Unlike online marketplaces where “only” counterfeit products are on sale, other cases of brand abuse can also be identified on websites and online stores:
Infringing websites & online shops
Recognising and combating cases of online brand abuse
Reproduction or imitation of original brand manufacturer websites
This practice makes website visitors think they’re on the brand’s actual website. Those behind are usually trying to phish for data. In other words, they use forms or the checkout process to tap critical personal data such as emails, passwords and payment information.
Use of brand domains (domain squatting)
With this simple but effective method, fraudsters illegally register and use a domain that contains a known brand name. In this way, they lead users to believe they’re on the original website of the brand manufacturer and exploit its prominence and reputation for themselves.
Use of brand logos
Here, too, fraudsters try to deceive users. Often, the logo is supplemented by the addition of “authorised dealer”. It’s very difficult for the end user to check these statements.
Sale of plagiarised services
In this case, the website is not completely recreated, but instead the operator acts as a dealer. They usually sell various branded products in their shop as well as product counterfeits.
Monitoring of websites and shops to combat brand abuse
Through ongoing monitoring, EBRAND Services checks existing and new websites and online shops – around the clock, worldwide. We can then identify and specifically combat all the above instances of brand abuse.
As part of the monitoring activities, we also collect and evaluate a wealth of information. This combination creates a comprehensive picture. It allows us to assess whether there is a brand infringement and provides us with the necessary data to prosecute the fraudulent website owners.
Registrant, registrar and registration date
MX records provide information on whether the domain actively uses email communication, while name servers provide information about the registrar and IP addresses as well as indicating the hosting location
All available contact details are identified and stored
These show the historical content of the site or the abusive offers of shops
Pages with a lot of traffic and high visibility on the Internet are prioritised
Together with the clustering of the seller information, a specific digital footprint is produced. This also helps to bundle information from other distribution channels. It tells us where and on which channels the sellers sell their goods. At the same time, data redundancy is prevented. The seller appears in the system only once – with all its activities.
Multi-stage approach against piracy
On online marketplaces, you can use defined operator processes to identify brand abuse and delete abusive listings. Websites and online shops usually require a multi-stage approach.
If the domain owner’s data can be determined, EBRAND Services writes a cease and desist letter to the domain registrant in the customer order. This can be escalated in the next step to the Internet service provider, the hosting provider or the domain registrar. The latter must take appropriate action if a brand infringement is reported.
An often quick and effective measure, is to establish contact with its payment service provider, in order to prevent cash flows.
In the field of domains, legal steps can also be taken, e.g. a UDRP (Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy) procedure that would result in the transfer of the domain to the brand owner. Other possibilities are for instance, the Uniform Rapid Suspension System (URS) and the dispute procedures concerning country endings (ccTLDs), as offered for e.g. by DENIC, in Germany.
In dealing with piracy on websites and online shops, EBRAND Services benefits from its good relationships with other registrars, the accreditation of many registries, and membership of various intellectual property associations.