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The number of counterfeit products available on online networks has increased by 40% over the past year, according to a new report.
The findings were published by brand protection company Red Points in its 2020 Brand Intelligence Index report today, November 13.
More than 40% of IP experts surveyed for a new report also said that large-scale counterfeit networks had the biggest impact on eroding the value of their brands.
A third (33%) cited grey-market selling, or the sale of legitimate goods in unauthorised channels, as the biggest threat to brand value.
Geopolitical events are also expected to have a negative impact on companies’ ability to protect their brands online.
Just more than a third (37.4%) said the escalating US-China trade war would have the biggest impact among geopolitical trends on their brand’s strategy, while only a fifth (21.2%) cited a potential no-deal Brexit.
Some in-house IP experts also cited the growth of encrypted messaging apps as a danger, amid fears from brands that these private communication channels could be a safe haven for piracy.
Red Points said that brands in the western hemisphere “should keep an eye on Telegram”, while WeChat marked a “big problem” for brands operating in China.
More than half (58%) of those interviewed said that the erosion of brand protection was the most harmful impact of counterfeiting and grey-market selling, while 40% said a loss of customer loyalty.
The industry is hopeful, however, that emerging technology may be able to provide some solutions: 45.5% said that blockchain would have a bigger impact than any other technology for brand protection within the next year.
The other popular answers included image recognition (37.4%) and machine learning (35.4%).
Red Points, trade war, brand protection, Telegram, RIAA, counterfeits, Brand Intelligence Index