Follow these steps to combat counterfeit activities and fraudulent use of your intellectual property across the InternetOne of the most important decisions you can make for your business is how to protect your brand and your products from bad actors who undermine their value. Without the right protections, you risk losing sales and revenue, and worse — it could harm your brand’s reputation.
The internet has brought a host of new security vulnerabilities and threats for brands — counterfeit products that are being sold online and malicious brand impersonations are two of the most obvious risks you must guard against. However, the web also offers many opportunities to improve your brand security and protection strategies. From securing your brand’s trademark rights to gathering key data, to taking enforcement action, do you know the steps you must take to not only catch fraudsters but also proactively claim your intellectual property (IP) and protect it online? If not, it’s time to implement a solution that gives you the support you need.
The first thing to understand is the difference between brand and product protection, then we’ll talk about how to police online fraud and counterfeiting. Learn how the internet factors in and how U-NICA’s anti-counterfeit solutions help bridge the virtual world of the internet and your real-world products.
Brand protection versus product protection
Even though there are similarities, there are important differences between protecting your brand and protecting your products online.
Brand protection is the process of protecting your brand’s intellectual property from being pirated or counterfeited, which is known as “brand abuse.” Common forms of brand abuse include copyright infringement, piracy, counterfeiting, patent theft, false trademark registration, and rogue website creation (which is when a criminal creates a fake site by using your brand’s intellectual property for malicious intent).
The first and most important step to an effective brand protection strategy is to make sure your brand’s rights are legally secured, including the rights and provision for use of the brand; contracts with partners; and securing intellectual property, patents, and more. Without these secured rights, violators are very difficult to detect, and you may not be able to take action against them.
So, securing these rights is a crucial first step to brand protection. Once that’s done, you can begin the process of identifying counterfeiting and fraudulent use of your brand, logos, IP, etc. Then you must establish concrete infringement of these rights with clear, legally binding evidence. It is essentially an investigative and legal process that’s essential to protecting your brand in today’s digital world.
In contrast, product protection is centered around guarding against piracy of your products and physical goods with technical measures. These measures could include combating counterfeit labeling or taking steps to prevent unauthorized copying of proprietary technologies.
The main goal of product protection is to impede a counterfeiters’ ability to introduce fake or stolen products to the market. It may sound more straight forward than brand protection, but with the online marketplace booming, there are more avenues for criminals to sell fake or stolen versions of your products than ever before. If you don’t take steps to prevent this, it will devalue the legitimate products you sell.
Brand and product protection on the internet
Just as the internet provides a new platform for malicious activity, it is also a valuable asset for making your brand and product protection strategy more successful. For example, social media is a purely online channel where criminals now use branded intellectual property to create fake accounts imitating real companies and selling fake products. However, this is also an opportunity for you to catch them in the act and gather valuable evidence of illegal activity.
Once the necessary rights have been granted on your intellectual property and legal action is possible, the internet can be used in several ways to protect your brand and products.
- A simple online search can bring up any protected or trademarked names within new URL registrations. You can now target those for deactivation by their hosting service providers.
- Some online businesses or pages may feature your protected brand name, trademark, images, and more, and an internet search can help you uncover these. Again, you can demand that these illegal URLs, businesses, and pages be shut down immediately.
- If the counterfeiters or their service providers fail to comply with your demand, you can take legal action to enforce shutting down their websites or removing illegal use of your brand.
There are many other ways to use the tools the internet provides for brand and product protection. Examples include:
- Monitoring relevant keywords and setting up notifications when these keywords are used by counterfeiters.
- Using image recognition software to search for unauthorized images that may be used in fraudulent ways.
- Establishing an online presence on social media, your website, and elsewhere that will help confirm the authenticity of official brand usage.
In short, the internet allows you to discover instances of malicious and fraudulent activity and act right away.
But remember, the online world is all virtual, so product protection only goes so far. Your brand needs to take further steps to bridge online protection into the real world with ways to verify whether the goods are original or counterfeit.
How U-NICA can help
U-NICA understands how important brand and product protection are for your business, and we apply the latest technologies to authenticate products, gather and analyze market data, and give you the insights you need to ensure your brand and products are not being counterfeited or otherwise used fraudulently. When they are, the findings from U-NICA will help you and your legal counsel create a legal case based on what we find.
It’s nearly impossible for anyone to authenticate products in the online world because they don’t have the physical product in front of them, so you need a solution that protects your real-world products with a multilayered anti-counterfeit strategy. The protection we offer at U-NICA is that solution. We provide anti-counterfeit protection for your physical goods in the real world as a part of your 360-degree brand and product protection strategy.
Our methods are based on our extensive research and implementation of the latest technologies to catch and record online brand fraud and counterfeiting. Our techniques will continue to improve and lead the way for your brand’s protection, and we will support you in the fight to protect your brand value against online criminals.
Contact our team today to learn how U-NICA can help you protect your brand and products using the latest innovations, such as all the opportunities the internet has opened up to combat counterfeit behavior.
U-NICA implements the latest technologies to help you make sure your products and intellectual property are not being counterfeited.