Creating a brand that customers rely on is a major asset for any business. When the brand’s promise is compromised due to counterfeiting, the trust that has been built over years can be hurt in an instant. Preventing counterfeits from ever happening is the best measure. Here are a few things that companies can do now to protect their brands.
Visit – STOPfakes.gov
The website STOPfakes.gov has harnessed the resources of multiple federal agencies to educate and assist businesses of all sizes on what is available to protect their intellectual property rights (IPR). The U.S. Customs and Border Protection E-Recordation Tool lets businesses record their “copyright or trademark online with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to help Customs to prevent infringing imports from entering the United States.” Businesses can report retailers and online vendors selling fake merchandise and also report false “Made in the USA” labeling.
There are many resources found here, but also there are seminars held in different cities across the country as part of their “Road Shows.” Trade experts and attorneys from different agencies host a one-day seminar with information and strategies for protecting IPR when exporting overseas. At the end of the sessions, there is time set aside for one-on-one advice.
Attend – Anti-Counterfeiting & Brand Protection Summit
This fall in New York City, brand owners from many different industries will be gathering together to discuss the issues surrounding brand protection. It will be the 13th year of the Anti-Counterfeiting & Brand Protection Summit where brand leaders can learn about the latest developments and strategies to take on the counterfeiting problem. There will be three days of workshops, panel discussions and case studies from “Brand Protection Leaders, IP & Trademark Counsel, Supply Chain Management, Corporate Security, Investigators” and “law enforcement from around the world.”
Join – International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC)
The mission of the IACC “is to combat counterfeiting and piracy by promoting laws, regulations, directives, and relationships designed to render the theft of intellectual property undesirable and unprofitable.” The organization is a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. With over 250 members, it serves a myriad of industries, including: auto, apparel, luxury goods, pharmaceuticals, food, software, entertainment, law firms, investigative and product security firms, government agencies, and intellectual property associations.
Read – Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) 2014 Special 301 Report
The annual Special 301 Report by the USTR has been released for 2014. The report examines “the adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR).” 82 trading partners were reviewed for the Report.
Ten countries were placed on the Priority Watch List and do not have sufficient IPR protection or enforcement. Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand and Venezuela will have “particularly intense bilateral engagement” as a result.
Twenty-seven countries were placed on the Watch List: Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. Further bilateral attention will be paid to these countries based on the observed IPR deficiencies.
Enforcing IPR is a constant for most businesses. Learning different strategies for protecting your brand from counterfeits may go a long way toward keeping your customer’s trust and saving your bottom line.
Have legal questions about piracy or counterfeiting? You can talk to an independent attorney through LegalZoom’s legal plans.