Anti-Counterfeiting Methods for Online Buyers and Sellers

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With the advent of the Internet, it has become easier than ever to become a victim of counterfeiting. Today, both consumers and brand owners often fall victim to counterfeiters located both domestically and abroad. Popular websites such as Amazon and eBay often unknowingly host counterfeiters, resulting in damages to both buyers and sellers.  This post discusses anti-counterfeiting solutions. Fortunately, there are some solutions that can be utilized to combat counterfeiting. For both buyers and brand owners, anti-counterfeiting solutions are multi-faceted and should be used in combination with each other. In other words, one cannot rely on only one method.

Customer Anti-Counterfeiting Solutions: Researching Reviews

For buyers that use the Internet to purchase items, there are a number of anti-counterfeiting solutions available. First, as a consumer, do research on the website that you will be purchasing from. Simply using Google to search for reviews of a particular website will often return third-party websites that rate the reliability of online marketplaces and allow customers to leave reviews. Note, however, that it is important to weed out reliable reviews from fake ones. More reliable websites will have favorable reviews and in-depth reviews across multiple websites while fake-review websites will often have short reviews from one-word names and leave top marks. These fake-review websites will often allow disreputable sellers to pay for good reviews and should be avoided.

Brand Owners: Implementing a Strong Protection Plan

For vendors, anti-counterfeiting solutions are a little bit different. As brand owners or small business owners, anti-counterfeiting solutions need to be more aggressive. The first line of defense should be utilizing third-party services to monitor the brand name or product online. Watch services can notify brand owners about pending trademark applications for fake/similar products; as well as provide notification when unauthorized product listings have gone up on marketplace websites.

Another popular anti-counterfeiting solution is to start ensuring that some sort of trademark or identifying symbol is on the product, product page, product listing, or on any advertising material related to it. For instance, many vendors have started using watermarks on photographs that are used to advertise services or wares and/or try to incorporate their company name into the manufacturing process (e.g., brand name is used on mold/stamp during manufacturing process). Further, brand owners may want to consider registering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure that fake products and counterfeit goods are stopped upon entry into the United States.

Lastly, brand owners should hire or, at least, consult with intellectual property attorneys that are experienced in intellectual property infringement. Such attorneys can produce anti-counterfeiting solutions and plans tailored to fit specific needs. Moreover, if infringement should occur, these attorneys can help you bring legal action and recover damages whenever possible.

For more information on this topic, please visit our Anti-Counterfeiting Enforcement service page, which is part of our Trademark Practice.

Klemchuk LLP is an Intellectual Property (IP), Technology, Internet, and Business law firm located in Dallas, TX.  The firm offers comprehensive legal services including litigation and enforcement of all forms of IP as well as registration and licensing of patents, trademarks, trade dress, and copyrights.  The firm also provides a wide range of technology, Internet, e-commerce, and business services including business planning, formation, and financing, mergers and acquisitions, business litigation, data privacy, and domain name dispute resolution.  Additional information about the trademark law firm and its trademark attorneys may be found at www.klemchuk.com.

Klemchuk LLP hosts Culture Counts, a blog devoted to the discussion of law firm culture and corporate core values with frequent topics about positive work environment, conscious capitalism, entrepreneurial management, positive workplace culture, workplace productivity, and corporate core values.