8 Strategies for Companies to Combat Counterfeiting
The problem of counterfeiting is growing, but the number of available solutions is growing, too. Awareness of the problem and its many destructive ramifications is greater than ever, as is the determination to resist. New laws, ideas, tools, technologies and new initiatives like the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Week are taking the fight to the enemy. Join the movement – you’ll be in good company.
Stand up for your brand and fight back
The first step is simple: you need to establish and internally fund a formal brand protection program at your company. Here are the next steps*:
1. Thoroughly analyze potential counterfeiting risks – Then, develop a brand protection program tailored to your unique requirements.
2. Integrate anti-counterfeiting / security features into product designs – Incorporate simple security tools in your products, such as holographic labels, overt or covert security coding, radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking, or use authenticating packaging materials, labels and inks.
3. Protect IP and confidential information – Make sure to register patents, trademarks and copyrights in accordance with the intellectual property laws in every jurisdiction in which you have exposure, and make clear the limits on disclosure of proprietary or confidential information to employees and suppliers.
4. Actively monitor supply chains – Ensure that everyone in your supply chain is actively involved in efforts to avoid counterfeits and maintain the integrity of product security. The benefits of anti-counterfeiting measures implemented at the product level are undermined by the use of counterfeit materials or components from suppliers. Getting a third-party specialized in internet monitoring is increasingly important in the current market.
5. Communicate regularly with all stakeholders – Use continuous communication with employees, suppliers, customers and the public to raise awareness, encourage early detection of counterfeiting threats, and to promptly spread information about verified counterfeit activity. Make it easy for consumers to report counterfeits, and give them resources for spotting fakes.
6. Aggressively pursue cases of IP theft or infringement –Vigorously pursue any and all legal avenues available against parties involved in the development, marketing, or sale of counterfeit products or any form of intellectual property infringement.
7. Support law enforcement officials fighting counterfeiting – Help the police and customs authorities on the front-lines to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit products by providing them with access to product information, training and other resources.
8. Join an industry association for help – Several of the measures in this list can be handled by industry associations that provide anti-counterfeiting services to member companies. There are also national and international associations exclusively dedicated to anti-counterfeiting, serving companies in many different industries.
*Source: UL White Paper: Protecting Brands from Product Counterfeiting
Fight the good fight – for your customers.
Let’s review. Counterfeiting hurts real people, some of whom are your customers. Counterfeiting devalues your brand, and reduces your profits. Counterfeiting supports organized crime, which hurts more people (including your customers), and it also undermines social and economic stability in the countries and communities where customers live.
No matter who you are, counterfeiting affects you. And one of the best ways you have to protect your company and everything else you hold dear is to invest in the containment or defeat of counterfeiting.
Be a force for good – against counterfeiting
Ignorance of the dangers of counterfeiting is an excuse with few benefits, and many risks. Those risks are here – now – and growing. But there’s also a growing movement to combat counterfeiting that brings together consumers, companies, and countries to create a win-win solution for everybody – including your company.