In 2016, MarkMonitor worked with Europol on Operation “In Our Sites” Seven (IOS VII)’. The operation focused on tackling counterfeit websites selling luxury goods, sportswear, spare parts, electronics, pharmaceuticals, toiletries and other fake products, as well as piracy sites.
MarkMonitor first supported the program last year where they were able to remove over 230 sites selling counterfeit merchandise online for clients. The sites in question were in countries, which had varying levels of intellectual property protection in place to protect brands online, making it more difficult to use standard enforcement options normally available.
Nancy Merritt, manager, global relationships for MarkMonitor, says: “We’ve forged close ties working with our partners in law enforcement to help clamp down the level of online counterfeiting, and our involvement in IOS VII supported this. A large number of fraudulent websites have been shut down as a result. More broadly, this highlighted the importance of coordination of both online and offline approaches to brand protection.
“We look forward to working with Europol on future operations and are fully supportive of initiatives like this that support our clients.”
“Europol’s role in operation In Our Sites involves organising, coordinating, exchanging and subsequently analysing data among participating countries, and liaising with rights holders from the private sector. Cooperation with private industry remains crucial and is key to monitoring and reporting IP-infringing websites to the concerned countries via Europol, to ultimately make the Internet a safer place for consumers” said Chris Vansteenkiste, IPC3 manager at Europol.
Fighting the trade of counterfeit products online is a challenging and difficult task for law enforcement agencies to conduct on their own, which is why operations such as IOS VII are conducted on a regular basis in conjunction with private, third-party businesses including MarkMonitor, who are one of the larger partners involved in the program.
Charlie Abrahams, Senior Vice President for MarkMonitor, commented: “This partnership represents our continued dedication to building strategic partnerships, allowing our clients to benefit from our ever-expanding group of relationships around the globe. It’s clear that counterfeiting activity is still rife across the Internet, but this operation proves that effective cooperation between law enforcement authorities and private sector partners helps make the Internet a safer place for consumers.”
To read more on the initiative click here.