January is a common time for making changes, a period when many businesses adjust their targets and explore new ventures for the upcoming year. In our world, it’s also a time when beleaguered brands who are tired of fighting counterfeits and other infringements of their intellectual property rights seek help, but also when those who are not being well-serviced look at changing brand protection providers.
We asked our team of analysts, developers, and investigators for insight on what they believe are the most valuable points to keep in mind when comparing providers. We’ve compiled the results into one handy list and so here is our rundown of the top five tips for finding the best brand protection company.
The size of the internet now means that problems with online IP infringement can appear to be unmanageably large and complex. If you are less experienced with the true scale of the problem affecting your brand then the transparency of a brand protection provider is key to building trust. We believe that good providers should be honest about the issues facing you and thus be able to build a strategy which targets this in a timely, cost-effective way. A good tip can be to enter discussions with some data on how big you believe the problem is. Although you may not be an expert, this will allow you to sense check any proposals and to clarify where needed. If possible, always ask for evidence or a breakdown of the data to ensure the provider is being honest. A transparent provider should also be able to provide references to other clients, especially ones who operate in your industry.
As with any service provider, finding a provider that treats you like a partner and not just a client is critical to the success of the project. Since your needs are unique, you need a partner who is willing to cooperate with you to fully understand and meet those needs. A good brand protection provider is a great collaborator, not just with you but with third-party stakeholders, online platforms, and law enforcement agencies globally. In an industry as technical and as rigorous as intellectual property law, it’s necessary that your provider has a deep foundation of knowledge in the intricacies of the legal system and that they are able to work with you to enforce case by case.
3. Offline Capabilities
While defending your business online should be a central priority for your brand protection provider, the online world also has serious offline links, which is why it’s important for providers to have effective offline proficiencies as well. If they are great collaborators then good brand protection providers should already be working with global third parties including in-country investigators who can tackle infringements with local expertise. Furthermore, they should be able to offer you substantial data analysis and investigations, along with interpretations of online trends, all of which will help you prioritize targets and get a complete picture of the damage being done to your brand. All of these crucial offline elements combine to offer you the most well-rounded and effective defense against IP infringements.
While industry-leading software like our Revlect system is a cornerstone of successful brand protection projects, we also believe that the teams behind the software are equally important. A good brand protection provider has a competent team of brand protection analysts driving the infringement cases and taking the correct enforcement steps either on your behalf or with you in partnership. Along with having experience in IP law or brand protection, the team must also be receptive to your needs and responsive to your feedback as they will be the main point of contact between your business and the third parties involved in your cases.
Likely the most decisive factor for many brands, software is crucial. Matching your needs to software capability is an important step and an honest broker will guide you in this. Are you concerned about grey trade? Then make sure the software has interoperability in the supply and distribution chains of products or services. Do you have a wide variety of infringement types? Then be aware of the software’s machine-learning capabilities for the correct analysis and decision-making trees. A fluent and intuitive user experience will be the difference between a seamless brand protection execution and a frustrating battle with online abuse. The software needs to be accessible and applicable to your specific IP problems and you need to feel comfortable using it. A good brand protection provider will give you time to get to know the software in the demonstration phase, and they’ll guide you on all the particular functionalities so you can gain a thorough scope of its potential and how it can help you solve your online abuse problems.
Are you a brand owner or brand manager looking for a partner to help protect your business from online IP infringements? We’d love to start a conversation with you about how we can help. Please reach out by sending an email to email@example.com if you’d like to know more.