Protect your Brand from Counterfeiters
Register your Trademark where your Goods are Made
Brand registry does not protect your brand from counterfeiters in Vietnam, Thailand, India or China or anywhere else in the world. If you want to protect your brand, you need to be able to stop the factories on their home turf.
In addition to protecting your goods from being counterfeited by your greatest threat, you need to protect yourself from your own manufacturer. Grey goods are those that get into the market from holes in your distribution chain. You need to protect yourself from your own factory.
One way you can protect yourself from counterfeiters in other countries is to create enforceable rights in the countries where the products are being produced.
American Courts are Ineffective against Offshore Manufacturers & Sellers
While most trademark litigation and efforts to stop counterfeiters and gray market goods occur in the US, the manufacturers in Vietnam, India, Thailand, and China do not seem to care what a US court or judge says. How many US judgments are actually enforced in China?
Protecting Your Rights Outside the United States
If you want to have leverage over a factory in the manufacturing countries, you need to have some threat to them on their home turf. You need to be able to enforce your rights at their doorstep.
You can obtain the ability to threaten and enforce your trademark by simply filing for trademark protection in most countries through our local intellectual property lawyer, the World Intellectual Property Organization, or other IP service providers.
Filing for trademark protection outside the United States is relatively simple and inexpensive.
There are two basic ways to file:
- file individually in each country
- use a worldwide filing system like the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Through WIPO, once you have your US trademark, you can file for similar protections wherever your factory is located.
Amazon’s Brand Registry is Only a Start for Amazon Private Label Sellers
Amazon’s Brand Registry is only a start. If you want to protect your brand and products, there are additional steps that should be taken to increase your ability to knock hijackers off your listings. Brand gating is also only another step to protect your private label brand.
Amazon Sellers know that when they have a successful product, the counterfeiters and hijackers will be there too. Hijackers get on your listing, undercut your prices, and deliver inferior products. The customers complain, you get blamed via Amazon’s commingling and you get suspended. If you are fortunate, your account survives but the hijackers eat into your sales and you lose profit.