Business websites first came into prominence in the 1990s, and the internet houses billions of websites, webpages, forums, etc., that pertain to brands all over the world. Any typical brand website has content such as blogs, product descriptions, podcasts, white papers, reports, case studies, videos, images, etc. However, this proliferation of content also faces the challenge of website copyright infringement or domain infringement, etc.
You may not realize the full value of the content on your brand website until you get complaints such as illegal or unsuitable content emerging on your website or customers being duped by a website that looked almost like a replica of your brand. After having spent a lot of time and money building the website and original content on it, it is unacceptable for any business to suffer from impersonation through either domain infringement or website copyright infringement.
Not only that, scamsters can imitate your website design and imagery or logos on it to create a duplicate website that could be stealing the traffic meant for your business. The first thing to prevent such occurrences is to put a legal disclaimer on your website to highlight that all content is the intellectual property of the business. Various types of website copyright infringement and website trademark infringement risks can target brand names, website URLs, logos, designs, taglines, brand songs, and even product design that can be subject to IP theft.
That’s why it is important to identify the most vulnerable areas to such domain trademark infringement and protect your digital brand.
Types of Threats on a Brand’s Domain
1. Domain Name Infringement: Domain name infringement is the technique wherein imposters use a domain extension to create a website that has the same or similar domain name. for instance, one might have a “.com” address and someone might create a .net copy. Alternatively, misspelling the website name to make it look identical is a common threat faced by reputed brands with heavy web traffic.
2. Counterfeiting: Counterfeiting is achieved by creating a duplicate website of a brand by copying content from it to sell spurious or counterfeit goods. Despite all the quality check mechanisms, billions of dollars of potential revenue are lost by companies due to such digital counterfeiting.
3. Brand Impersonation: Social selling and brands engaging with their audiences through social media platforms, has become the common practice for all modern brands irrespective of their size or industry. Fraudsters take advantage of this and often indulge in brand impersonation to attract customers looking for the actual brand and its products/services. They can damage the brand’s reputation by creating fake social media pages claiming to be the official representatives of the brand, and such practices are also carried out on e-commerce marketplaces by them.
How to protect the brand from Domain Infringement?
- Social media community watch – Brands that are great with social media presence are capable to engage their audience to capture a superior response and loyalty from them. There is a very high chance that the audience members would notify the marketers if they spot any fake page, website, or social media profile in their brand’s name or even a lookalike.
- Taking legal steps – Website copyright infringement is a serious offense, and companies suffering from it can take punitive legal action. Marketers need to understand the legalities and what options are available to a business if a violation of the Copyright Act is noticed.
- Using an infringement identification tool – Apart from the manual efforts, it is essential for brands to partner with an advanced and automated solution to combat the ever-evolving threats. With an AI/ML brand infringement detection and prevention solution, the brands can identify the anomalies with accuracy and take immediate action. mFilterIt’s risk assessment solution uses open-source intelligence capabilities to scan through the web including the dark web and identify infringement cases and takedown them immediately to protect the brand’s digital presence.
The limitless market access available through online platforms and the business growth opportunities on digital media are immense. However, brand infringement is a perennially looming threat that can affect any brand’s reputation, revenue, and consumer trust if it is not detected in timely and appropriate action is not taken to protect the brand. Go ahead and adopt a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach by deploying market-leading end-to-end brand hygiene and infringement protection tools to prevent domain infringement and advertise fearlessly in the digital world!