COUNTERFEITING AND INFRINGEMENT OF INTELLECTUAL RIGHTS
Trademark theft (related concepts: counterfeiting and trademark infringement) means counterfeiting of a consumer product which is then issued to be genuine. The OECD uses this definition: “goods that have been manufactured for the purpose of imitating well-known products to mislead consumers”.
Brand counterfeiting is very common today, unfortunately. Sometimes the forgery is obvious but other times it can be very difficult to detect. The products that become counterfeit can be anything from snus boxes to expensive jackets, the products with the greatest demand are most likely to be subject to plagiarism. Trademark infringement does, of course, harm the trademark owner financially, but it also affects the reputation of the brand because the plagiarism the customer has purchased has lower quality than the original. The finish is usually worse and the wear is greater.
Counterfeits are found both on the internet and in the regular retail. Fraudsters are always looking for an opportunity to make money, there is a chance that you can suffer regardless of whether you own a small family business or a world-renowned clothing brand. The fraudster does not always spend so much time creating “professional plagiarism” and customers are not always aware that they have bought a fake product, they may, therefore, be of the opinion that the original product does not live up to the quality promised by the brand.
It is always better to work with preventive measures than being forced to take drastic measures, later on, it is important for both small and large companies to protect themselves against infringement of intellectual property rights and counterfeiting. An effective way to do this is to carry out regular checks on products available on the market to determine that they are not pirated or counterfeit. Many companies do not act until they receive tips that piracy copies exist, but discovering that can sometimes take years and for every counterfeit sold, the company behind the original product loses money. If checks and investigations are carried out instead for preventative purposes, there is a greater chance of stopping fake products at an early stage, before the company risks a major loss financially.
A THREAT AGAINST YOUR BRAND
Intellectual property rights are a summary term that covers, among other things, copyright, patents, trademark protection, and other things. Intellectual property rights provide the rights holder with protection against piracy, counterfeiting and illegal use of a trademark or product. Of course, the intention is that the person who creates or invents something must also have the rights to the product and the brand and the income they can generate.
We help individuals and companies to develop strategies to fully understand and get help with counterfeiting, we provide advice on patent protection and other methods to help protect what is legally yours.
Our investigators can also go in and investigate if someone is infringing copyright or your intellectual property rights since illegal copying and plagiarism often lead to major financial losses. Trademark counterfeiting is a major problem in today’s society and we will work together with you to stop this.
INVESTIGATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF PIRATE COPIED MERCHANDISES
For each counterfeit product that comes on the market, the brand’s owner loses money, but there are legal steps to be taken if this happens. It’s about finding and identifying those who make and sell the pirated copies, it’s a job we do for our clients.
Our resources and our access to advanced technology often allow us to resolve these types of cases faster than the police, because our focus is on our clients. We have technically advanced resources, the right expertise and many years of experience.
- Unauthorized copying (piracy) – This means illegal copying of works that are protected by copyright.
- Copyright Infringement – Copyright means that the person who created a product or service has exclusive rights to how this may be used. There is both an economic and a non-profit right here.
- Trademark Counterfeiting – Counterfeiting of trademarked consumer goods of various sorts like clothing, medicine, toys, watches and much more.
- Trademark infringement – When a trademark counterfeit product is sold in business activity, trademark infringement occurs.
- Parallel import – This means free movement within the EU of an approved drug. This drug must be approved by the Swedish Medicines Agency in order for a parallel import to take place.
- Smuggling – It is common for products that are counterfeit gets smuggled into Sweden, our job is to stop this and find the source of the smuggling.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES?
As the value of a service or product increases, so does the risk of plagiarism and piracy. The intellectual property that accompanies a patent or trademark protects to some extent, but it can often be difficult to detect cases of patent infringement, trademark infringement or copyright infringement. The task of controlling then falls to the business owner, inventor or patent holder, who often have neither the time nor the knowledge required to identify and prosecute those dealing with piracy and that is where we can assist with our services.
There are a number of things you can do for preventative purposes to make piracy difficult. You can make unique ID tags of the products or use holograms, which large product companies (such as Canon) use to protect their brands. However, this is rarely sufficient, it is also important to know that it is the proprietor of the intellectual property who must take the first step towards further protecting them. If a rights holder contacts us, we can assist with our expertise and experience in investigating and documenting various cases of patent and trademark infringement.
OUR WORKING METHODS
Our goal is to identify and verify any infringement of your intellectual property, in order to take the necessary actions. We help companies to track servers, among other things, in order to close down the source of so-called “card-sharing seeders”, we can use methods such as control purchases to verify that the products sold in a particular store are not copies or counterfeits. How we work depends entirely on what you as a client need and what the situation requires, we always adapt to your wishes.
The following methods can be used:
- Tracking IP addresses and the people behind them.
- Control purchases from suppliers, stores, and distributors, where there is a suspicion of handling counterfeit goods, where our goal is to survey the business.
- Intelligence activities, to identify factories and transports that deal with pirated copies, to stop them before they enter the market.
- Forensic analyzes for identification and determination of materials, quality, and authenticity, including clothing, tobacco and similar products.
- Identification of persons and companies engaged in false marketing.
- Account and phone tracking.
- Delivery tracking and customs control.
- Blocking of marketing channels and payment systems.
- Collection of sales data.
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE?
Contact us for more information. We offer a free consultation to see what solutions are available for your particular situation.
EUIPO – European Union property office – EU:s database over registered brands
PRV – National Swedish trademark database – Search registered trademarks in Sweden
Theft & scams – How theft and scams affect your business
Control purchases – A service that can help you protect your Intellectual Rights