Counterfeit goods cause billions of dollars of losses each year to brand owners. Often, the more successful a brand, product, or service becomes, the more it is targeted by counterfeiters. In addition to direct monetary losses, trademark counterfeiting can lead to harm to reputation and goodwill, which can be difficult to repair. Thus, a company’s reputation hinges on its ability to protect its brand and to prevent misuse of its trademarks through counterfeiting.
Our attorneys work closely with clients to develop effective anti-counterfeiting programs that will help to combat and address the misappropriation and misuse of their brands. We know that with every instance of trademark counterfeiting, a company’s reputation could be at stake, and we act swiftly and aggressively to bring the trademark’s misappropriation to a halt.
Trademark Counterfeiting and Gray Market Goods
Trademark counterfeiting can seriously affect a company’s impact in certain local or nationwide markets regardless of the piracy’s scale. Gray market goods (or parallel imports) can also have a significant negative impact on the value of a brand. Gray market goods are genuine branded goods obtained from one market that are subsequently imported into and sold in another market without the consent of the trademark owner. Gray market diversion may undercut the price of goods attached to a certain trademark through the sale of goods at a lower price and may subsequently reduce revenues of the trademark owner. Such diversion can also cause other damage, including damage to the goodwill and reputation of a brand as well as issues surrounding consumer protection.
Our attorneys help companies develop a plan for combating the manufacture and sale of counterfeit and gray market goods. We offer targeted, proactive anti-counterfeiting solutions designed to help clients prevent and eliminate counterfeiting, providing critical protection for their brands.
Brand and Trademark Piracy
Brands often constitute a significant part of corporate value. A company’s brand serves to indicate origin and certify quality, as well as to establish, expand, and maintain market standing. However, successful brands soon find imitators, and brand owners are faced with the negative impacts of brand piracy.
Brand piracy includes naming a product similarly to a well-known brand so that consumers may mistake it for the actual brand-name. Commonly known as “knock-offs,” these products can infringe various IP rights of a company including its trademarks. Brand pirates can quickly cripple and even destroy the brands that companies spent years and millions of dollars building and protecting.
A comprehensive IP portfolio that protects the most important products of a company by different IP rights can be a very important measure against product and brand piracy. We provide counsel to companies that are affected by trademark and product piracy. We assist clients in actively proceeding against brand and trademark piracy with warnings and preliminary injunctions, as well as via border seizures or product destruction with the assistance of custom authorities. Our trademark attorneys work with clients to tailor strategies that help combat brand and trademark piracy and protect their image and brand.
Anti-Counterfeiting Enforcement and Brand Protection
Companies invest significant money and effort to establish and build their brands. Counterfeiting, brand and trademark piracy, and gray market goods can cause considerable economic loss by exploiting such investment and causing loss of profits and market share by the brand owner. They can also cause considerable harm by tarnishing the brand image, as counterfeits and pirated brands are often of inferior quality. These issues have become a growing challenge for brand owners in the global economy. Counterfeiting often has an international scope, with China being a particularly popular location for counterfeit manufacture. We understand the how important our clients’ brands are to them, and the significant impact counterfeiting has on these valuable assets.
Working closely with our clients, we develop effective anti-counterfeiting countermeasures and strategies. We then implement and execute those strategies and measures, including conducting investigations of possible counterfeiting, and recording client trademarks and other IP rights with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and customs services in other jurisdictions. We also partner with a network of attorneys and professionals around the world to identify and take legal and other enforcement actions against counterfeiters and manufacturers of counterfeit goods outside the U.S. Our trademark lawyers can help manage efforts on a global scale to help reduce counterfeiting and pirating of brands and to help stop counterfeiters and pirates in their tracks.