Intellectual property strategy is essential for almost every business, including small- and medium-sized businesses.
Intellectual property protection can be challenging, but brands can largely overcome it with the right partner and strategy.
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What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property (IP) refers to intangible assets that are creations of the mind. IP protection covers inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce.
What are the 5 types of intellectual property?
Intellectual property is an asset created to protect creations such as names, texts, designs, images, and more. Here are the main types of IP protection:
Trademarks are the names, phrases, symbols, designs or a combination of these things that differentiate your brand from others in your industry. Trademarks are source identifiers, so they must be distinctive as not to create a likelihood of confusion.
When you think about your favorite brands, you probably picture their logo or slogans, such as the amazon smiling arrow and the three-stripes adidas logo.
Companies create distinctive trademarks and use them so customers can identify their brand and connect with it. They also provide the brand with legal protection.
IP protection trademarks protect owners from unfair competition. They also protect consumers by helping them recognize the source of a good or service and avoid confusion.
Trademarks are specific, and they apply to a “class” of goods or services. In other words, third parties can use your trademark for other types of goods or services.
Trademarks are also territorial. The Madrid System was established to help with trademark registration and protection in member countries, with one trademark procedure that is simple and cost-effective. The system does have vulnerabilities, and we suggest that you consult with a professional.
Copyrights protect literary and artistic works. They encompass original literary, artistic, dramatic and musical works such as books, articles, poems, movies, songs, recordings, paintings, website content, computer software, and architecture.
Copyright infringement online is referred to as digital piracy. It involves unauthorized uploading, downloading, streaming, and sharing of copyrighted works, such as images.
Patents are tools to protect innovation, granted for new, useful inventions, creations and innovations. In the U.S., utility patents protect the way a product works, whereas design patents protect the way a product looks. In other countries, there may be specific laws to cover industrial designs.
(4) Registered designs
Design patents, also called industrial designs, grant IP protection.
A registered design right protects the appearance of a product, created with the purpose of being aesthetically pleasing. It can consist of three- or two- dimensional features. Therefore, it protects the exact shape of a product or patterns, lines, or color.
Note that protection for the way in which a product works may be available under patent law.
(5) Trade secrets
This IP protection shields confidential information that is commercially valuable, known only to a limited group of people, and has been subject to reasonable steps to keep it a secret.
Trade secrets include strategies, processes, practices, techniques and formulas that help businesses maintain a competitive advantage. Some examples are business information, technical information, prototypes, methods, procedures, and more.
Trade secrets gain IP protection without registration. Trade secret theft can occur online (with digital technologies) or offline (such as by employees).
Although the above are the main types of intellectual property (IP), there are other examples of IP, such as geographical indications.
How big is the counterfeit problem?
Trade in fake goods is up, and brands in all sectors are affected. The dangers of fakes are real. They hurt legitimate businesses, profit criminal organizations, and jeopardize consumers’ health and safety.
What are the main types of intellectual property protection?
Intellectual property provides protection both offline and online.
Intellectual property protection used to focus on offline activities. Local markets, malls and stores may sell counterfeit goods, and some are notorious for it.
There are also fake goods sold on street corners, where unlicensed street vendors present their counterfeit merchandise and people know they can come and purchase them. New York City has locations known for counterfeit sales, like Canal Street.
Markets in China that sell fakes, such as the Silk Market in Beijing, are often reviewed by tourists. Some luxury brands are sold out in the open, while others require some asking around, and are often sold in unmarked apartments and back rooms.
However, going after individual sellers is time-consuming and expensive.
E-commerce platforms are maybe the biggest channel for counterfeit sales and other IP infringements. From domain names to hashtags to text messages, there are countless platforms where intellectual property rights can be used or abused.
Increasingly, the major platforms create mechanisms to deal with counterfeit products and unscrupulous sellers. AI controls are increasingly used to detect counterfeits on major e-commerce sites, such as in China.
Yet, many feel that this is not enough and that the burden lies mainly with the brand owners to monitor and alert the platforms. Even when platforms apply anti-counterfeit measures, sellers often find ways to trick or avoid the control mechanisms.
One common way is to redirect consumers to independent websites. Another way is to list a price that is not too different from the price for the original product but to offer steep discounts when buyers contact the seller on private chat.
Numerous platforms do not apply the same measures and do not have the tools to filter fake products. Some are known for hosting counterfeits and do not bother to verify that third-party sellers and the goods they offer are legitimate.
Generally, marketplaces have been exempted from liability for products sold by third-party sellers on their platforms, making them less likely to allocate the resources needed to approve and monitor those sellers.
Are counterfeits always easy to detect?
Although some fakes are easy to spot, “superfakes” are so similar to the genuine product that it is hard to tell the difference.
Through years of producing goods for authentic brands, manufacturers in China have the knowledge and skills needed to copy almost any product.
Yet technology, such as the Wiser Market Monitoring System, can help detect counterfeit products online.
It can also find false advertising, unauthorized use of copyrighted images and more. An online brand protection agency like Wiser Market then moves on to eliminate infringements and further deter infringers.
Wiser online brand protection
The online space has created growth opportunities, but not only for IP owners.
Unscrupulous sellers, competitors, and others have new opportunities and reach to violate intellectual property rights. The explosion of e-commerce increases the chances that the scale of the counterfeit problem will only get bigger.
The digital space calls for its own solutions to IP protection.
Whether you wish to fight counterfeits, protect your domain name, prevent trademark, copyright and brand infringements, or combat gray market selling and knockoffs, you need online brand protection services.
Want to protect Your Brand? Contact us to learn more:
Wiser Market is your partner in the fight to stop intellectual property infringements and counterfeits with advanced technology and industry expertise.
We apply technology to help our clients detect and eliminate online infringements globally.
We act quickly with our scalable solutions that serve brands of all sizes.
Wiser Market’s highly effective, long-term online brand protection strategy safeguards your revenue and brand reputation, with a proven track record of over 95% success rate.
With Wiser Market, your brand has a comprehensive IP protection solution, from detection to enforcement of your IP rights, so you can focus on growing your business.
WiserTip: It is estimated that over 80% of the world’s counterfeit and pirated goods originate in China and Hong Kong (China). With online brand protection, you can expand your business and not worry about enforcement in South Asia markets, particularly China.
What is online intellectual property protection?
Online brand protection services counter online threats and protect your intellectual property assets. Anytime, anywhere. Counterfeit goods affect practically every industry, from fashion to automotive parts to pharmaceuticals, electronics, toys and more.
To protect your business, use Wiser Market’s online IP protection services. For more information, visit https://wisermarket.com/ip-protection/
What is brand abuse?
Brand abuse refers to another party infringing on the intellectual property of an authentic brand. Brand abuse can include:
- Copyright infringement
- Domain name abuse
What can be protected by a trademark?
- Name, including product names and nicknames, business names, and names of a person
- Slogans or tag lines
- Logos or symbols
- Colors or color schemes
- Shapes or packaging
What is online brand protection strategy?
The Wiser Method offers an effective online brand protection solution.
- Search – Proprietary technology applied to find online infringements across digital platforms. This includes marketplaces, websites, social media, and more.
- Analyze – After detection, our team analyzes all listings and categorizes them.
- Enforce – Our team of experts implements professional expertise to ensure each infringement is removed quickly and efficiently.
Our scalable technology and professional expertise result in exceptionally high success rates, all with superb customer service.
What are brand protection services?
Brand protection services provide intellectual property protection, from detection to enforcement of your rights. Do it the Wiser way!