against key infringers.
3. Participate in marketplace anti-counterfeit programs
Online marketplace take the issue of counterfeiting on their platforms very seriously. Many of the major marketplaces are members of the e International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) and in some cases, such as Amazon have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on World Intellectual Property Day 2018 to further strengthen their collaboration in combating counterfeiting on their global ecommerce and auction platform. Alibaba, eBay and other major platform all have their own programs to specifically combat counterfeiting. These platform allows brand owner to submit takedown requests to get listings removed. However, sometimes it can be time consuming especially when dealing with multiple platform, which is why a managed service can sometimes be the most effective course of action.
4. Educate your customers
Teach your customers to spot a fake. Explain the quality difference with high resolution pictures and outline the risks of buying inferior products from unknown entities. Deputising your customers to report fakes and warn your market is a great way to counter counterfeiting.
These steps are the basics regarding hot to dealing with counterfeits, but the larger your brand becomes the more complex a solution is required. For well established brands with a multi-national presence the question of how to deal with counterfeits is slightly more complex regarding the technology and services needed to fend of copycats.
Brandsec is a corporate domain name management and brand protection company that look after many of Australia, New Zealand and Asia’s top publicly listed brands. We provide monitoring and enforcement services, DNS, SSL Management, domain name brokerage and dispute management and brand security consultation services.