This is a guide to online brand protection.
It is designed to help users understand what are intellectual property rights and how to protect brandsfrom online IP abuse.
What is online brand protection?
Online brand protection fights online brand abusing activity and protects your intellectual property assets.
Moreover, online brand protection helps brands fight counterfeiting, prevent trademark abuseand other IP infringements.
Notably online brand protection safeguards the brand online, but its effects are noticeable both online and offline.
Effective online brand protection acts like a shield protecting your brand’s sales and reputation.
What are the main types of intellectual property?
Brand protection defends intellectual property rights. These are the main types of intellectual property:
These are the names, phrases, symbols and designs that tell apart your brand from other brands.
In effect trademarks help consumers to recognize the source of a good or service and avoid confusion.
Knowing a brand allows consumers to relate and develop brand loyalty.
Trademarks provide specific protection: they apply to a “class” of goods or services and are registered in specific territories.
Copyrights protect written and artistic works.
Among items covered are original written, art and musical works such as books, articles, videos, images, recordings, website content and computer software.
Patents are tools to protect new and useful innovation.
In general, utility patents protect the way products work, while design patents protect the way a product looks.
Design patents are tools for the protection of product designs.
They are used to protect the way products look like, unlike utility patents which are used to protect the way products work.
Additional reading on the different types of intellectual property assets is available in this blog article:Types of Intellectual Property Protection.
How to prepare intellectual property?
Protecting your intellectual property is very important.
In order to be able to eliminate IP abuse, you will need to prepare your Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) for the task.
A registered IP right provides your brand with more protection.
For example, you can use your registered IP to enter Amazon’s Brand Registry program.
Amazon Brand Registry program provides sellers on Amazon with a better way to manage and control their products and IP rights on Amazon.
What is brand abuse?
Brand abuse is when someone exploits a brand’s intellectual property (IP) rights.
Some of the most common forms of brand abuse are:
- Trademark abuse
- Copyright infringements
- Patent abuse
- Domain name abuse
- Brand impersonation
What is counterfeiting?
Counterfeiting is the manufacturing or distribution of goods,while usinga trademark, design or patent without proper permission from the IP owner.
In general, counterfeiting is often done with an intention to deceive customers.
Although customers also knowingly purchase fakes instead of paying the full price for a genuineproduct.
Fake goods are generally of lower quality, since in many cases the goal of fakes is to sell a cheaper version with no regard to brand reputation.
But not all fakes are cheap imitations.
“Super-fakes” are high-quality fakes that can be difficult to notice because they are almost identical to the products they imitate.
Such super fakes will often have serial numbers, certificates of authenticity, tags and packaging identical to the original products.
This is the result of manufacturing companies possess the required know-how to copy a product.
Moreover, factories producing genuine products can make extra products, beyond what then the brand owner ordered, and sell them for a lower price.
What is trademark infringement?
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, trademark infringement isthe “unauthorized use of a trademark… in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods”.
In fact, this is often done in countries where the original trade mark owners did not yet register their marks.
Furthermore, trademark infringements are often made where there are translation issues, as happens with Chinese trademarks.
What is copyright infringement?
Online copyright infringement is sometimes referred to as “digital piracy”.
To clarify, digital piracy involves the unauthorized use, reproduction, distribution, or display of works protected by copyright law.
Copyright covers the unauthorized uploading, downloading, streamingand sharing of copyrighted works.
What is Patent abuse?
Patent abuse is the use or sale of a patented invention without permission from the owner of the patent.
What is Domain name abuse?
A domain name is like a trademark and in many cases, it is animportant asset.
Domain name abuse can be done in several ways. These are some of the most common types of domain name abuse:
- Registering an existing domain name with a different TLD
Registering the same domain name with a different Top-Level-Domain or TLD.
For example, registering “brand.net” instead of “brand.com” so it is intentionally misleading.
Also known as “URL hijacking”, ‘typosquatting’refers to purposely choosing domain names that are only one letter away from the original domain name.
For example: “goggle.com” to confuse users trying to get to“google.com”.
- Adding a word to a domain name
Registering domain names with an added word in order to make the name confusingly similar to an original domain.
For example, abusing the domain name‘brand.com’by registering a similar domain with an added word like: “brand-us.com”.
What is brand impersonation?
There are cases where websites imitate the website of an authentic brand with the intention to deceive unsuspecting customers.
In other words, these are scam sites purposely misleading users.
This is also true for social media accounts imitating existing brands or people for illegal purposes.
What is gray marketing?
Gray marketing, also called “parallel importing”, is the sale of authentic goods outside of assigned markets.
The traffic and sale of authentic goods through unauthorized channels may also amount to brand abuse.
Various strategies may prove helpful in fighting parallel imports.
Notably, online brand protection services can track the sources of gray market sellers to allow brand owners to take actions against them.
