At the frontier of tackling online counterfeits


Xavier Hadad Rojas

At the frontier of tackling online counterfeits

The question of how to monitor and deal with online counterfeiting is a tricky one for brands and law enforcement agencies alike, as Xavier Rojas explains.

It is clear that there is no bigger issue in the intellectual property arena today than counterfeiting, a phenomenon that is seen both in the usual commercial channels and, of course, increasingly on the Internet, given the obvious benefits that new communication technologies provide.

The real problem here stems from the difficulty of finding the fastest and most adequate way to detect the differences between an original product and a fake one. If someone carefully studies the quality, texture and designs of trademarks, the details of products are unique and can be used as fingerprints to provide undisputed proof of identification. But translating all of these rules into protection from online piracy has turned out to be a difficult problem to legislate for and, above all, to stop.

The recent spread and diversity of counterfeit products, as well as their wide distribution, has increased the complexity of the problem, and the damage to IP owners. This is why efforts to raise consumer awareness through campaigns and other anti-counterfeiting and piracy activities must be urgently implemented.

anti-counterfeiting, online piracy, cybersquatting, trademark infringement, Internet