Counterfeit products are fake replicas of authentic products. The more popular a product gets, usually by recognition of the brand, the more counterfeiters become interested in counterfeiting it.
Over the years, we studied counterfeiters, how and where they operate. But, unfortunately, counterfeiting is a big business. In fact, according to Forbes, it is the most significant criminal enterprise in the world, totaling 1.7 Trillion dollars a year. See more in our blog post: Taking Action On Your Brand Protection and Anti-Counterfeiting Measures.
Just like most victims do not hunt down offenders on their own, nor should e-commerce sellers think they can effectuate an adequate takedown without expert assistance.
You Cannot See the Whole Iceberg Standing On the Tip
While companies such as Amazon can be helpful to remove counterfeiting through takedowns, generally speaking, it can be a David vs. Goliath type of issue. An e-commerce merchant sees their counterfeited product on a site like Amazon and believes they can take it down. But, unfortunately, they do this without realizing the potential for tens, hundreds, or thousands of similar listings. In other words, what the e-commerce merchant becomes aware of is just the tip of the iceberg.
The do-it-yourself takedown method is not only generally ineffective but is also time-consuming. For example, most internet search tools are limited by search algorithms, making it difficult to find proper search keywords to find infringement.
Our Opinion: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Takedown Services Provide Excellent Bang for the Buck
Certain service providers have implemented sophisticated AI and other mechanisms to police against infringing goods and get them off the internet; this is done through automated cease and desist services and investigatory information so that appropriate legal counsel can take action. Often, these service providers work on a subscription basis. However, we have found some are more flexible (and inexpensive) than others.
Is Active Counterfeit Policing Worth It?
Once an e-commerce seller sees counterfeiting infringing goods, it is likely a bigger problem than they think. However, if there is no strategy behind the policing effort, it is not likely to be a practical exercise. A competent e-commerce attorney can help evaluate and frame the issues and strategy effectively.
Being a victim of counterfeiters is a general nightmare. Policing is necessary to guard against infringement. But, when it does happen, the only way to retaliate is a strong understanding of your strategy, IP, and the number of infringers you have to attack. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you strategize and understand your options. Schedule your call today!