How to fight counterfeiting online

Before we look at ways to protect your brand in rapidly evolving digital ecosystems, we want to stress the seriousness of the challenge. Selling counterfeit products is a trillion-dollar business, accounting for around 5-7% of world trade. This illicit commerce is costing legitimate businesses hundreds of billions of dollars annually. According to an article in the World Trademark Review, one in every four online purchases involves pirated goods. You will find more background on counterfeiting and the scale of the problem here.

You cannot stop criminals from trying to hijack your brand, but you can prevent them from succeeding. Combating the sale and promotion of pirated goods is an investment in both time and money. But in many situations, the actual amount will pale in comparison to the financial harm done to your brand equity if you choose not to act.

To give you an overview of the tools and strategies available to you, we have divided this chapter into three sections:

  • The basics
  • Be proactive
  • How to react

The first steps in protecting your brand from counterfeiting

The first thing to do is to register your Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) – such as patents, trademarks, designs and more – in key markets. That way, you will be ready to pursue a more reactive strategy if you need to, including removing illicit listings from a variety of sales channels and/or taking legal action against suspected offenders.

Another basic measure is to set up a brand protection team. Involve senior management and appoint a Brand Protection Manager (if you have not already done so). Counterfeit sales impact revenues, but more importantly they undermine trust, the foundation of any successful brand.

Contact us for an advice

The world of brand protection can be a quite tricky one to understand at first sight. We’ve therefore made a resource page for you to easily get the answers to your questions!