Earlier this month, two major sport and shoe brands put their foot down on illicit counterfeit activity.
A joint claim accused 53 different ecommerce sellers of various counts of trademark infringement, counterfeiting and unfair competition. In the claim, both companies said they suffered “daily and sustained violations of their trademark rights at the hands of counterfeiters and infringers”, with money being diverted away from genuine brands and into the hands of counterfeiters.
Companies report needing more support for online protection
We all know that cybercrime has very real and damaging impacts. But did you know that many brands also struggle to get the support needed to remedy the problem?
The amount of money that can be lost through such activity is staggering — according to research conducted by the Centre for Economic and Business research, counterfeit goods cost the UK economy $20.8 billion (£17.3 billion) in 2016 alone, with 72,000 jobs lost as a result. Along with reputational and financial damage, the claim from both brands stated that the growth of the internet had led to both brands having to file various lawsuits “in order to protect both consumers and themselves”.
New research commissioned by MarkMonitor highlights the difficulty that many brands have in putting these protection strategies in place. Around half of respondents told us they think brand protection is undervalued in their organisation. The report also sheds light on the extent of this activity and the behind-the-scenes impact it can have on brands, with 47 percent of brands reporting lost revenue to counterfeit or pirated goods.
A growing need for online strategies
Other key findings from the research make it clear that the issue of brand protection is growing significantly based on increasing threats posed by counterfeiting, piracy, cybersquatting and other forms of brand abuse. Respondents didn’t appear to have a positive outlook on the future, either, with 58 percent of respondents saying they think brand protection will become more difficult over the next five years.
When combined, the figures paint a picture of a landscape that is fraught with counterfeit activity, with brands trying their best to battle as much of it as possible. While it is practically impossible to eliminate all instances of counterfeiting and fraudulent activity, having a robust brand protection strategy in place can make it easy to protect your intellectual property while ensuring the issue does not escalate into an overwhelming problem.
Another remedy? Be sure your strategy and results get clearly communicated to executives.
· Proves your program works
· Communicates value
· Earns executive buy-in
And should feature:
· Visuals featuring milestones over time
· Summaries highlighting keyword trends
For a full report on the challenges business face in brand protection today, read our full report.