Last month, we were delighted to celebrate our customers at the 10th MarkMonitor Forum held recently in San Francisco. The event offered a wealth of exciting examples of how leading companies and industry advocates are innovating their brand protection and domain management strategies. Our attendees shared their personal experiences, exchanged ideas with their peers, and walked away with knowledge and insights that only a live event like this can provide.
Contributing to the forum’s success was our incredible lineup of speakers, who covered a wide range of topics that included brand protection, domain management, antipiracy, and anticounterfeiting. Here are a few highlights:
Brand Owners and Platforms Working Together to Combat Infringement
We kicked off the event with brand and IP managers from eBay, Google and GoDaddy sharing their challenges with managing infringements and disputes on their platforms. Our panel illustrated how they are improving infringement reporting and enforcement, and they all concurred that user-friendliness and speed were key drivers for success. eBay’s VeRO reporting system, for example, addresses 80% of infringement requests in 24 hours and 70% in only six hours.
A common problem was that not all escalation requests turn out to be IP infringements. Some are just distribution conflicts or internal disputes that should be handled outside the platform between parties, so education and providing explanations in clear terms is critical. Google shared one final piece of advice: remember to keep your eye on the prize. You can’t reduce all infringements to zero, so be realistic and focus on growing your market rather than getting every single violation eliminated.
Brands – The Story So Far
Microsoft, Fox and SAS shared their successes (and challenges) with being early adopters of brand-based TLDs after new .Brand rules were enacted in 2012. They concurred that it’s great not having URLs that are a mile long. Easy strings aren’t available anymore with .coms, so .Brand makes it easier for users to get to your brand and find your content. Easier is better, especially for the younger generation who expect to find things within seconds.
Microsoft pointed out that when it came to TLD strategy, there were two buckets: the “whys” (let's just sit on a bunch of names and see what happens) and the “why nots” (let’s try to do something positive!) Companies used to accumulate defensive registrations to protect their properties, but so many variations made that process unwieldy. Now they can use .brands (.fox, .sas, .microsoft) to improve speed to market, lower costs and increase availability.
They urged to audience to always keep SEO in mind with their analysis (you don’t want to sacrifice traffic). And finally, it’s a long process from evaluation to going live, so start now and get all of your stakeholders involved early.
A 360 Degree Perspective on the Evolving Chinese Marketplace Landscape
Another hot topic in the industry is brand protection in Chinese marketplaces. We had panelists on hand who are immersed in overseas brand enforcement, including the Lead China Policy Advisor for the US Patent & Trademark Office, the IP and Security Director at CBI, and brand protection leaders from Johnson & Johnson. They tapped into what many brand owners are struggling with: counterfeits continue to pervade Chinese marketplaces.
While most Chinese marketplaces are open to improving their policies to promote more legitimate sales, companies must still be vigilant. Many are increasingly working with MarkMonitor to become more data driven to identify infringements. Authorities are also building an online process for pursuing civil litigation in the U.S. against violators. Finally, law enforcement agencies can facilitate gathering evidence in China and getting cases investigated and litigated. The US Patent and Trademark Office is one agency working hard to battle cybersquatting and other infringements, acting as a go-between companies and law enforcement.
The panel gave the audience best practices to take home to their teams: build relationships with marketplaces other than Alibaba, and do your due diligence when choosing which suppliers to work with in China. Finally, you can’t solve Chinese marketplace violations from across the pond. You need a local team that is committed to brand protection to catch the headwinds and be successful.
See You Next Year
At MarkMonitor, we strive to provide our customers with great products, superb service, and industry-leading brand protection. It’s our pleasure to be able to also provide our customers with a platform to connect with each other in person and change the way they approach their biggest problems. We’ll do it all again next year, so we hope to see you there!