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Marketing Managers Marketing Managers
You put so much effort into making your campaigns "pop", try to make them viral, engaging and interesting, you work so hard to stand out in the digital world, but – you are not the only one reaping the benefits of your marketing efforts. Up to 15% of your online revenues are stolen by online parasites – diverting your traffic, exploiting the engagement you worked so hard to create, using it to promote their own agenda and probably even sell counterfeits of your product. These types of online brand abuse are costing you more and more every year – as counterfeits and piracy are growing faster than E-commerce. BrandShield has the most advanced and innovative technology to protect your revenues by providing you with the tools to fight online brand abuse, trademark infringement, counterfeits and fraud. Contact us and discover a new way to increase revenues by taking down online abuse of your brand quickly and easily. [contact-form-7 id="65" title="Homepage"]
Lawyers and Consultants Lawyers and Consultants
Whether you're working with a service, are handed online risks from your client or perform a manual search to find trademark infringements, counterfeit sales and fraud - you know you're only scratching the surface, while online abuse rages on. It sometimes feels impossible to cover all aspects of TM infringement, counterfeit sales and online fraud. The BrandShield system is designed to help you improve your enforcement work by finding online abuse for your clients and add value by managing all brand protection activities in one legal tool, to help make your work easier and more profitable, helping you shine over your competition and keep your clients satisfied. Featuring an unprecedented scope of digital monitoring and analyzing, offering you benefits such as:
  • Differentiate yourself and your firm and stay ahead of competition
  • Provide more services with BrandShield’s unique capabilities
  • Establish your business and increase your profits
  • Get more work done in less time
  • Cover a bigger search scope
  • Perform enforcement actions faster and more efficiently using BrandShield's advanced enforcement and management tools.
Contact us and discover a new way to increase revenues by improving your enforcement work. [contact-form-7 id="65" title="Homepage"]
Trademark and Brand Owners Trademark and Brand Owners
Protecting your brand online can prove itself to be an overwhelming task – covering a large scope of websites and online platforms, deciding when and how to take action, forming a cohesive strategy and measuring the efficiency of your action can prove itself to be an impossible mission, even when using a service, the amount of data you need to review can be staggering. BrandShield's easy to use technology-based solution is here to simplify brand protection and provide an advanced and automated scan, metrics driven analysis of online risks and opportunities and algorithm based prioritization. Contact us and start Fighting online brand abuse with the most innovative technology that helps you focus on risks that are most damaging to your brand. [contact-form-7 id="65" title="Homepage"]
Brand Protection Alert! The Threat Level is Up with Black Friday and Cyber Monday Approaching Brand Protection Alert! The Threat Level is Up with Black Friday and Cyber Monday Approaching
Two of the busiest days for online shopping are almost here. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28th and Cyber Monday, Monday, Dec. 1 are always good days for deals from some of the biggest brands in Cyberspace.

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For this reason, buyers must be aware of online scams. You must be aware that consumers that are ripped off when shopping for YOUR brand only damages your reputation and credibility. A sound brand protection strategy for brands isn’t just a nice to have anymore. It is a must! On that note, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up QUICK, let’s take a look at some of the things brands should be taking into account when deciding on which brand protection tool is right for them.
  • As a brand marketer, you need to have a clear picture of all the threats your brand faces. When you have this picture, you will know what you need as far as a brand protection strategy. Prioritize. Some threats are greater than others. For example, you might have a large amount of your traffic diverted by violating PPC ads, while having a bad review of your product on a not so well known blog.
  • With online counterfeiting proliferation at an all-time high, brands need to be aware of the costs due to the theft of intellectual property. In the United States alone, the amount runs in the hundreds of billions of dollars. $300B to put a more exact amount on it. This is based on assessments by the FBI. Higher than half of that 300 Billion Dollars (I have to mention it again. It is a staggering amount), is directly tied to this proliferation of counterfeit goods. On top of all this, we have the gradual release of over 1400 new Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs). This never seen before development will only contribute to higher instances of trademark and brand infringement which will make it impossible for brands to protect themselves with anything other than a brand protection tool. What brands need to do is come to an approximate figure regarding how much money your brand could be losing due to this cyber form of thievery. These illicit actions only infringe upon your brand’s good name by sending those who are looking for your brand to counterfeit sites. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the perfect times for these threats to your brand to be at the highest levels, they are always out there, usually targeting demographics with the highest income level.
  • Gain a solid overview of all your digital assets such as your website, your social media profiles. Many smaller brands might get away with having a few members of their staff monitoring keywords using such free tools as Google Alerts. However, even the smaller brands can be targeted and with all the nooks, crannies and dark corners on the Internet, the chance you’ll miss something is highly probable. And given the lightning speed with which the internet operates, that SOMETHING could be Something HUGE. A brand protection tool as I said is not something that is a nice to have, but should be an intrinsic part of any brand protection strategy.
  • Be aware of all the threats out there. Up to this point, you must be aware of all the threats your brand has faced online. Do you know if your brand is susceptible to domain squatting where a cyber scammer uses a variation of your brand name and diverts traffic to their site. For example, you might sell vintage Adidas on a site called vintageadidas.com, one example of a domain squatter known as a typo squatter might just register a domain called vintageaddidas.com, or with all the new gTLDs, a domain squatter might register a domain called Adidas.sale. However, this is a lot less likely because a big brand like Adidas has a solid brand protection strategy in place to combat such threats.

