Counterfeiting isn’t a new problem. In fact, the companies selling fake goods have been around for about as long as the real ones. Counterfeiters’ ability to adapt to changing consumer behavior and ever-evolving anti-counterfeiting measures has seen them grow tremendously over the years. The International Chamber of Commerce estimates that the global economic value of counterfeiting and piracy could reach $4.2 trillion by 2022 and put 5.4 million legitimate jobs at risk over that time period.
As right holders, businesses have both the right and responsibility to remove fake products from online platforms. Beyond the obvious reputational damages counterfeit products can have on a business, in some cases, it can pose an even greater threat to customers’ health and safety. Over the years, counterfeiters have evolved rapidly, making it a priority for brands to stay on top of the latest industry and technological trends in order to safeguard their consumers and revenue.
Here are the top three ways counterfeiters currently exploit the internet to lure consumers into buying their goods.
Example of an avatar being used by a reseller network as identification and quality sign
When it comes to handling some of these new counterfeiters’ tactics to sell fakes online, current methods have their limitations
Having said that, currently many companies and providers tend to focus on combining these technologies, and complement them with a team of analysts doing manual searches. Depending on what metrics you look at, results can seem good at first. But this is not a scalable method. Over time, it will prove time-consuming and not very effective compared to the capacity of counterfeiters. Plus, this method doesn’t support building strategies to cut infringements at the source and gather information.
Often the easiest answer to a problem is the hardest to achieve. This case is no exception. To identify infringing listings, the “easy” answer is to leverage image recognition to detect a product from any image.
This means a technology able to analyze thousands of pictures every day across marketplaces and social media, and that could be trained to detect any type of protected products. At Red Points, our approach to leveraging technology to tackle this problem is actually rather straightforward:
It goes without saying that counterfeiters will continue to evolve and what works today won’t be suited for tomorrow. Given the speed at which online counterfeits spread online, dealing with copycats manually will quickly feel like fighting a losing battle. Enlisting the help of a technology partner to join the dots between listings across all major marketplaces to speed up IP enforcement procedures will come a long way to help you reach your wider company goals.