No matter if your company is an industry leader or a start-up, you could become subject to trademark infringement. In today’s digitalized world not only large online enterprises risk suffering brand damage – the risk posed to low traffic sites is equal.
The rapid digitalization and globalization over the last twenty years has pushed both goods and services online. This also inevitably means that an increasing part of criminal activities now take place online.
However, just registering your brand and domain name does not provide adequate protection. Owning the basic trademark rights is a good start but it does not automatically protect against infringement.
Fortunately, there is help available to protect your brand and your domains. By seeking qualified advice and implementing automated monitoring that continuously scans the digital landscape – from apps to websites – you can protect your trademark rights proactively.
This way, you avoid being dependent on information from retailers or customers about ongoing infringement or reputation parasitism. Through the systematic monitoring you are one step ahead, immediately alerted if an infringement has occurred or is about to occur.
Examples of different types of trademark infringement
- Domain name infringement
It is not uncommon for fraudsters to register domain names similar to well-known brand names or use deliberately misspelled brand names, in order to mislead and deceive consumers. Sometimes they even succeed in registering brand identical top-level domains that companies have neglected to register in one or more markets.
A widespread method for phishing is to use a fake website to trick people into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, or passwords. Another method is to send out fake mass emails that are made to look genuine, by using a company logo and address.
- Fake or pirated products
There are many online marketplaces and websites that put a lot of effort into appearing as upstanding merchants, while actually selling fake or pirated products. The rise of counterfeit goods is a direct result of the rapid e-commerce growth, which has made it increasingly difficult for consumers to distinguish between authentic and counterfeit products.
Why you need to protect your trademark
- Brand and goodwill
Building a strong brand takes time, commitment, and hard work, but destroying your reputation can happen in the blink of an eye.
Every year many billions are lost to brand scams. When consumers are lured away from your brand, cheated out of their money or misled into buying copies, it not only damages your brand reputation it also causes direct revenue losses to your business.
If your brand is subjected to infringement and fraud on a regular basis, it will erode the competitiveness of the company.
There are many effective ways to protect your brand
- Trademark registration
By registering a trademark and domain name, you achieve basic protection. But keep in mind that the fact that something is illegal, does not mean that fraudsters will refrain from trying to execute crime.
- Brand monitoring
Large corporations are at the forefront of trademark protection strategies, but now a growing number of smaller companies also take brand threats into account. Not least the current pandemic has shown the importance of keeping track of how your brand is exposed online. Through proactive action, using monitoring and surveillance services that scan, analyze and alert about online activities, you can quickly act against any trademark infringement. There is a wide range of monitoring services with different capabilities to scan the digital landscape, including social media, app stores, marketplaces and customs notifications. The most basic forms of monitoring service consists of domain name and trademark monitoring. Together, they form an important cornerstone of a sound trademark protection strategy.
- Brand Action Plan
When trademark infringement occurs, it is crucial to act quickly. Most often, trademark infringement is not an isolated incident, instead fraudsters try to carry out a series of infringements over a short period of time. For that reason, it is important to have a well-prepared action plan. There is no need to “invent the wheel” every time – a checklist of actions is often the smartest way to stop ongoing infringement.
You should always protect your logo and brand name by trademarking them and implementing continuous monitoring of your domains and trademarks.
A trademark infringement not only risks seriously damaging your brand’s reputation – the financial damage is often colossal, as you lose both current and future revenue.
Every year many billions are lost to brand scams. Implementing a monitoring service secures your brand and gives you a kind of insurance policy against infringement. Even the simplest form of monitoring is preferable to no protection at all.
The primary attraction for fraudsters is the path with the least resistance, which is why they try to steer clear of brands that have taken protective measures – a simple comparison is that burglars usually avoid houses with security systems.
Read more about our monitoring services or try our quiz below too to learn what monitory services that are relevant for your company.