Examples of preventive measures

In connection with production and product development, it is imporant to take precautions to prevent counterfeiting and piracy. Some examples:

Using special marks on the goods or their packaging, which are difficult to copy

This makes it more difficult to copy the products. In addition, it becomes easier for the company and the consumers to distinguish counterfeit and pirated products from originals. Marking the goods, e.g. with small chips, makes it possible to follow the product all the way to the consumer and makes it easier to identify original products. Features such as holograms, barcodes, or two- or three-dimensional stickers can also be used. 

Monitoring counterfeiters and pirates

Keeping updated on the counterfeiting and piracy of own products through the aid of employees in relevant areas, a company may have an early warning in case of infringement. Counterfeit and pirated products are oftentimes put up for sale on the Internet. Therefore it is advisable to keep tabs on relevant web sites or have a professional adviser doing so, thus securing a high level of knowledge about production and distribution of illegal copies of the company’s products. 

Outsourcing and suppliers

A company can investigate the risks of outsourcing its production to other countries and take steps to prevent possible negative consequences. When entering a final agreement with a supplier, a company should gather as much information as possible about the supplier. If the suppliers are not trustworthy, the company risks the misuse of production secrets. It can be relevant to find out, if the supplier has been involved in counterfeiting or piracy before. A company may also benefit from the experiences of other companies, who have worked with the particular supplier. It should also be considered whether to establish legally binding cooperation agreements stipulating terms of secrecy with suppliers. Sometimes it is a good idea to spread production and sub-supplies. This makes it more difficult for counterfeiters and pirates to copy the products. In this connection, a company may see to it that parts of products are produced in different places or different countries and only assembled in one place with extra security. IPR issues should always appear in cooperation agreements. Also continuous monitoring of suppliers and the entire chain of commerce is advisable. 

Protection of trade secrets

Protecting information and knowledge impedes counterfeiting and piracy of your company’s products. It becomes more difficult for IPR criminals to obtain the necessary information about the products. Trade secrets, technical knowledge as well as client information and market analyses, may be leaked through (former) employees and (potential) partners. Thus, the number of employees and partners with access to such information should be limited. A company should also beware which information is given in marketing materials and on the Internet, because this information may be used as a model for the production of fakes. Publicly accessible information about the products makes them easier to copy. 

Keep a product library

For use in future infringement cases, a company should keep a complete archive over marketing materials and products, including products no longer on the market. 

Keep track of the distribution of the products

Keep track of the distribution of your company’s products and monitor the chain as far as possible. 

Establish an anti-counterfeiting function on your company website

The website should contain precise information to the consumers about how to avoid copies of your company’s products and a guide to giving information about encountered fakes. The website can also contain warnings about dangerous fakes. Earlier, companies have hesitated to post such information, but the extent of IPR crime has made this necessary. 

Check the possibilities of IPR insurance

Different types of IPR insurances exist. Such insurances can eg cover your costs to enforce your IP rights. The Danish Patent and Trademark Office has further information (in Danisk) om IPR insurence. 


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