According to an analysis of the Netherlands’ 50 biggest brand names, the number of .nl domain names suspected of being used or intended for use in phishing has been increasing, but monitoring and intervention appears to be suppressing visible abuse such as phishing.
Brand protection online is an important issue facing brands these days. One aspect that gets a lot of attention is managing domain names and monitoring typosquatting. But this is only part of the problem. Monitoring websites is an even greater problem.
The cost to brands of counterfeit and pirated goods is huge. Imports of these counterfeit and pirated goods are worth nearly half a trillion dollars a year, or around 2.5 percent of global imports, with US, Italian and French brands the hardest hit and many of the proceeds going to organised crime, says a new report by the OECD and the EU’s Intellectual Property Office.
According to the report, “Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact” the value of imported fake goods worldwide was US$461 billion in 2013, compared with total imports in world trade of $17.9 trillion. Up to five percent of goods imported into the European Union are fakes. Most originate in middle income or emerging countries, with China the top producer.
Fake products crop up in everything from handbags and perfumes to machine parts and chemicals notes the OECD. Footwear is the most-copied item though trademarks are infringed even on strawberries and bananas. Counterfeiting also produces knockoffs that endanger lives – auto parts that fail, pharmaceuticals that make people sick, toys that harm children, baby formula that provides no nourishment and medical instruments that deliver false readings.
One company that believes it can assist brand owners deal with brand protection online is BrandShield. BrandShield was spun-off from the Israeli Domain the Net registrar, which founder and now CEO of BrandShield Yoav Keren told this writer was the largest Israeli registrar serving many companies including Nasdaq, New York and Israeli stock exchange companies. The company is also an example of how governments can assist technology start-ups having received assistance through a technology assistance fund.
BrandShield has been independent of Domain the Net since it was established in 2013 and has partnered with FairWinds Partners, while Keren has been involved in new gTLDs since 2000. He was one of those pushing for a Hebrew internationalised domain name. The new gTLD programme was the catalyst for Keren to start BrandShield, sensing that there was no company offering adequate brand protection in the new environment.
Now with the launch of hundreds of new gTLDs and hundreds more to come, the problems of trademark infringement, fraud, brand protection, stealing traffic and users, redirections to competitors and slander are all “growth” industries. And protective registration of domain names in new gTLDs is simply not the answer to dealing with the problem.
So the problem Keren explained has moved way beyond the actual domain name registered.
“Who cares if someone registered your brand domain name last week,” Keren asked rhetorically. “There are pages and pages of content that relate to your brand with more traffic, better SEO and are more damaging.
“The problem can effect brands of all sizes. And while large brands have the resources to monitor how their brands are represented online, small- to medium-sized brands have never been able to do so effectively. And even large brands would find it more effective, financially and through their ability to monitor, to outsource.
Keren likens BrandShield from moving from the bicycle era to spaceship. “The big difference is BrandShield’s ability to use artificial intelligence to analyse multiple web metrics, including content.”
Brandshield uses what Keren describes as “natural language processing (NLP), which is similar to technologies used by search engines. But BrandShield analyses from a brand perspective – analysing the code, content, search engine results, logo recognition and more – all the metrics used for analysis.
“And it goes beyond websites and domain names monitoring mobile apps, paid advertisements on search-engines, marketplaces such as eBay and Ali-Baba and social media. Each has different problem. Using multiple metrics and big-data, the algorithms prioritise the level of risk and allow the users to focus on the problems that really matter.
The software can be used to assist with takedowns of infrinfments. And businesses from consulting companies, law firms acting on behalf of their clients or in-house can all use it, while smaller companies can even monitor brand abuse themselves.
It even covers the Chinese and Japanese languages with additional languages coming in addition to already covering all Latin languages. And it covers all ccTLDs and gTLDs.
Subscriptions are sold on a yearly and per brand basis.
For more information, see brandshield.com.