See more about gray marketing in this article: Gray Markets: A Growing Concern.
How do counterfeits impact brands?
Counterfeits and other intellectual property violations may have bad effects on businesses of all sizes. These effects include:
Loss of sales
Sales of counterfeits cause honest businesses to lose sales.
To clarify, if a third party sells a copy of your product for a lower price and customers purchase it, yourbusiness loses sales.
Damage to reputation
Fakes are often of lower quality.
For this reason, when customers buy a product that does not meet their expectations, they blame it on the authentic brand.
Moreover, such customers are likely to spread the word to their family and friends or write a bad review.
Unhappy customers are likely to contact customer support and demand a refund.
Because of this, companies spend time and money dealing with upset customers, sometimes without even realizing that they purchased a fake product.
Relationships with distributors and other partners
The actions of counterfeiters may cause distributors and other partners to lose trust in your business.
Likewise, if your brand has a price agreement with a distributor and they see the products sold online for a lower price, it may harm important business relationships.
Many companies spend significant resources to fight brand abuse.
indeed, eliminating counterfeits is time-consuming and can be very expensive.
Online brand protection requires continuous monitoring of marketplaces (such as Amazon or eBay), social media platforms, websites and other digital locations.
How does online brand protection solution work?
In the digital world, the way to effectively protect your brand is with a digital solution.
In other words, advanced computer systems can help protect your brand by using cutting-edge technology and unique know-how to fight brand abuse.
Online brand protection strategy
Online brand protection services can help with setting strategy for taking down fake products.
In addition, they can help with stopping other IP violations.
Intellectual property strategy is important to almost every business, notably small and medium sized businesses.
A good strategy often starts where your brand suffers the most.
Also, services like Amazon’s Brand Protection Report can provide an overview of the problem your brand may be facing on Amazon.
Brand protection report
The best way to start is with a brand protection report for your brand.
A brand protection report reviews the status of your brand worldwide, while focusing on dominant threats, such as potential fakes on Amazon.
The report serves as a global map of threats to your brand.
Once you map the violations, it is time to take action.
An effective brand protection strategy will include search to detect IP infringements, and effectively eliminate these threats.
What we do to protect you online?
- Scandigital channels such as marketplaces, social mediaand websitesusing advanced technology.
- Analyzepotential results to determine which ones are abusing your IP rights.
- Detectfake products, trademark abuse and other activities violating your intellectual property rights.
- Enforceyour intellectual property rights to ensure that you get to keep your honest sales and brand reputation.
- Workdirectly with eCommerce platforms such as Amazon and Alibaba, to ensure each infringement is removed quickly and efficiently.
- Deliverquality results and stop brand abuse.
- Deterand help prevent future brand abuse through ongoing protection.
What are the advantages of online brand protection solution?
Online brand protection has many advantages, among them:
Reduce production of counterfeit products
Eliminating counterfeit products on online platforms significantly reduces the motivation to produce them.
Taking legal actions to shut down counterfeit manufacturing is costly and can take a long time.
On the other hand, taking down counterfeits online can be done quickly, with a much more efficient effect.
Increase market share
Fakers present unfair competition for your market share.
Dealing with trademark infringements and other forms of brand abuse will help you win back customers,and,as a result,grow your profits.
Important to note that it is almost impossible to compete with counterfeiters on pricing because they claim to offer “your” products at lower prices.
As a result, ignoring intellectual property infringements gives abusers an incentive to continue abusing your brand.
Reduce the costs of doing business
Marketing costs go up when sellers selling fakespay for ads or fight over search engine results.
By removing fake products, online brand protection helps to keep marketing costs down.
Protect your Intellectual property rights
Intellectual property rights are important assetsas well as your reputation.
Having a good brand protection partner can help you safeguard yourrights.
It can also help in improving your brand reputation.
Encourage investment in your brand
Counterfeiting may cause potential investorsto avoid investing in your company.
Your brand’s value falls when counterfeits are available in large volumes.
Our anti-counterfeiting solutions arean advantagebecause they help attract potential investors.
All forms of brand abuseharm your business growth.
For this reason, if you want your business to grow quicker, it will be good to have an effective brand protectionsolution to help you protect your business growth.
Wiser online brand protection
Brand protection can be challenging, but brands can protect their assets using the right partner.
Wiser Market offers online brand protection services worldwide.
Whether you wish to fight counterfeiting, prevent IPabuse or combat gray marketing – Wiser Market is your partner in fightingbrand abuse.
We search and monitor globally to analyze and flag major online threats and effectively enforce your IP rights.
At Wiser Market, we believe in proactive brand protection.
Our superb brand protection services, from detection to enforcement, result in over a 95% success rate.
Make sure to register your trademarks wherever you may manufactureor sell your products.
This is equally important in territories in which you don’t wish your products to be sold.