Technology, like fashion, is always changing. For fashion and luxury brands, this means that traditional geographic boundaries for marketing, distribution and sales have been rendered largely meaningless. Fuelled by the increasing advances of the Internet for online sales and advertising, as well as by social media, brand cachet and corresponding demand for products have allowed companies to expand rapidly into new territories worldwide. Unfortunately, new growth opportunities for brands have given rise to new opportunities for counterfeiters which try to profit from the value of brands and owners’ efforts to build brand equity.
While redress is available against unauthorised sellers in the United States and Europe (as well as in other trademark-friendly jurisdictions), enforcement in many countries is fraught with pitfalls and obstacles. Enforcement is particularly problematic in countries where a brand has attained high visibility and consumer demand well ahead of advances in IP laws.
This article first appeared in Online Brand Enforcement 2015: Protecting Your Trademarks in the Electronic Environment, a supplement to World Trademark Review, published by Globe Business Media Group – IP Division’. To view the guide in full, please go to www.worldtrademarkreview.com