Forum reveals the expanse of online challenges

Senior Writer

Jane Sunderland, of Sunderlaw Strategies, Inc., never imagined that studying biological evolution would someday lead her down a road to data analysis in online protection.

But she joined the MarkMonitor Forum as a speaker on that very topic last week. Juxtaposing it with the an ever-developing intellectual property industry, she explained:

“It’s about figuring out what the data has to say about trends,” she said. “There have been a lot of changes.”

Among those changes – the fact that online protection challenges now span more business departments and industries than ever. In fact, a MarkMonitor report, slated for release this October, will delve into research around this topic.

“Business intelligence is the road that will lead us to the source of the problem,” explained Dave Cooper of MarkMonitor, who emceed the day’s activities.

Touting a theme of better business intel and improved metrics of success, the event drew throngs of brand stakeholders from across industries to San Francisco’s historic New Mission Theater. Topics and keynotes included domain management, GDPR updates, online fraud and brand protection.

jane sunderland
Jane Sunderland, of Sunderlaw Strategies, Inc., (right) discusses the importance of examing cybercrime trends.

A blast from the consumer-centric past

A MarkMonitor panel of experts was joined by an individual whom many now deem a founder of consumer-centric brand protection. Richard Atkinson, of Adobe, explained that he has seen exponential improvements since launching a strategy focused around well-intentioned users.

When it comes to takedowns of fake software, his metrics to live by included good-to-bad ratio, consumer protection ratio related to search engine activity, and ecommerce growth. Another important factor, he said, was simply the storytelling component, which helps educate those involved in the investment.

“Testimonials from within the c-suite are golden,” Atkinson said.

MarkMonitor Vice President of Product Rikard Bandebo explained that reporting is less about the number of takedowns and more about effects on sales. He said that meant moving “away from volume metrics and into impact metrics.”

That, he explained, could be achieved with the “laser focus” of a consumer-centric strategy. Using localized search technologies and other means, brand owners can determine the probability that users will be impacted by cybercrime threats. The result: better business equity and safer user experiences.

“If brand protection is part of your role, then the total quantity of enforcements is not indicative of the quality of your program.” Cooper added. “You really have to see what your consumer sees.”

Read more: For smarter enforcement, determine your infringer’s intent

.Brand news and trends

Insights around top-level domains came from both Andy Abrams, of Google, and Martin Sutton, of the Brand Registry Group, who talked about both the possibilities and the challenges that have resulted from new gTLDs.

Abrams, who serves as senior trademark counsel, also shared his experiences in managing the company's trademark portfolio and talked about the importance of ICANN involvement. He recommended that businesses consistently send a representative from legal and trademarking to such events.

“There really is no substitute,” he said.

More highlights

  • When asked in a live survey about the most important aspects of protecting brands on marketplaces, most respondents agreed that takedowns should be targeted, with a focus on consumer-centric listing
  • Greenberg Traurig, LLP’s Marc Trachtenberg covered email and social media-based brand attacks, along with a history of cybersquatting. His advice included reducing the profitability of abusing your brand by taking firm action and reminded listeners that consumers often hold a brand responsible for negative experiences. Putting that into perspective, he added that 1 in 3 companies have been victims of CEO fraud emails.
  • Mary Jenkins, of MarkMonitor, talked about prioritizing marketplaces that matter most for online protection, which helps brand owners save dramatically on costs for sites where users frequent less. More information about her talk can be found in this on-demand webinar.
  • Learn more about consumer-centric strategies here, or talk to an online protection specialist today.

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Alison Simpson
With more than 13 years’ experience in the domain industry, Alison has managed all aspects of Corporate Domain Managem... More