28 October 2020TrademarksMuireann Bolger

Five minutes with… Fred Felman, Appdetex

As 2020 winds down and the holiday season approaches, online abuse of brands’ IP will inevitably ramp up.

On Thursday, October 29, Fred Felman of online brand protection service Appdetex, co-hosts a webinar on why ‘internet infringement doesn’t take a holiday’.

WIPR caught up with him to find out more...

WIPR: What are you looking forward to discussing in your upcoming session on October 29?

FF: Sharing observations about this last year, gauging what to expect this holiday season and hearing from our audience about what they've seen and are anticipating.

What are the biggest challenges to brand and IP owners in the era of COVID-19?

Wow—that's a loaded question! There were so many, ranging from increased abuse due to “hands idled” by unemployment now applying themselves to brand abuse; intermittent slow-downs of platform responsiveness to notices of claimed infringement as a result of higher workload, and their staff having to develop new workflows due to work-from-home orders; and budgetary constraints for in-house teams and regulatory impact on enforcement from global privacy legislation.

What are some of the hallmarks of IP abuse in 2020?

Early in the year, we saw very high levels of COVID-related scams that included fake personal protective equipment, bogus testing scams, cures, and vaccines.

In terms of venues, abuse that required lower levels of technical acumen and financial investment on the part of malicious actors grew faster than those that required higher levels of technical expertise and dollars spent—so social, marketplace and domain abuse grew more quickly than abuse in advertising and app stores.

Have you faced any barriers or challenges in your career?

Many in 35 years. Mine have ranged from trying to find my path, identify my personal strengths to dealing with discrimination in my early career, to weathering economic cycles and storms in small companies in my later career.

It was an interesting late-career journey to work within an in-house legal team at one of the world's largest platforms. This experience gave me a very detailed perspective on the challenge faced by brands identifying and mitigating the risk associated with brand abuse.

What is the best part of your job?

Some might say that being on "Good Morning America",  MSNBC, CNN or having our company published in the New York Times. Personally, I like working with my employees, seeing them advance in their careers, and ultimately do great things.

Mentoring, ideating, collaborating with my team and cross-functionally within the organisation to achieve goals makes me happiest.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories sent like this straight to your inbox

Today’s top stories

USPTO records 100% surge in AI patents since 2002

Playboy sues over bunny Halloween costumes

LSPN Connect: Eldora Ellison on PTAB denials, CRISPR and section 101

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

Jurisdiction reports
1 April 2014   In the brief period in which they have been at work, the judges of the Court for Intellectual Property Rights have faced many issues for which current Russian legislation does not provide direct solutions.
4 November 2020   Ahead of her participation in an LSPN Connect session, In-house attorneys share day-to- day challenges and explore solutions on Thursday, November 5, Ypsita Demunshi, patent agent at Pendulum Therapeutics, shares insights on the issues facing patent practitioners amid COVID-19.
19 November 2020   Following a year unlike any other, 2020 is winding down and people are looking forward to the usual holiday season traditions. One group also gearing up for the December-January months is the huge community of online infringers, and this year, they may have a bumper Christmas.