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Brand protection for online marketplaces

Alibaba, Amazon & Co: A blessing and a curse for brand manufacturers

Online marketplaces provide sellers of branded products with numerous benefits. There is no need for them to maintain their own online shop, they benefit from the range and profile of the platform as well as from other services such as standardised payment processing or comprehensive buyer protection. This convenient sales channel is therefore increasingly used by manufacturers. The number of offers and units sold is growing rapidly.

Unfortunately, it is precisely these benefits which attract the product pirates. They offer counterfeit goods which are confusingly similar to the originals but which are of lower quality or even dangerous. A survey of British consumers in 2015 showed that the fraudsters are indeed proving successful with this business model: Around 31 % of respondents believed they had purchased original products while, in reality, these were counterfeit goods. The risk of product piracy is particularly high in marketplaces based in Asian countries and particularly in China.

Online marketplaces such as Alibaba and Amazon are therefore both a blessing and a curse for international brand manufacturers. Those seeking to benefit and at the same time protect their company brand must ensure that online brand protection is consistent and thorough. The fact is: Any measure taken against product piracy will serve to strengthen the company’s own flagship stores and the authorised dealers.

Online marketplaces adopt brand protection measures

Online marketplace operators take the issue of product piracy very seriously and are doing their bit to protect brands. For example, the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) and Amazon signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on World Intellectual Property Day 2018 to further strengthen their collaboration in combating product piracy. Alibaba announced the Alibaba Big Data Anti-Counterfeiting Alliance back in 2017. It was initiated by 20 international brands, including Louis Vuitton, Samsung and Mars.

Despite these measures on the part of the operators, it is essential for brand owners themselves to be active when it comes to online brand protection. The first step in proactively protecting your own rights is the registration of intellectual property (IP). A combination of technical property rights (patent, utility model) and non-technical property rights (trademark, copyright, etc.) is recommended.

Online Marketplace Brand Protection

As your partner for online brand protection, we support you with personalised advice and powerful software in the fight against fraudulent counterfeiters. Our ARGOS platform is the best platform on the market to provide real-time data:

Offer details

Detailed information regarding the lists found

Offer volumes

Identifies sellers with high volumes

Selling prices

As an indicator of potential counterfeiting of goods (automatic exchange of foreign currency to euros)

Item description

Identifies trademark rights violations, among others, registered trademark and copyright infringements.

Information about sellers

Allows an overall image of the suppliers to be formed

Multi-stage risk assessment

Based on historical sellers database and sophisticated AI (artificial intelligence)

In-house, authorised services

Simple identification of in-house or authorised offers based on the lists found according to whitelists

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