In today’s era of rapid globalization, combating illicit trade and protecting your brand’s entity can be a cumbersome, tedious, and often an overwhelming process. Counterfeiting has a negative impact on the innovations and investments of not only the IP Rights holders but of the companies as well. Various counterfeit products like toys, spare parts, and pharmaceuticals are of low quality and pose a huge threat to the health and safety of consumers. Therefore, safeguarding goods and products against counterfeiting has become an increasingly crucial prospect for the IP right holders across the globe. Filing an application form to obtain protection and maintaining a plethora of registered rights only contribute to the first step of acquiring protection towards the IP rights of a firm or a brand.
In the interest of enforceability, companies now organize more anti-counterfeit programs to seek the protection of their registered rights. Nowadays, many of the top managers strongly believe that fighting against counterfeit products is a critical priority as counterfeiters have now become operators of huge manufacturing capacities, sometimes even bigger than the makers of the original brands and entities.
The Anti-Counterfeiting scenario is changing and the IP right holders should acknowledge it by implementing the basic strategies and critical guidelines for protection as mentioned below:
USING LAW PROTECTION:
Law protection and enforcement can turn out to be super beneficial for the IP Right holders to prevent counterfeiters from capturing unauthorized access to the markets. They have the power to suspend the manufacture and release of products suspected to infringe IP Rights. Several big e-Commerce companies like Amazon, Alibaba, to name a few, are now facing lawsuits and proceedings after failing to do enough for protecting their markets against counterfeit goods and services. As a result of the decisions following the lawsuit, few products have already been removed from Amazon and other related companies. Therefore, it is imperative for any country to have a strong legal framework for providing remedies against the wide range and use of counterfeit products.
OBSERVING SERVICES AND MARKET SURVEILLANCE:
IP Right holders should carefully observe the registration of new applicants which could infringe their rights or adversely affect their brand’s reputation. This is generally implemented via “watching services” filtering out only relevant applications which are analyzed to figure out whether any action to raise an opposition is required or not. Such steps if taken in an immediate and efficient way can act as a clear signal to the infringers about how actively the IP Right holders are protecting their brands and entities.
Monitoring online activities is equally important as the internet is considered as a significant gateway for the selling and distribution of counterfeit items. This can be implemented by taking help from specialized firms which can filter the web results to offer relevant findings to the IP Rights owners.
ADDING PROTECTIVE ELEMENTS AND SAFETY FEATURES:
To make it easier for the customers to differentiate between genuine and fake items on their own, products are today produced with safety features and protective elements. These features have attained utmost importance in the market and should be seriously considered by the IP Rights holders.
TRACING AND TRACKING SERVICES:
These services involve tracking and tracing every product from the stage of production to distribution, along the way to stores and second-hand shops. Recently a blockchain platform, known as “AURA” was launched by LVMH, a French multinational luxury goods conglomerate headquartered in Paris, along with Microsoft and ConsenSys. AURA offers powerful and real product tracing and tracking services to verify authenticity of luxury goods in the fashion world. Such initiatives would protect the integrity, interests, and privacy of each brand around the world and shall also safeguard the buyers from low-quality potential counterfeits.
In a nutshell, such measures would definitely not serve to put an end to fake trends but the global anti-counterfeiting policy includes a number of elements and strategies which can be taken into consideration while dealing with the potential for the decentralized manufacture of counterfeit goods and services. Naturally, changes to the economy must be observed carefully and policies should be amended and adapted where necessary.