Pointer Blog / Image Recognition and Machine Learning for Brand Protection

Image Recognition and Machine Learning for Brand Protection

The internet can either be a blessing or a curse for brands. On the one hand, it offers countless ways to promote your brand and get people to purchase items online. On the other, the internet is a breeding ground for counterfeiters that pretend to sell products under your brand name. Brand protection is, therefore, extremely important, and it is essential to stay on top of the latest brand protection technology. The aim of this article is to introduce image recognition, a relatively new technology that is a game-changer for brand protection. It will help protect your brand in an efficient way.


Why do companies need Brand Protection?

If a company has trademarks on any kind of products, it means that others can infringe on their intellectual property rights. Brand protection is therefore essential for companies because there are several things at stake: the company’s intellectual property, the value of the brand, the company reputation, and the revenue. The value of the brand could decrease since fake goods cause people to have negative associations with the real brand. The sale of genuine products is also likely to be affected negatively if there are a lot of fakes on the market, resulting in a decrease in revenue for the actual brand.

On top of this, the internet poses a serious problem for companies and brands because it is so easy for counterfeiters to use it to advertise and sell fake goods and counterfeits. Counterfeiters use social media to lure people to their web pages, where they sell them fakes. They often also get people to pay for goods that never reach their destination. Counterfeiting and intellectual property infringement are not only detrimental to your brand, but are also often tied to organised crime. Not to mention the factories that produce these fake goods where workers are extradited to terrible and dangerous working conditions.  

Having a good brand protection strategy should therefore be a top priority for companies. Pointer Brand Protection has been offering leading brand protection services for years. This company is up to date with the newest technology in the field of brand protection, namely image recognition.


What is Image Recognition and how does it work?

So what exactly is image recognition, and how does it work? Image recognition is the ability of software to identify objects, people, places and actions in images. Computers use machine vision technologies with artificial intelligence (AI) software and a camera to achieve image recognition. Computers can therefore recognise objects, people, places and actions in images in a similar way to human beings. The software can be programmed to recognise certain objects in images, thus creating endless possibilities.


Image recognition for Brand Protection

When it comes to brand protection, image recognition technology uses computer vision and machine learning to sift through millions of public images in order to track down brands, patterns and products. Computers use artificial intelligence to power image recognition technology, and, therefore, they are able to recognise objects in images like human beings do. This is a remarkable contribution to brand protection, since it allows owners of brands to keep track of how their brand is represented in shared photos and images across devices.

Some companies already offer a visual search platform that uses image recognition technology to recognise similar trademarks worldwide. The software can also monitor trademarks automatically, providing users with reports, recommendations and legal advice. Just several years ago the process was extremely time-consuming. Tracking down similar image trademarks was done through subjective text-based searching. Now, with image recognition technology, identifying intellectual property infringement by searching for brands and products in online images has become faster and easier than ever before.

At Pointer Brand Protection we use image recognition in three different ways:

1.To categorise and prioritise images. This means that we want to know what is depicted in a photograph (a shoe, a football, a barcode, etc.) in order to be able to filter for specific products..Based on the outlined categories each brand can individually prioritise the product types of interest.

2.To recognise logos. This allows us to track down whether brand logos are being used by counterfeiters, either on listings, website layouts or on social media. This technology can help detect impersonating websites and pages on social networks, which can easily deceive the average consumer they are sponsored by the brand owner

3.To find exact or similar matches. This means that all the images on domains, social media and marketplaces are matched with brand images, and then a cluster analysis is made of the images. It allows us to discover who lifted images from the official websites of brand owners for example, making it easier for us to take action against counterfeiters on copyright grounds.


Image recognition technology is a game-changing addition to brand protection, which will become indispensable in the fight against intellectual property infringement and counterfeits. At Pointer Brand Protection we already incorporate image recognition into our brand protection strategy and stay up to date with the newest developments in image recognition technology. If you have any questions or if you would like to learn more about our brand protection solutions, get in touch here.

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