Infringement of trademark is on the rise. ISRA conducts trademark investigations that uncover misuse of your organisation’s trademarks and instances of product cloning/copying to provide you with the right information you need to keep your brand protected, always.
A trademark investigation is an ideal way to keep your brand safeguarded from imposters and imitators who can resort to using your trademark, either in part or in full. Such investigations can be vital when you need to know the people behind such violations and also in identifying the way they’re actually using your identity.
Trademark investigations not only help businesses identify the parties infringing upon their trademarks but also help ensure that the businesses aren’t themselves violating others’ trademarks unknowingly. So, the benefit is really two-fold.
Types of Trademark Investigations
Trademark investigations can take many forms depending on the needs of individual businesses:
- Preventing trademark violations: Ensuring if a brand name or identity is violating the trademark rights of other companies and organisations.
- Identifying trademark violations: Investigations can identify parties infringing upon your business trademarks. Critical information about how the trademarks are being used and the people behind the act can also be revealed for initiating legal action.
- Preventing counterfeit products in circulation: If counterfeit products that imitate your brand are in circulation in the market, those can be withdrawn from sale. The individuals behind such misuse can be identified and evidence collected for legal action against them.
We Understand Trademark Violators And Their Ways Well
At ISRA, we understand how trademark infringers operate and we pride ourselves in being experts when it comes to collecting evidence of potential violations, which can be difficult to obtain otherwise. The violators might operate their networks in another part of the country or world and more often than not, hide behind veils to escape legal prosecution, but our exhaustive investigations and surveillance means we’ll always track them down, wherever they are, through:
- Field Investigations: We conduct investigations in the field, which might include interviewing, surveillance, and other routine procedures.
- Online trademark investigations: We can track violators that infringe upon brand identities or trademarks using advanced techniques such as dark and deep web search, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), etc.
Defining Trademark Infringement
It’s important to know the varied forms trademark infringement takes. The term “trademark infringement” is defined as the “unauthorised” use of a trademark in connection with, or directly on goods and services in a way that confuses consumers about the true identity of such products and services, tricking them into buying fake lookalikes, thus goes the USPTO definition.
It must also be noted that the violator need not have any intention of infringing upon the trademark rights to be considered liable, contrary to what most people think.
It goes without saying that trademark infringements result in significant revenue losses for brands and organisations. More importantly, though, such infringements also destroy the brand’s image in the consumers’ minds, who feel cheated buying fake inferior quality products in the name of the original.
Private Investigators For Trademark Investigation Services
Needless to say, it is extremely difficult tracing imposters without professional help that relies upon advanced techniques for investigation. In many cases, this might be the only feasible way to track down violators seeking cover somewhere deep in the vast global marketplace.
Interestingly enough, as the market patterns worldwide are shifting towards the online space, more and more infringers are taking to social media- particularly Instagram, for selling counterfeit products. A recent case worth highlighting is when Nike identified a famous Instagram account selling fake Nike products for a million dollars, misleading customers.
Such incidents not only cause businesses tremendous monetary losses but often irreparably affect their brand equity and image. This is when trademark investigators come into the picture; they can conduct both surface-level and deep searches on the internet to identify fraudsters. The other important role that they play is in identifying the people behind such scams, so businesses can initiate legal action against real-world persons who hide behind virtual profiles.
Deep Tracking Services & Pretext Investigations
Many infringers hide deep in the virtual and real world where businesses can find it difficult to even track them down. They inconspicuously sell their goods in malls, small stalls, and makeshift stores to customers who have no idea what they’re actually buying for their money. Recent incidents of authorities cracking the whip upon imposters selling “Apple watches” and “Beats” headphones worth $2 million in Queens, NY, for example, are sufficient proof of the magnitude and frequency of such occurrences worldwide.
We conduct pretext investigations to identify such practices- acting as a customer, we make purchases from such fraudsters ourselves and in the process, trace their origins when they charge us through credit cards, getting to the servers they’re using, for instance, to know who they are.
We then pass on the information gathered to client attorneys so they can file lawsuits against the defaulters using the evidence we’ve gathered.
When such infringements cross state boundaries, the problems can increase manifold for businesses. Numerous companies approach us from different fields to gather information about individuals and other businesses using their trademarks, selling copies and counterfeits, distributing films or rights and even cloning their products in several possible ways. Whatever the situation, we’re ready 24 x 7 for our clients.
Trademark Investigations For Film & Music Industry
We often hear from businesses and individuals in the film and music industry who would like to know the people behind certain streaming services, torrent services, and servers that float their original content without permission.
We are able to track the fraudsters hiding behind these servers while also gathering crucial evidence our clients need to sue them in the court of law.
Trademark Investigation Techniques
We employ several techniques and technologies in the course of our investigations to protect brand identities and trademarks:
- Advanced web probes: Our advanced software tools can probe millions of sites online, conducting surface probes, dark web probing, and deep web scanning. These tools can effectively identify trademark infringements across online marketplaces in multiple languages online.
- Trademark monitoring: It is imperative to first understand the scope of the trademark and its implications before we launch a search operation. Potential trademark infringements can be identified only once the class of the trademark has been firmly established. Our investigators conduct a trademark monitoring search on the international, national, as well as state (regional) level.
- Pretext Investigations: These involve a private investigator acting in the manner of a customer to trick the fraudster into selling their (fake) products and services, and, in the process, collecting vital evidence to be used in the court of law. This might be difficult to gather otherwise though online web probes if the imposters are selling the products at an actual physical location, misguiding customers. Since this is a specialised job involving undercover operations, it is best undertaken by a professional intelligence agency.
- Other routine methods of investigation: In addition to the above mentioned specialised trademark investigation procedures, we also use routine surveillance and intelligence operations that involve tracing witnesses, background checks, etc to trace imposters.
Our vast network of investigators and intelligence experts spanning more than 60 countries worldwide helps us conduct trademark investigations in an efficient manner, ensuring your brand stays protected, always. From surveillance operations on the ground to deep web probes, we can handle all trademark infringement investigations in a professional and discreet manner.