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Embracing New Tools to Enhance Brand Protection

Alban Kwan, CSC’s regional director for East Asia, recently moderated a panel discussion entitled “Embracing new tools to enhancing protection” with renowned global brands—Ant Group (parent company of Alipay), Daniel Wellington, and Western Digital at the recent World Trademark Review’s Brand Strategy China.

While the brands are from different industries, when it comes to online brand protection, all of them work with third-party vendors’ and platforms’ technology to address brand protection in four aspects, including:

  1. Detection
  2. Analysis
  3. Evidence preservation
  4. Enforcement

“A lot of misuses with our brand is to take advantage of the fame and the reputation of our brands, and perhaps to use that to indicate an endorsement from our company to a third-party product.” - Serena Lim, soft IP and litigation counsel, Ant Group

With the focus on protecting their brands, all have adopted technology that has undoubtedly increased their effectiveness in brand monitoring and efficiency in case management. Yet many times, limitations in current technology and data-sharing means that many still rely on human resource to supplement the work and plug the gaps. This is especially true for analysis and connecting the dots between online and offline case work, and filing cases across different platforms that don’t have a unified standard for complaints.

“Automated searches help us free up a lot of human resources to focus on the more valuable work. External service providers focus on massive database or monthly listings, but internally, we might focus on certain category infringements [where we can directly enforce our brand rights].”—Leona Xie, Legal director, Daniel Wellington AB

Brands not only have to contend with traditional channels of infringement, but as technology and its use evolves, new channels of selling have also emerged. For instance, live broadcasts on social media saw an increase during the pandemic. Such streaming sessions by an influencer or key opinion leader are short-lived and happen over evenings and weekends that make it a challenge for teams to take timely action. Typically, the information also needs to be recorded or subsequently published for detection and enforcement. It’s also noted that app-based infringements and private chat groups make it difficult for teams to access non-public data to take enforcement action where there might be conflicts with prevailing privacy laws.

“The key opinion leaders are probably also innocent. They don’t know what they’re doing is wrong, and they don’t know they’re selling a fake product.”—Karen Wang, associate general counsel, Trademark and Brand Protection, Western Digital

Watch the session recording to learn some of the pain points brands face today, what’s on their wish list for the future of technology, and how that technology might ease some long-standing issues. Watch: Embracing New Tools to Enhancing Protection* >>

Also, watch the recording of the keynote Alban delivered that highlights why conflicting interests in the current state of online brand protection is hindering progress to effectively resolve brand infringements online. Hear recommendations on how brand owners can shift their approach to reduce risks for platforms and gain more benefit in their brand protection efforts. Watch: “The Elephant in the Room” →

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