Fake products can cause real problems

Kenya’s Anti-Counterfeit Authority (ACA) will introduce new rules in the coming weeks that are intended to strengthen intellectual property (IP) controls in the East African nation. Known as the dual recordal system, the process aims to provide additional protection for brands from counterfeiters, as well as giving confidence to consumers that the goods they buy are genuine. Businesses that sell products in Kenya have until Jan. 1, 2023 to register their IP in order to benefit from the new safeguards.

The move by the ACA highlights the challenges many companies face when trading internationally. With this in mind, here’s some things brands should know when it comes to doing business at home and abroad, and just what they can do to defend their IP.

Counterfeiting is Big Business

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, counterfeit goods cost the global economy more than $500 billIon annually. In this age of ecommerce the problem has become so pervasive that big name brands such as Nike have stopped directly offering their products on Amazon. Many businesses however simply can’t afford not to list on the world’s top marketplace.

One of the main issues many companies face in protecting their IP in overseas territories is the tangle of red tape and bureaucracy. International trade agreements can certainly offer somewhat of a blueprint for launching a product in a new country, but with brands such as Tesla, Starbucks, and even Apple running into trademark squatting problems over the years, it’s clear there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Attacked on Home Turf

The struggle of counterfeit items is not only felt by companies who branch out to foreign markets – many domestic brands often find themselves fighting off fake products at home as well.

Nite Ize, a Colorado-based business that designs and manufactures multi-tools, lamps, and other handy items, claims to have filed claims against 75,000 counterfeit items and websites in 2019. In an interview with the National Association of Manufacturers, Nite Ize chief legal officer Clint Todd suggested the imitation problem is as entrenched as any solution is thorny. “You have this odd confluence of laws and tech development and the involvement of another country that has driven this exponential increase in counterfeits.”

“People need to understand the scope of the problem and how pervasive it has become,” noted Todd. “Everyone needs to know how often counterfeits and knockoffs are affecting U.S. companies and how expensive and difficult it is to combat the problem with the tools we have at our disposal now.”

iThreat’s SignalAlert Helps Protect Your Brand from Counterfeiters

iThreat’s SignalAlert is a powerful tool that can help companies keep a constant eye on threats to their brand. The sophisticated business intelligence system was built to monitor the web in real time, watching for signals that malicious characters may be attempting to exploit your IP.

From ecommerce platforms to dark web forums, chat boards, and social media marketplaces, SignalAlert is out there 24/7, gathering valuable data on who is saying what about your products. Using this information, we can build profiles of the threats you face and assist in the investigation and take-down process.

iThreat has been in the brand security industry for a quarter of a century. Over that time we have worked with hundreds of companies, helping them take on nefarious actors and to protect their customers. So whatever challenges you face, SignalAlert is always there to watch the web on your behalf. 

Stay ahead of the bad guys with iThreat’s SignalAlert.