Everything You Need to Know About Brand Protection

03/24/23 5 minute read

What is brand protection?

Brand protection is the process of protecting a brand’s intellectual property from infringement like counterfeiting, copyright piracy, patent violations, and more. Brand protection is one form of protection used to manage the reputation of companies, which are vulnerable to all manner of infringement and abuse.

The most common types of brand abuse and IP rights include:

  • Copyright piracy — Copyrights provide exclusive rights to the copyright holder, like the right to reproduce, distribute, display or perform the protected work. Third parties who use copyrighted material without permission are committing copyright infringement.
  • Trademark infringement — Trademarks are a protection of intellectual property like a recognizable sign, design, or expression that identifies products or services from a particular source and distinguishes them from other brands. Infringement occurs when one uses a trademark that is identical or similar to a trademark owned by another party.
  • Patent infringement — Patents provide a legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time. Using a patented invention or process without permission or licensing is patent theft.
  • Counterfeiting — The creation, marketing, distribution, and sale of fake products designed to cash in on a legitimate brand’s good name. Counterfeit goods are everywhere, even on Amazon and in places like pharmaceutical drug sales.
  • Design infringement — Brand owners can register designs, the visual form of a product or other item, for protection. Use of the protected design during the registration period can amount to infringement
  • Social media impersonation — Falsely presenting oneself as a public figure or brand on various social media platforms. Often this includes an attempt to confuse users or present the entity in a negative light. Brand impersonation can occur in just about any online setting.
  • Rogue websites — Malicious websites or website registration that infringes on a brand’s intellectual property

>> The Dark Side of Beauty: An Overview of the Counterfeit Cosmetics Industry <<

During fiscal year 2022, US Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 25 million counterfeit products that would have been worth around $3 billion had they been genuine. Such intellectual property rights violations continue to put the US’s innovation economy at risk, while also threatening the health and safety of consumers. Counterfeiting networks and product diversion schemes operate swiftly in the globalized economy, obfuscating activities with complex corporate structures, misusing free trade zones, taking advantage of legitimate trade facilitation mechanisms, and thriving in economies with weak governance standards. 

>> Learn more about counterfeit hotspot Shenzhen, China <<

Why is brand protection important?

Brand protection as a discipline aims to mitigate and solve brand abuse issues. Some of the most common benefits of this practice include:

  • Increased control of brand messaging
  • Increased control of the brand’s various online properties
  • Mitigation of revenue loss
  • Protection of overall brand value
  • Defense of intellectual property, patents, trademarks, and copyrights
  • Maintenance of a consistent brand reputation
  • Increased shareholder value

Counterfeit products can pose a significant health and safety threat to consumers. It also impacts the economic growth of legitimate businesses and consumers through lost revenue, downtime, and replacement costs. According to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), some of the most potentially dangerous counterfeit products include automotive parts, electronics, safety equipment, prescription drugs, and cosmetics.

>> Learn more about vulnerabilities in the Middle East counterfeit tobacco market <<

How can I run efficient brand protection investigations?

Sayari accelerates brand protection and enforcement workflows by automatically gathering intelligence and generating supplier and trade counterparty networks. With a commercial risk intelligence platform like Sayari Graph, your team can confidently analyze client, counterparty, and supplier networks across borders with commercial risk intelligence that illuminates the world’s corporate networks through connected public data.

The benefits of using Sayari Graph in brand protection investigations include:

  • Exposing the people and companies involved in seized shipments or other illicit trade, not just their knockoff brands or digital properties
  • Identifying illicit production, distribution, and diversion in high-risk places, including China, Mexico, Russia, and hundreds more
  • Streamlining law enforcement liaison by enriching civil and criminal referrals with primary source, court-admissible documents

Want to try out Sayari Graph first hand to support your brand enforcement efforts? Sign up for a personalized demo of Sayari Graph to preview the data you’ll need to protect your brand’s intellectual property.  

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