Blog 83

What Is Brand Infringement and How to Deal with It

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Businesses have adapted to COVID-19 by adopting new business practices, such as using their brand and selling more online. However, there has been a dramatic rise in the use of counterfeit brands. To keep their brands’ good name and market worth, business owners often have to deal with various issues for brand protection. Government offices and courts have also been closed, delaying trademark registration and enforcement for businesses. As a brand owner, you should be more concerned about how to tackle trademark infringement issues and how to avoid brand infringement. So, the owners should be on the lookout for infringement and dilutive use of their trademarks, as well as clear and register their trademarks promptly, to protect themselves. 

Importance of Branding/Trademarking 

The requirement of Trademarks to represent products and services can be considered a three-prong approach: 

  • Helping the customers to identify the source.
  • Helping the customers to determine the quality of products and services.
  • Helping the customers to make the right decision of purchasing.

Learning more about what is brand infringement and how to deal with it!

What Is Brand Infringement?

A trademark is a word, symbol, or phrase used by a company to differentiate its products from those of competitors. For business services, a service mark is the same as a trademark. Intellectual property rules shield trademarks against third-party infringement. Brand protection can be successfully done only when you are able to protect your content and keep it safe from being stolen or pirated. Using someone else’s trademark without their consent is a kind of trademark infringement since it can lead to consumer confusion, deceit, or the incorrect belief that a product or service belongs to someone else. How to tackle trademark infringement issues is another important point of concern for business owners.

In order to prove trademark/brand infringement in court, the brand owners have to submit various details and arguments in front of the court so that appropriate measures can be taken against the pirates. Some of the arguments are as mentioned below: 

  1. Owners must establish ownership of the brand.
  2. Additionally, they must establish precedence by being the first to use it.
  3. The arguments must demonstrate that the defendant’s mark is likely to generate confusion among consumers regarding the origins.
Types of Brand Infringement
  1. Trademark Infringement

A trademark is a term, symbol, design, or combination of these, that a business uses to identify and distinguish its goods or services from those of other businesses. Trademark rules are in place to protect consumers from being confused about the origin of goods or services. Infringement of a trademark is the unauthorized (without permission) use of another seller’s identification mark, logo, or brand name.

  1. Copyright Infringement

Original works of authorship, such as videos, movies, songs, novels, musicals, video games, paintings, and so on, are protected by copyright. Copyright infringement is the illegal use of another seller’s creative expressions and ideas. To protect your brand from copyright infringements, a work of authorship must be created by an author and exhibit some degree of originality. 

Why infringement is practiced?

The reason behind brand infringement is the want of gaining popularity through well-known brands so that their job of advertising is reduced. To avoid infringement, the registered proprietor must be aware of their rights to protect their brand. With the increasing advent of companies, it is crucial that company owners must protect their trademarks to protect their goodwill. The Trademark Act gives several remedies for the proprietor in case of infringement of the trademark. Therefore, the proprietors must ensure that their brand/trademark is registered to protect the goodwill and avail the remedies provided to them. The law also expects the users to be aware of the other trademarks before registering their trademark. The person must make sure that the trademark he wants to get registered is not deceptively similar to any trademark either in India or any other country. The Trademark Act is neutral towards both of them and hence there are some defenses that even the infringer can acquire. It is important to note that the point of trademark infringement is to confuse or deceive. If two businesses have similar or alike trademarks, but the two businesses are unrelated either in goods, services, or locations to the point that there is no confusion or deception, a business may not have a trademark infringement claim. The provisions of Brand/Trademark Infringement primarily concentrate on three primary objectives of any individual who is using the registered mark; however, it is not the registered user of the particular brand/trademark. The three primary objectives below are: 

  1. Damaging the originality and the reputation of a registered Trademark.
  2. Having a false intention of taking unnecessary advantage.
  3. The purpose of Trademark usage, despite having the knowledge of such usage, is illegal.

Moreover, brand Infringement can also be instigated by an advertisement. The advertisement must take biased advantage of the registered Trademark and also harms the originality and uniqueness of the registered Trademark. If the visual picture and spoken use of some words affect the reputation and uniqueness of a registered Trademark, then it will be amount to Trademark Infringement. 

Impact of Brand Infringement on Brand Owners

Whether it’s changing a brand’s name, logo, or marketing materials for a launch, or initiating legal action against an infringing mark, trademark infringement may be disastrous. Potential infringement is still increasing, even as brands work to minimize its impact. A company’s brand equity is frequently one of the most valuable pieces of intellectual property it owns, thus safeguarding it is critical. There are several examples of businesses that failed to safeguard their brand and have since gone out of business. Infringement occurs not just on traditional marks such as business and brand names, but also on social media handles, industrial design, site domains, and advertising campaigns. Buyers are frequently unable to inspect the goods in person. It’s often tough to tell whether or not a seller is genuine. As a result, consumers and businesses are readily deceived. The number of counterfeit products has increased, according to customs and border protection officials. Many consumer goods, however, are counterfeited or offered at a lower quality. In addition, there has been a surge in phishing scams, bogus philanthropic websites, and an unjustified increase in the cost of legitimate products. These illegal acts have a negative influence on brands. They confuse customers and harm the brand’s reputation and loyalty.

