New EU tool for trademark protection
Geographical indication of products in focus of EUIPN
The European Union Intellectual Property Network (EUIPN) has launched a new tool, GIview. This searchable database collects all information about EU geographical indications (GIs), helping trademark holders and law enforcement in their fight against counterfeiting.
This new tool goes hand in hand with other EU software like eAmbrosia, the European Commission’s own database for GIs.
What are GIs
According to the European Commission, a geographical indication (GI) is a “distinctive sign used to identify a product whose quality, reputation or other such characteristics relate to its geographical origin.” Currently, GIs mostly consist of food, drinks, and other agricultural products.
In Germany, for example, the traditional Nürnberger Lebkuchen are GIs, as well as Berliner Kümmel, Münchener Bier, and many other products that have strong ties to a specific region. Local producers who create these products have to adhere to strict quality measures in exchange for the privilege of using these protected names for their goods. After all, not just any cookie can boast of the distinctive taste, texture, and quality of the original Nürnberger Lebkuchen.
GIs help protect well-known, beloved products that are often part of a community’s history and identity. Currently, over 3,400 products fall into this category. GI products are often very popular with consumers - and counterfeiters.
According to the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s (EUIPO) report, the value of counterfeited GI products is approximately 4.2 billion euros. This represents about 9% of the entire GI market.
But, as with brand protection, a lot more is at stake here than mere money. After having a bad experience with a fake, consumers who believe they’ve purchased a genuine product lose their faith in the quality of the GI, or in case of a specific producer, the brand itself.
This is why the GIview tool is so important in the fight against fakes. Easily accessible information about GIs can help distributors determine whether they’re acquiring the real deal or a bad quality counterfeit. Similarly, law enforcement officials can turn to the database to see if the batch of products somebody’s trying to import is genuine or fake.
For example, a search for Abruzzo wine quickly ascertains that authentic products recognized by the EU originate from two countries: Portugal or Chile. So if a producer is trying to sell you their very own Abruzzo, freshly made in Argentina, it’s quite likely a fake. (Third country agreements ensure that products originating from outside the EU can also be recognized by the EU GI label.)
GIs and brand protection
While GIs don’t directly deal with individual brands but rather regions of production, they operate on the same premise as brand protection: trademarks and copyrights are invaluable assets and thus need to be protected. However, while a mere database may be enough to protect GIs, brand protection needs to go much, much further.
Effective brand protection tools need to be proactive, responsive, and much more comprehensive than a simple searchable database. If fraudsters are using your images, counterfeiting your products, or otherwise harming your brand, you need information, tangible proof, and quick action.
This is why globaleyez developed its unique, 360° approach to brand protection. Our high-quality software tools allow us to quickly detect the source of the fake products or other trademark infringement, produce tangible evidence that’s admissible in court, and take steps to enforce your copyright.
globaleyez’s software tools
globaleyez’s comprehensive services cover all aspects of brand protection. We offer marketplace and image monitoring, test purchases, enforcement, as well as social media and domain monitoring. We base all of our services on total dedication to our clients’ needs, and our very own high quality software tools.
Our marketplace monitoring tool, traxster can comb through 150+ marketplaces worldwide, looking for any search terms you require. You can pick and choose marketplaces and search terms to cover, according to your needs and your budget. Based on traxster’s findings, we create a detailed report complete with suggestions for next steps.
traxster has many handy features. For example, it can translate your search terms into the language of the given marketplace, and even send takedown notices. It filters sellers, countries, and much more, according to your specific requirements, while displaying the top sellers on each marketplace based on turnover, sales value, or listings.
You can even set up email alerts to be notified if a monitored seller is back in business. Our expertise goes hand-in-hand with your specific requirements to stop fraudsters and grey market sellers that harm your brand.
But what happens when a fraudster uses images? That’s where infrimage comes in.
Designed to find imagery like photos, company logos, or advertising images online, infrimage is a very versatile tool. It can help you track down images stolen from your website, grey market sellers offering your products without your consent, or even fraudsters trying to sell fakes with your imagery. infrimage is particularly helpful on the vast worldwide marketplace that is Ebay.
While image search tools like Google could produce similar results, infrimage does much more than that. For example, you have to sift through the Google search results one by one, and have to repeat the search on a regular basis to filter out fraudsters. With infrimage, you can set up regular daily or weekly searches, and automatically filter the results according to your requirements.
infrimage can even help you close leaks in your own distribution channels. Is an authorized seller offering your product before its official release? Leave it to infrimage to discover it.
The globaleyez approach
While our tools are indispensable for the work we do, our services wouldn’t be complete without enforcement. Armed with the information discovered by traxster and infrimage, we enforce your rights and ensure the takedown of your stolen images, grey market products, or listings advertising fakes.
In fact, we can do even more: find out how we helped Audi chase down auto parts counterfeiters in China.
Contact us and discover how we can help you protect your brand.