With the evolution of the internet, new businesses are popping up every minute. Some of these businesses thrive on the infringement of other established brands. Brand protection is an all-encompassing program every business must implement in order to combat infringement.
Chances are, your business contains some sort of intellectual property that creates revenue. Whether it be a copyright, trademark, or patent, I’m willing to bet that every single business has some sort of intellectual property within their business. Even if you don’t realize it, you’re making money due to your IP.
Unfortunately, most small businesses aren’t aware of their rights regarding their intellectual property, and if they are aware, they’re not sure how to go about protecting it. I work with small businesses every day, and it’s heartbreaking to hear about how much infringement their brand is encountering.
You need brand protection as a part of your business in order to maintain your reputation. You don’t want to be known as the company that lets infringers run free as they please. Especially if you’re a wholesaler, retailers appreciate the fact that you are proactive and take care of infringers. There are a number of ways to go about implementing brand protection within your business. I’m going to cover some of the most common and cost-efficient ways for small businesses to implement a plan.
There are a number of software companies creating new programs to track down and eliminate infringing products across the world. These programs work wonders for businesses, especially those with enforceable trademarks. However, if you mainly have copyrighted works, such as designs, the software may not catch some of the infringers. Many infringers today think they are being “smart” by changing up original designs. But those derivative works often still constitute copyright infringement, and the software may not catch the derivative works even though they are copyright infringement. The software available also isn’t the most cost-efficient method of brand protection.
Some businesses are ultimate DIYers. They do everything themselves, including brand protection. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as they’re doing it correctly. Quite often I hear from brands that they rely on customers or other parties to let them know when someone has infringed on their work. Although they handle the infringement right away, there’s still potentially a large number of infringers that have not been properly handled. Self-monitoring is the most cost-efficient mode of brand protection, but it has the most holes.
My clients are thoroughly enjoying the copyright subscription model I have set up. It encompasses “automation” for the business owner, and it is more cost-efficient than the actual automated software programs. My program also closes possible gaps that the software and the self-monitoring may have. My program covers the same platforms the software covers, but since there is a human behind the program, derivative works are also removed! It is a proactive approach, so my clients no longer have customers or retailers reaching out to them to inform them about an infringer, and my clients never have to deal with the infringers themselves. It’s a true win-win. The only time my clients may be informed is when an infringement is found in a private Facebook group. I try to be in as many groups as possible, but there are so many, it’s impossible to be a member of every group. Once my client informs me of an infringer in a Facebook group, I immediately join and have the content removed. I have different levels of subscriptions, so the program works for all business sizes. You can learn about the specifics of my subscription models here.
No matter what model of brand protection you choose, you just need to do something. Infringement is a serious problem, and it will not go away unless you enforce your own intellectual property.
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