Counterfeiting is a sector where the criminals and copycats have been the real innovators for far too long. And when it comes to fakes, counterfeiters are only getting craftier, constantly finding new ways to copy and profiteer whilst avoiding the law. As they get more creative, so too must those of us working to stop them, and that is no easy task.
Brands do their very best in proactively registering intellectual property – and those with resources and knowhow take action against infringers. Manufacturing strategists strive to build secret ingredients, traceable codes and holograms into products; and protection and investigation services identify copycats and counterfeit products on the market so they can be removed. The key to winning the fight is being proactive. Working collaboratively, brand owners, IP and legal teams, and supply chain experts can defend and protect products and consumers alike. Innovation in response to illicit innovators means many things. However, at its core it means a joined up strategic approach and, increasingly, using technology to fightback.
Where the software comes in
Legal teams charged with tackling the issue can do only so much if key information is lacking … or less than forthcoming – which is where SnapDragon’s monitoring software and expert team come into their own. Now, we are not IP lawyers and we don’t pretend to be. But we do know our stuff when it comes to intellectual property and brand protection. And we have the tech to back us up. Monitoring the world’s busiest online marketplaces, domains and social media sites, our software, Swoop detects infringing products – whether from a trademark, copyright, patent or design right perspective – reporting results in an easy to use format so that the infringing products and sellers – can be removed from sale. In eliminating the link/s, public visibility of the items is eradicated, preventing their sale, export, import and subsequent distribution.
Sellers too can be interrogated through Swoop’s system. All listings from the same (infringing) seller can be linked at the touch of a button. Similarly, white listed resellers are excluded. Clustered data shows where similar products are often counterfeited by the same factories. This enables businesses to work together to fight the fakes. A joint approach is also far more likely to engage law enforcement authorities. In many cases a minimum transaction of USD$50,000 is required before anyone takes infringement seriously. Again, a win win for the legal teams.
Supplied with this evidence, legal and IP firms, or in-house Counsel, have the hard facts to act against fakes. Each link which SnapDragon’s team is asked to take down, based on infringing intellectual property, is stored securely, and can be resupplied as HTML code. Additionally, Swoop can be used to identify territories where new IP filings may be useful. This is especially useful if copycats are just starting to appear in areas where IP is not yet registered. Infringing listings identified by Swoop can be removed by the clients, legal teams or by us. Often, with the right IP in place to prove originality, this can be done in just minutes. This process is quicker and more reliable than ever before – and yes, listings really can come down in under five minutes.
It’s a partnership made in heaven … or at least online. We are thrilled to work closely with some of the sharpest minds around, both in-house and in firm. Talk to us today if you think we might be useful … we’ll also save you, and your clients, time and money. And that’s a promise.
By Lauren Pyle