The need to look expensive, live luxuriously and conveniently is clear and sensible, however, many people cannot afford to live in luxury style, or they don’t see the difference between a brand and a local ‘hand-made’ product. Therefore, brands more and more often today have to learn to protect themselves and their uniqueness. For example, this year Chanel fashion house won a lawsuit against stores that were selling counterfeits through Amazon. Chanel demanded every shop to pay them 2 million $, but the court compelled each of them to pay $100 000, and Amazon had to delete all pictures of Chanel counterfeits and close access to the site for those stores that participated in the lawsuit.
Buy a fake Cartier, get a genuine criminal record
Someone arranges a ‘witch hunt’ by purchasing goods of supposedly their brand from unregistered sellers, and someone сhoses the strategy of public shaming of the counterfeit manufacturers. A few years ago French fashion houses, including Cartier, Chanel, Christian Dior, Lacoste Longchamp, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Louis Vuitton together with the French customs office issued over ten thousand posters calling to refuse from counterfeits. The discovered fake goods were publically destroyed with the help of special equipment.
How to protect yourself? So, what should the brand owners do to avoid such situations, unnecessary costs for lawyers, and time for lawsuits?
The first and main task is to protect your name. As we have already said in our previous article, the name of the brand is a trade mark. The registration of a trade mark will let the business owner decrease the risk of the name usage for counterfeits trade. By the way, before choosing the name we recommend you to search the trademark database to make sure the name is not already in use by anyone else.
The next step is to create a paper trail. It is a kind of insurance for you in case you have to fight for your intellectual property rights in court. Keep paper bills from the beginning of usage of a trade mark, all contracts, i.e. on buying a domain name, etc., and state the dates. It will show who was the first one to use this word, image, or sound.
Trace brandjackers in the net. Constant monitoring of market places, social networks, and online shops is always relevant and important to identify frauds. It’s way easier to find the so-called sellers before they sell a fake low-quality product, and you receive a negative review.
The registration of a domain name. Currently, any business requires the Internet. Social networks and your website with the domain name, which includes or completely consists of the name of your brand. The registration of a domain allows making sure that this domain name is exclusively yours. It’s better to do it ASAP, as more and more domain names are getting occupied. You can choose and register the domain name in a fast and easy way using special providers the Internet is full with, such as NameCheap or GoDaddy.
Make sure that you are the owner of your domain name. A lot of major brands buy domain names with all possible combinations of their trade name. The customer will not look at the address bar carefully and may not notice the difference in, for example, louisvuitton.com or louisvuitton1.com. Acquiring all possible domain name combinations will also increase your chances of not being compromised. These are a few easy but essential actions to protect your brand. Of course, that’s not all you can do, and you shouldn’t do it all by yourself. You may choose a company that will be engaged in the protection of your brand, create a strategy, and offer a dozen other options. The main thing is to make sure your intellectual property is safe.