From detecting fraudulent activity to tracking down counterfeit products of your brand, conducting investigations takes due process and time, and is never completely “eliminated.”
Because of this constant battle against counterfeits, these investigations take exhaustive vigilance – which is why having the right resources at your disposal makes it easier to continue the process of shutting counterfeiters down faster.That said, many businesses aren’t taking advantage of the investigative tools, apps and software that are available to them. We’ve compiled this blog to help you along with the process of finding these investigation tools.
Tool #1: Get a General Exclusion Order From the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC)
Have you ever heard of “Work smarter, not harder?” That’s exactly what this exclusion from the ITC functions as.
If your products are primarily sold in the U.S., it’s worth an investigation under this order (Section 337) to facilitate minimizing the amount of knockoffs that may be entering the country under the guise of your brand:
“Section 337... is an important means for combating unfair practices in the import trade and especially for enforcing U.S. intellectual property rights at the border. If imports are found to violate Section 337, an exclusion order will be issued to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (of the Department of Homeland Security) excluding those products from the United States.”
This is much more cost effective than filing lawsuits and going through expensive attorney and litigation costs. While it’s never a 100% guarantee, know this is available to you as a way to prevent international counterfeits from entering the country.
Keep in mind there are other variations of exclusion orders – so do your research to figure out what next steps work best for you, depending on your circumstances.
You can learn more about Section 337 from the ITC here.
Tool #2: The Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau (CIB)
The CIB is a specialized bureau within Commercial Crime Services (CCS) designed to help protect industries against counterfeiting damages.
According to the website, they’re non-profit and have carried out over 600 investigations in more than 35 countries.
As a member, you have access to their monthly Counterfeiting Confidential, which “provides an overview on current topics, news on new product protection and anti-counterfeiting techniques, and details on the latest initiatives and enforcement strategies.”
You can learn more about this publication here, which also provides a 2012 example for you to view. Although it does cost money, this resource can be invaluable for a bird’s-eye view of multiple markets worldwide, and the state of counterfeit products as a whole.
Tool #3: Utilize a Web-Based Software Platform
The world of software has become more sophisticated than ever before. Everything you think you know about software has probably changed – including archaic updates by having to buy CD roms for new editions and versions.
To keep up with knockoffs and counterfeiters, you need to be as agile as they are – both offline and online. That’s why web-based software is so beneficial.
There’s top-tier security, updates are made automatically (much like auto-saving in video games) and you have the freedom and versatility to have it do what you need.
Global costs for counterfeits can cost companies their brand, which, with a ruined reputation, is a recipe for a painful shutdown.
Don’t be slowed down by outdated methods for conducting investigations against counterfeiters. Because in the end, you’re only doing yourself and your brand a grave disservice.
Get the Right Tools
We’ve compiled a new case management software checklist so you can evaluate everything you’ll need for the right investigation solution. Click below to learn more about how you can close out more cases and truly be in control of your brand: