Brand exploitation is a serious issue that can result in a loss of sales, affect your company’s public image and hurt your rapport with existing customers. Without legal help, it can be challenging to keep supply chains free of unauthorized and gray market resellers, remove fake reviews and implement a brand protection strategy.
The KJK attorneys with our eCommerce Group can help you find and stop anyone damaging your e-commerce business, whether through the use of misleading domain names, the unauthorized sale of products or the import and sale of gray market goods.
Don’t Leave Your Brand to Chance:
How KJK Can Help Protect Your Brand
Combating Unauthorized Online Resellers
Unauthorized online resellers are, unfortunately, a very real threat for manufacturers and brands and a menace to legitimate online sellers. By selling your goods at lower prices on websites such as eBay, Amazon and other platforms, these sellers can damage the reputation of both your products and your brand, harm your relationships with authorized sellers and eat into your profits.
Tackling these unauthorized online resellers is crucial; fortunately, KJK’s eCommerce Group can protect your brand with our innovative, efficient and cost-effective approach. We first prepare the foundational agreements, such as reseller and distribution agreements that control your supply chain and protect your brand. These agreements are also crucial for overcoming the First Sale Doctrine (a legal theory that generally permits unauthorized sale of goods) to identify and control the supply chain, protect brand value and eliminate unauthorized online resellers. Together with our global network of ecommerce partners, we are well-equipped to stop unauthorized online sales, protect your brand and increase your bottom line.
Once we have established the foundation documents, we can assist in identifying these resellers. While this can be a challenge, as unauthorized resellers frequently hide by behind fictitious names (like Amazon storefronts), KJK uses various strategies to hone-in on them. One of our most powerful tools is issuing a subpoena under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which allows us to identify and take action against the reseller.
Once resellers are identified, KJK, together with our global network of ecommerce partners, is well-equipped to stop unauthorized online sales, protect your brand and increase your bottom line.
Combating Counterfeit Goods & Products
Given the global nature of our economy, the counterfeiting of goods and products has increased because more counterfeits are made overseas and shipped to the U.S. Counterfeit products not only cut into profits, but they also lead to several other issues.
For instance, counterfeit products are rarely tested for health and safety. The production of counterfeits is often connected with other criminal activities such as money laundering and drug and gun trafficking.
KJK can support companies that have been negatively affected by the import of counterfeit products in several ways, such as informing the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency to stop these counterfeits from entering the market.
Domain Name Protection
The value of a company’s domain name is not limited to financial cost. Customers use the domain name to identify and locate brands online. When domain names are exploited or companies become cybersquatting victims, the impact can be catastrophic for a business.
Cybersquatting, also known as domain squatting, is when users create similar or identical domains to trademarks or company names. Cybersquatters can set up websites using the name of a respected business that does not yet have a website, profiting from their good name and damaging their business. If a website already exists, cybersquatters may buy a domain with an almost identical name that includes a title—for instance, fcebook.com rather than facebook.com, a tactic known as typosquatting.
Cybersquatting is prohibited by federal law under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). To prove that cybersquatting has occurred, the owner of the trademark must show that their trademark is famous or distinctive, that the questionable domain name is confusingly similar or identical to theirs and that it was created in bad faith with the intent to profit from the mark.
If your brand is a victim of domain exploitation or cybersquatting, KJK can help you transfer or cancel the domain names using the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).
Stopping Parallel Imports & Gray Market Imports
Gray market and parallel imports are often confused with counterfeit imports, but they refer to the unauthorized reselling of genuine products. This has become more common due to our global economy. Gray market sellers purchase products in one market and resell them in another without the company’s consent.
This topic is incredibly complicated because different countries have different standards and quality controls, which the resold items may not meet. This disappoints the consumer who had certain expectations and, therefore, damages the brand’s reputation. It can also make the company liable for breaking regulations, particularly if the customer receives an injury or develops an illness after using a gray market good.
KJK employs a similar method to target and go after gray market sellers, as we do for unauthorized resellers. Essentially, in both instances, the key is ensuring that the brands have the requisite intellectual property protections and foundational documents in place to overcome any First Sale Doctrine defenses.
Protect Your Brand:
Reducing Fake Reviews
Whether they’re buying a product on a website such as Amazon or using a service, like a hotel, consumers use customer reviews on various sites to inform their purchasing decisions. Fake reviews can damage a brand’s reputation irreversibly. Fortunately, KJK can help you reduce fake reviews.
Protecting Digital Assets
A company’s digital assets are as essential to its brand’s success as its products or services. KJK is experienced and skilled in the trademark protection and prosecution process and will support you in retaining and defending your trademarks.
KJK can help you throughout the entire process of trademark protection, from ensuring your trademark is unique to registering it with the appropriate authorities to filing federal lawsuits to protect your trademark.
You must register your trademark promptly, along with any domain names, including social media handles. Regularly monitor your domain name and trademark to see if anyone is using it, and make sure to update your trademark registration.
We’re Here to Help
Let KJK Help You Prevent Brand Exploitation
The eCommerce team at KJK has a wide range of experience in preventing and remedying brand exploitation. If you believe someone is using your trademark, call our team today to set up a consultation and learn how we can protect your business. We have solved 60% of our customer’s problems without going to court, saving time and money for you.