Multilingualism in brand protection

Have you ever wondered if a multilingual team is necessary for an effective IP and brand protection strategy?

In a world with Google translate, surely enforcement can be effectively conducted without comprehensive language coverage? Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple. Every day our Analysts are faced with thousands of infringing posts, websites and marketplace listings, coming from dozens of countries in many different languages. Whilst translation services certainly have a place, there are limitations and they need to be used to supplement a multilingual team, not replace it.

The subtlety of language

All languages have subtleties in their expressions and many have regional phrases depending on their geographic location. Japanese, for instance, has a lot of different nuances within it, and meanings of words can change within different areas of the country. Situations like this create a problem for those relying solely on translation services or without extensive language coverage in their enforcement team.

Having native speakers within a team allows for a more detailed knowledge of that country and more effective brand protection. For example, one of our clients sells a luxury good which is referred to on the Chinese market by a slang term; to the untrained eye it would seem unrelated to the brand or product. Yet by having this local knowledge our team can conduct more comprehensive research and ensure we don’t miss any infringements when monitoring a market.

The advantages of a multilingual team

Speaking multiple languages not only involves a deep understanding of grammar and vocabulary but also a knowledge of the culture. To understand the specificities of listings on platforms like GumTree, Leboncoin, or those commonly found on social media, one needs to know what it means for a native speaker to write the words, as some expressions might only be used orally and informally. This knowledge can be crucial in identifying whether a seller is legitimate or selling counterfeits.

Another advantage is when clients request that we find and target copycat brands. These copycats often use a play on words similar to the official brand name or product. Analysts not only have to know how to write and spell the brand names in the native language, but also how to manipulate the sounds to find potential infringers.

Without comprehensive language coverage in your enforcement team, effective online brand protection is impossible.

Languages at Incopro

Incopro’s expert Analysts combine proficiency in over 20 languages, including: Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, French, German, Italian and Japanese, to name a few. This ever-growing team of enforcement professionals is based around the world, with offices throughout America, the United Kingdom and China. For more information about how Incopro can defend your business from infringers, head to our services or request a demo from one of our teams.

Related Blog Posts

In the digital age, any enterprise with a recognised brand can become a target. The ease of use of online

Analysts must be experts in online brand protection and fully understand a brand’s pain points.

We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on the essential things you need to know about IP and brand protection