Every day, millions of people across Europe and beyond enjoy local delicacies created by hard-working artisans. Enjoying an ice-cold European beer or snacking on a macaroon from some hand-crafted Limoges porcelain wouldn’t be possible without centuries of innovation, expertise, and heritage. However, scammers seek to undermine these products, ripping off European producers and their cultural icons, while leaving a bitter taste in the mouths consumers. What, therefore, can these producers do to protect themselves and their clients from infringements such as counterfeits, copycat products, and other scams?
Protective EU legislation extended to 800 local products
The EU maintains a vested interest in protecting culturally significant European products. These delicacies put local cultures on the map, while enriching the lives of consumers around the world, and crucially, generating billions of Euros every year. Categories like Geographical Indications (GIs) and Protected Designations of Origin (PDOs) go some way towards enshrining local products in EU law, recognizing both their valuable reputation and their attractiveness to malicious third-parties.
Since 1993, the EU’s PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) laws certified consumable products like Irish whisky and Roquefort cheese. Legislators expanded these protections as recently as May 2023 to cover products across new categories such as textiles, jewellery, and pottery, extending the PGI to 800 products across 27 countries.
The PGI’s expanded remit provides the legislative framework, but artisans, SMEs, and multi-nationals still struggle to enforce their rights, particularly in evolving markets online.
Do European producers feel informed and protected against online scams?
A recent guide from AREPO (The Association of Regional European Product Origins) highlights some glaring concerns among European creators about their products’ protection from digital risks. As ecommerce increases, scammers take advantage of digital attack surfaces like domain infrastructure to impersonate or hijack legitimate brands online. Hackers and impersonators extort businesses, siphoning legitimate revenues and undermining authentic consumer experiences. These risks specifically affect prized European GI or Geographical Indication products, due to their high reputational and financial value.
AREPO themselves find that:
“there is currently no strong protection for GIs in terms of domain name allocation, and the very liberal approach proposed by ICANN […] threatens the protection of GIs on the Internet, whose rights are not always upheld.”
GI infringements sap more than 4 billion Euros from the EU economy every year, and 60% of AREPO respondents stated that they don’t regularly monitor potential internet fraud on their products. It’s no wonder, then, that the AREPO report recommends EBRAND services help European producers protect their products online.
How EBRAND protects European producers, according to AREPO
The AREPO report highlights EBRAND’s value for local producers, as users:
“quickly detect all infringements of geographical indications, trademarks, products or corporate identity on a large majority of Internet channels, such as websites, e-commerce sites, marketplaces, social networks, or the dark web.”
EBRAND Corporate Domain Management helps defend against cybersquatting and hijacking, Digital Risk Protectiondisarms scammers online and on the dark web, and Online Brand Protection reinforces legitimate ecommerce.
Ultimately, well-enforced protection helps European producers boost their products in the EU and beyond. Producers protect their creations to cement their reputations and secure their revenues. Regulated ecommerce empowers artisans and their clients to cherish local delicacies while sustaining vital livelihoods.
Experts at EBRAND will be more than happy to help you boost and protect your produce, to maintain the long-term value of local and regional treasures for years to come.