While the topic of identity protection is well known in the consumer world, in business, many forget that their company's identity is often more valuable. Businesses must protect their identities from individuals and organizations that are looking to use their hard-earned brand names for profit.
There are multiple forms of business identity theft, including:
- Gray market trade
- Counterfeiting of products
- Global copyright and trademark infringement
- Theft of intellectual property
There are many steps that you can take to ensure the security of your company's identity and brands. Below are five important steps that you can take:
- Know that your copyrights and trademarks are valid only in the United States. If you do business internationally, register your marks and copyrights in those countries to help ensure security.
- Give your products unique identifiers that you can track, like serial numbers that are only known internally.
- Pick the manufacturers you work with carefully; ensure that you have all the data available before you decide on a supplier. Some examples include: customer history, credit reports, import history, etc.
- Educate yourself on the resources that the U.S. government can provide including the Department of Commerce, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and United States Trademark Office. Many times, your trade lawyer may have additional information on Customs rulings, trade agreements, and other items to assist in your protection efforts.
- Proactively protect your supply chain and your business identity by using trade data to research suspected counterfeiters and gray market trade cases.
Zepol has created a case study that details how one of our users, an international law firm, works to protect their clients' intellectual property, brands, and supply chains. Click here to read the case study.