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COMBATING GLOBAL COUNTERFEITING

Currently a $1.2 trillion-a-year business, counterfeiting sales are expected to reach $3 trillion annually within five years. No industry is immune: Sophisticated counterfeiters are fully exploiting the dark web and cryptocurrencies, making illicit advertising and sales very difficult to trace. For multinationals battling this threat, Insite’s in-market resources in 90 countries and unmatched investigative expertise are proving to be invaluable assets.

A multinational company providing computer devices turned to Insite when it saw an alarming spike in counterfeiting in Southeast Asia. We were asked to assess the scale of illicit operations, identify possible sources, and develop an action plan for countering the threat and seeking remediation. Combining the resources of our Indonesia-based team and U.S. experts, our multifaceted investigation started with discrete market sweeps to secure illicit samples of the alleged counterfeit products and document brick-and-mortar stores selling infringing goods. Our agents completed the investigation by tracking down the primary supplier. Our in-market team, familiar with local laws, found a potential roadblock to remediation when it determined that our client might lack filings in various registries for trademark protection. Insite developed other viable options our client is now pursuing, armed with our evidence.

 

Takeaways: As counterfeiting explodes, companies must develop proactive strategies to defend brands and IP, especially when expanding in or entering new regions/countries: counterfeiting often escalates in response to a company’s growing market share. To be effective, a deterrent strategy must be multifaceted: It must combine in-market resources with jurisdictional trademark expertise and state-of-the-art online monitoring and investigative capabilities.