Certain goods containing trademarks are easier than others to counterfeit. Some of that is due to the nature of the goods themselves, but it also has to do with the manufacturing, packaging, shipping, and handling processes.
By putting into effect certain preventative measures, you can make it too difficult for counterfeiters to bother with your products. Additionally, it can make it easier for consumers and enforcement agencies to spot counterfeit products if they are made, which can get them off the market more quickly.
Generally speaking, it is much easier to counterfeit library cards than state IDs. This is because of the technology that states put into place to prevent duplication. You can use similar technological advances to protect your products.
Some common innovations include the use of:
- special dyes or inks,
- special threads, and
- a serialized labeling system.
Like a state ID, these measures make it harder to effectively duplicate your packaging, which can dissuade counterfeiters from putting in the effort.
Tracking and Tracing Technology
Technology allows you to confirm the physical location of goods at each stage of production and the supply chain. Unique serial numbers and codes are assigned to products and packaging, and those codes are tracked by an electronic system, creating a history for each individual item or batch of items.
This makes it easy for your approved distributors and retailers to spot “suspicious” items that do not have the expected history in the system – and catch the individual who put that item in the supply chain.
Over the course of this blog series, we covered many remedies available to trademark owners to prevent and combat trademark counterfeiting, including:
- border measures available to prevent goods from entering the United States in the first place;
- criminal enforcement through state and federal agencies to receive reimbursement and stop the counterfeiter’s operations;
- civil litigation to pursue actual damages or profits, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees;
- fighting internet sales through ISPs, hosts, domain registrants, and payment processors;
- and preventing the creation of counterfeit trademarks with counterfeit-resistant packaging and tracking and tracing technology.
You can take measures to protect your valuable IP assets at every step of the process, and what is best for your business will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of goods, the identity of the counterfeiter, and the location of the counterfeiting operation.
We encourage IP owners to reach out to the Marks Gray IP team as early as possible. The fewer resources you have available, the more important planning and proactive measures become. You can contact us at 904-807-2180 to learn how to best monitor and protect your trademarks, service marks, and other intellectual property.