INTA 2019 day three report | World Trademark Review

We’re over the halfway mark of the INTA Annual Meeting, and the WTR editorial team of Trevor Little (TL), Joff Wild (JW), Bridget Diakun (BD) and Tim Lince (TJL) have been running between sessions, the exhibition hall, meetings and receptions – with a few stops along the way for coffee – to bring you the latest stories and insights from Tuesday’s proceedings.

What hath God wrought? – Away from the convention centre, online brand protection company Incopro organised an informative seminar focused on the topic ‘Search Engines Can Do More to Protect Your Intellectual Property’, with the company due to issue a white paper on this hot topic.

For the opening presentation, Michael Moore, general counsel, IP at Mattel Inc, provided insight into how the toy brand giant has evolved its online brand protection strategy. He opened by observing that in four days, on 24 May, it will be the 175th anniversary of the first telegraph ever sent in the US, by Samuel Morse. Moore observed: “The first message was ‘what hath God wrought?’. When you look at the internet today and infringement, I’ve been thinking that very thought. What a prescient thing to say back then.”

A few years ago, then, the company noted that online counterfeiting was having an impact and Moore decided to focus on one brand on one platform – specifically Uno on Amazon.com. Over a two month period, working with Incopro, more than 2,000 listings were taken down – with the ROI quickly becoming clear:

“As we continued to take down infringement, people were driven to our product and we could tell that our profitability was going up – there was a clear effect. And the business was thrilled.”

The programme was then expanded to include the Power Wheels brand, with data gathered on the top five infringers. “We could then decide what to do. Take down? Sue? Some we sued and we won a good amount of money, which went back to our programme,” Moore said. The takeaway? Sometimes you need to speculate to accumulate, but business will be supportive if the ROI can be tracked. (TL)

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