4 months ago
Brand Protection From Counterfeiters
Counterfeit products are poor-quality items that can put your brand reputation at stake and negatively affect your business. Many international brands have gone to great lengths to prevent counterfeiters from selling counterfeit versions of their products.
Unfortunately, many brand owners and companies don’t have the knowledge and experience to handle counterfeiting. In this article, we share with you more on how you can protect your business from counterfeiters.
1. Register the Intellectual Property
Counterfeits are fraudulent imitation of genuine products of a brand. They copy a product’s design and name without authorisation from the owner of the intellectual property, infringing trademarks or patents.
The first step to protecting your brand is to register any intellectual property so that you can prove and claim that you are the owner when detecting fake products or taking action against the counterfeiters.
There are three types of intellectual property:
Copyright protects the expression of ideas in a tangible form. The works include written works, scripts for films, choreographies, melodies, drawings, engravings, buildings, and more. Each of these works have different protection terms ranging from 25 to 70 years.
Copyright owners have the exclusive right to reproduce, publish, or perform the work publicly. However, it is important to note that copyrighted works created in Singapore are generally only valid within Singapore’s borders.
In Singapore, copyright automatically comes into existence for works that qualify for protection. If you wish to commercialise your work, you do not need to obtain a licence as there is no copyright registry in Singapore. However, anyone who intends to use a work under copyright protection will need a licence to do so if he or she is not the copyright owner.
A patent is an exclusive right granted to protect an invention. Patents usually include biotechnology processes, computer programmes, nanotechnology innovations, and more.
A person will hold the exclusive right to use a patent if he or she registers a patent for their invention. This means that no other person can take advantage of the patent unless permission is sought.
Trademarks are signs such as letters, words, names, signatures, numerals, devices, brands, headings, labels, tickets, shapes and colours, or any combination of these elements. They are used to distinguish goods or services of one company from those of another. Trademarks are used on product designs for branding purposes, as well as help consumers identify the brand’s products.
With a registered trademark, you get to protect your market share by deterring others from using it, licence it to third parties, or sell it for a sum. Hence, trademark registration is extremely important.
Registering your intellectual property allows you to better protect your brand from counterfeiters. Even in the case of a trademark infringement, you can take legal action against counterfeiters and have the case resolved in your favour.
2. Investigate and Identify Entire Network of Counterfeiters
Counterfeits don’t just come from an individual, but are produced by a network of stakeholders who work together to produce and sell counterfeits to consumers.
If you do discover counterfeits of your products being sold online, you can engage trademark investigation services to assist you in tracking down an entire network of counterfeiters rather than targeting a single listing. Taking the time to investigate the case can help to safeguard your business and save you from more trouble in the long run.
Trademark investigation services are extremely powerful because they can uncover information and evidence you need discreetly.
3. Strategy for Monitoring & Enforcement
A. Authentication Methods
There are many authentication methods that can be used to help your consumers in identifying genuine products. This can help to prevent consumers from unknowingly purchasing counterfeit goods. For example, some brands owners introduce security features to assign each of their products with a serial number that consumers can enter into their system for authentication.
B. Access to Trademarks
You should be extremely cautious about who has access to your trademarks. Ensure that suppliers, vendors and employees only have access to the information required for their specific role in the manufacturing or sales process. Keeping information separate can help ensure that no one has access to everything needed to create counterfeits.
C. Monitor and Check
Engaging trademark investigation services or forming a team of brand protection officers to regularly monitor and scan the internet for counterfeits is a good way to address counterfeit issues before these products reach consumers.
Brands should also have a proper response strategy in place to help them deal with counterfeiting issues promptly if a case arises.
4. Educate Consumers
The easiest way to protect both your business and consumers is to educate them on how to identify counterfeits and avoid purchasing them. Brands can provide steps for identifying genuine products, or clearly state on their website where their products are being sold so that consumers only purchase from authorised sites and distributors.
Counterfeits pose a threat to businesses and companies will only gain from tackling these problems. Doing a thorough investigation and implementing stringent measures will protect your brand reputation, revenue, and prevent you from losing your customers.
In need of trademark investigation services? CDiC Consultants provide commercial investigation services that can help safeguard your business interests. Contact us for more information.