Conclusion

The above points I hope will help you in determining which brand protection tool you should choose. Do your research. If you take a look at what your brand might be losing from just any of the threats mentioned above, you will come to the decision, hopefully sooner rather than later to implement brand protection and realize higher ROI for your brand. Remember, you don’t need to wait till something big hits your brand on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Don’t wait. I would love to hear your comments. Please feel free to share this post.
Brand Protection: Violating your Domain Name is Violating your Trademark Brand Protection: Violating your Domain Name is Violating your Trademark
The web is a place that is pretty much untamed. It’s acronym, WWW, could stand for the Wild Wild Web. Hence, it is making it harder and harder for marketers to implement brand protection. In the context of the World Wide Web, a violation of a trademark typically occurs when:
  • The Trademarked name appears in a variation of the domain name
  • The Trademarked name is included in content on a web page
Litigation in courts revolves around whether a website owner who tried to register their domain name includes a trademark. The duty of the court is to try and deduce whether a site’s domain name is a violation of a trademark. Those site owners who are found to have violated a trademark within the URL have been issued orders to give up their registered URL. During the dawn of the Internet, enterprising individuals took the opportunity to register domains of well-known companies, in order to hold it for ransom when the legitimate company decided it needed a website. They sometimes demanded huge amounts for the domain name and if they didn’t get it, it could mean dire consequences in the scope of brand protection for the company.  

Choosing the Right Domain Name

At its most basic, choosing a domain name for your product or idea is pretty easy. You want it to be one that people can remember and be able to pronounce. It should be short, witty, easy to spell and provide an idea to the consumer with regards to what it is you are offering. When you cover these bases, chances are you have a winning domain name. Though, marketing and legality are way two different things and even if you think your domain name is a winner, from a legal standpoint it might not be so. Choosing a domain name that might conflict with any of the commercially trademarked names out there, might put you and your brand in hot water, and if found might lead to a lawsuit, you might never have thought would come to be. If brought before a judge, your domain name might be found to violate a trademarked name and you might be forced to surrender it. This might spell the end of your business, and if not the end, your business will suffer a painful blow.

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You need to understand the following before choosing your trademarked name. This will help you in the context of brand protection as well as making sure your domain name does not violate any existing trademarks.
  • When customers are confused by a trademark as far as the product, service or source, this can be seen as a violation by the latter user.
  • A trademark that is unique, suggestive and witty is legally protected (federal and state)
  • Trademarks that have come to be known and are successful via advertising and sales might also be legally protected under law (federal and state)
  • The first user of a commercial trademark is the rightful owner and the latter user will most probably be forced to stop using it and/or pay damages to the original user.

When choosing a domain name remember these basic rules:

  • Generic terms that describe entire industries of categories can never be trademarked. Names like Toys.com, cars.com, houses.com are a few examples
  • Domain names that utilize geographic location names or words which describe an aspect of the product or service such as homebuyinganswers.com for example, will not be protected by trademark law unless the domain owner can prove its success via a large number of sales and advertising. If the owner of a trademark is able to register their names with the US Patent and Trademark office, then they have probably proved it is distinctive.
 

Avoiding Trouble

The way to avoid any legal trouble is by choosing a domain name that meets your needs as far as marketing and does not conflict with any existing trademarks. You need to search as many trademarks in the trademark database as possible to be able to identify any possible conflicts and ensure you are not violating someone’s brand name. This also holds true for yourself in the area of brand protection. What ways are you protecting your brand? What can you contribute to help readers understand what is best for them in protecting their brand? Please feel free to chime in and share this post.