Incopro’s Investigations Services team provides actionable data and intelligence in your pursuit of both individual targets and commercial-scale operators. The team works with a worldwide network of test purchase partners to deliver the evidence needed to remove these bad actors both online and offline.
Not all threats are the same
The threats to businesses online are wide and varied. Some cannot be dealt with alone by employing regular monitoring and enforcement techniques. Instead, an investigative approach may be needed to root out a particularly difficult infringer or to look into a specialist focus area outside the scope of your Brand Protection team.
Uniting online and offline
Incopro’s Investigations Services team provide in-depth intelligence and actionable evidence on infringer networks for online and offline action. The team uses Talisman, Incopro’s Brand Protection platform, and Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) methods to discover and report on criminal activity, enabling you to swiftly dismantle entire networks.
Market-leading investigative reporting
Investigative reports are based on your specific needs with pinpoint focus on platforms, individual infringing entities, or specific regions. Investigative reports are the key resource for building intelligence and connecting online-to-offline information about the identity and location of operators at the heart of infringer networks.
Provides a detailed view of a specific website, social media profile, or marketplace account. Used to document the scope and size of a site operator’s online activities or as a precursor to a deeper investigation.
Details the full size and scope of a network, along with sophisticated intelligence about the location and identity of the individuals and organization behind them. Used to document the operator’s online activities or as a precursor to potential litigation.
Tailored to meet a business’ requirements that don’t fit within a Threat Assessment or Network Investigation, such as tracing unique geographical issues or researching historical usage of a trademark to determine fair use.
Brand Protection Expertise
The Investigations team is headed by Joshua S. Hopping, PCI, an associate member of the World Association of Detectives. A seasoned veteran of the Brand Protection space with 16+ years of experience, Joshua works with the FBI-affiliated non-profit ‘InfraGard’ to share valuable knowledge and intelligence to form anti-counterfeiting strategy.
CASE STUDY: SELLERS OFFERING NON-COMPLIANT PRODUCTS
Incopro’s Investigations Services team works in conjunction with the Brand Analyst team to identify and research high-value targets.
In July 2020, two high-value targets selling wholesale quantities of Controlled & Regulated branded products were reported to a client with the recommendation of deeper investigation into the sellers. The client commissioned an Investigation for each target with the goal of determining the identity of the sellers along with a full understanding of their scope of operations.
The Investigation produced actionable intelligence about these two sellers that was subsequently passed on to the U.S. Justice Department’s Drug Enforcement Administration by our client for review and potential legal action. We also provided valuable information about the identity of three other suspicious sellers researched by the Investigations Services team alongside the core targets.
GLOBAL TEST PURCHASE AND INVESTIGATIVE NETWORK
The team maintains a growing global test purchase and on-the-ground investigative network. The network now covers over 55 countries, including most major territories. Test purchases are used for two critical purposes:
Highly-focused online test purchase designed to gather intelligence about the seller and/or the advertised product.
Documentation of online test purchase designed to support litigation. Includes screenshots of purchase, along with photos of the received item.
Incopro also offers evidential test purchases for litigation at higher standards, including in regions such as China.
CASE STUDY: INFRINGER NETWORK SELLING UNLICENSED PRODUCTS
On behalf of a multinational confectionery company, the Investigations Services team identified five high-value targets selling toys featuring the well-known logo of a snack food product on 1688.com (a large e-commerce platform owned by Alibaba).
An in-depth Network Investigation was conducted on all five targets with the goal of identifying the manufacturing companies behind them, as well as uncovering the size and scope of their online e-commerce presence.
The Investigation was able to ascertain that the targets were selling infringing items at scale using various marketplaces and social media platforms, as well as an e-commerce website. Undercover test purchases were conducted on all five targets with the infringing nature of the brand abuse being confirmed. The client referred all five targets to their legal team for further offline action.
INTERESTED IN COMMISSIONING AN INVESTIGATIVE REPORT?
If your business requires additional capabilities in your fight against online infringers, please get in touch with us. One of our Online Brand Protection experts will get back to you shortly to understand your pain points and help build out the scope of your report.