What is Brand Protection? 

Brand protection is of utmost priority for all brand owners as their brand’s reputation highly affects their market sales and also helps them hold the trust and satisfaction of the customers. Nowadays, there is nothing hidden as the internet shows us every single side of the story. Brand reputation gets easily affected by what the viewers see on the internet thus it is important to protect their brands from infringements. Bytescare’s team checks for all the brand mentions, logos, reviews, comments, and trademarks for any risks and defamations.

Henceforth, Brand Protection is all about protecting your brand from piracy attacks.

Combating brand infringement

Bytescare provides In-house proprietary tools which enable them to process millions of domains and URLs every day. Any infringement of your brand’s name, logo, or trademark will be investigated, and legal action will be taken against the pirate.

Social media impersonation detection and takedown helps in brand protection because what happens on social media is that, for any brand, it is possible that the pirate creates a fake social media account or profile and performs unethical activities under that brand’s name. Bytescare scans social media for accounts that impersonate your brand and takes legal action against them. These fake profiles can be used by the pirates to display fake affiliations, scam your customers or spread fake news about your brand if not taken down. 

Detecting phishing URLs has been the core business of Bytescare since 2020. A phishing attack is a fraudulent activity in which the attacker pretends to be a reputable entity or person to gain sensitive information. Several characteristics distinguish phishing URLs and their corresponding pages from malicious URLs. To detect phishing URLs, Bytescare uses three techniques –  brand name, logo, and the signature generated from your website content. Human analysts take down those phishing sites once they are detected. Until now, we have had a 100% success rate in taking down phishing sites.

How do all these solutions work?
  1. Scanning the Brand’s Name

This helps in scanning the usage and mentions of the brand’s name across different internet mediums and identifying potential sources where such instances are available. The brand scan report includes: 

  • Number of potential infringements of your brand
  • Average selling price of counterfeits
  • Statistics of infringement across each marketplace
  • Preview pictures of counterfeits
  • Details of the sellers’ locations
  1. Collecting Data

Gathering data can be one of the most useful solutions as the detection of a brand’s logo across different internet mediums can be used to identify potential sources. Some businesses even use consumer data as a means of securing more sensitive information. For example, banking institutions sometimes use voice recognition data to authorize a user to access their financial information or protect them from fraudulent attempts to steal their information.

  1. Impersonation Detection and Removal on socials 

The rising presence of brands on social platforms makes them more prone to infringements. The most popular practice of brand infringement is impersonation through which the pirates can display fake affiliations, scam the customers with fake policies, and spread spoof news about the brands. The tools, technologies, and services at Bytescare help brand owners to scan for such impersonations of their brands and perform strict measures against the pirates.

  1. Takedown and Enforcement

Finding infringements is easy, but choosing the right way to get them taken down can be complex. The enforcement/ takedown service ensures that the most relevant, fast, and cost-effective action is taken. We provide comprehensive options for domain name enforcement, social media takedowns, and search engine link delisting. It helps in taking down fake sources as soon as they are detected and verified. Indirectly, helping us to catch the pirate who leaked the content in an easy way.

  1. Trademark Infringement Removal

Luckily, taking legal action that can be costly and time-consuming isn’t the only option for brands dealing with trademark infringements. In fact, it may not even be your best choice when it comes to quickly addressing these infringements, because time is of the essence in these cases to protect your reputation and prevent your brand from being devalued. This is another instance in which a service like Bytescare can make this process far easier and more efficient. Not only does the service constantly scan for infringements, meaning it can find them nearly as soon as they enter the online market, but it can initiate the domain takedown process and DMCA takedown process for you and could potentially save you the time and money of taking legal action. Protecting your brand from trademark infringement doesn’t have to be difficult. Whether you are at the beginning of your brand journey or your business is booming with your existing brand, this will help and ensure you avoid trademark infringement in the future.

  1. Phishing URL detection

It is one of our core business services since 2020 with 100% accuracy in detecting and demounting phishing URLs. The phishing attack is one of the most common pirate activities in which the unauthenticated user pretends to be a reputable entity in order to gain sensitive information. Our phishing URL detection tool monitors the entire world wide web and uses the customer’s brand name, brand logo, and signature generated from the brand’s website content to detect the phishing URLs. This phishing URL detection tool is not limited to detection but encounters strict measures against the pirates as well as abolishing these URLs from all unauthorized platforms on the web.

It can be concluded that if we want our business to rise and achieve more heights then we must protect its name, logo, and domain registrations from infringements and take possible measures for its protection and reputation. Bytescare stands at the forefront offering a variety of tools, technologies, and services that can help brand owners to protect their brands from infringements and also encounter appropriate measures against the pirates to perform any sort of damage and defamations to the brands.