Melbourne IT reported a five percent year-on-year decrease in revenue while announcing its full year results for 2012, but this included significant investment to prepare for the arrival of new gTLDs in 2013 and beyond – something they believe will drive an increase in demand for the company’s services.The domain name registrar and consulting company believes new gTLDs are expected to drive an increase in demand for domain strategy consulting and registration revenue, brand protection growth and will see the commencement of more than 110 ‘.brand’ registry services contracts from the second half of 2013 onwards.”2013 will be a significant inflection point for Melbourne IT,” Melbourne IT CEO and Managing Director Theo Hnarakis said. “Although it is too early in the financial year to provide any detailed guidance for 2013 – particularly given the strategic review is in progress – we see good growth opportunities ahead for our business and by successfully executing our strategies, we expect the performance of each of our divisions to be maintained or improve in 2013 as we invest further in our people, marketing, systems transformation and enhancing the customer experience.”Speaking about brand protecting in new gTLDs, Hnarakis told the Australian Financial Review:
“We have 3800 corporate customers, many of which are very defensively-oriented in particular brands. When these new extensions are launched, they naturally register that domain name to ensure nobody else can secure that name. Even if you were to run that multiple down significantly you would still see a significant lift in revenue from the middle of 2013 right through to 2014.”Hnarakis also said sales from the 146 companies that had applied for a new domain name through Melbourne IT, as well as defensive registrations, would specifically boost division revenues this year. The company has spent in excess of $5 million on preparing systems and marketing for the domain push.Of the 146 applicants, 36 had said they would ‘park’ the domains for the foreseeable future, instead of actively using them as web addresses.”We’re very bullish in terms of the upsides for new [top-level domains] and brands.””It will really depend on the TLD. If it’s a popular one like .web you might see a significant number rivalling .xxx but if it’s a unique one like .food you might not get a lot of defensive registrations.”
The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters has signed a definitive agreement to acquire MarkMonitor, a global leader in online brand protection, subject to regulatory approval. Together, Thomson Reuters and MarkMonitor say they will transform brand protection to help companies create, manage, protect their revenue and reputations around the world.
The acquisition of MarkMonitor, headquartered in San Francisco, will strengthen the broad portfolio of intellectual property solutions from Thomson Reuters the companies announced. With over 400 employees in five countries, MarkMonitor claims they are a market leader in online brand protection and currently safeguards more than half of the Fortune 100 brands.
âThis acquisition marks the beginning of a transformational shift within the Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters,â said Chris Kibarian, president, IP & Science, Thomson Reuters. âIt is emblematic of our strategy to accelerate innovation and growth within our business.â
âThomson Reuters already helps thousands of companies create, manage and protect hundreds of billions of dollars worth of intellectual property assets,â said David Brown, president, Intellectual Property Solutions, Thomson Reuters. âWith the addition of online brand protection solutions like those provided by MarkMonitor, weâll be able to deliver advanced technologies to keep customers one step ahead of brandjackers and reduce the enormous risk posed to brands online.â
The MarkMonitor team, led by President and Chief Executive Officer Irfan Salim, will join Thomson Reuters.
âWith the continued explosive growth of Internet, ecommerce and social network usage, the digital world provides an anonymous haven for criminals who harm brandsâ revenue and reputation, often at the expense of consumers,â said Salim. âBrands that take action to protect themselves by managing their domain name portfolios see real return on investment, including lower online advertising costs and higher revenue, along with greater customer satisfaction. Together, MarkMonitor and Thomson Reuters will provide best-in-class solutions for online brand protection.â
On average, almost half a million instances of brand abuse were measured each week including 402,882 accounts of cybersquatting, the registration of domain names containing a brand, slogan or trademark to which the registrant has no right. Instances of cybersquatting rose 40 percent in the first quarter of 2008
– Media brands continue to be the most targeted by brandjackers with over 40,000 instances of abuse in Q1 2008. Abuse against automotive brands increased by 99 percent since Q1 2007 to 25,792
– Pay-per-click abuse continued to remain low in Q1 and is down 42 percent for the year. This form of brandjacking has experienced almost zero growth since Q2 2007. Vigilance by brandholders, regulatory changes by ICANN and policy changes by major search engines have driven the declines
– While brand abusers can be located anywhere in the world, their top countries for Web site hosting remained consistent. The U.S. is home to 66 percent of Web sites that host brand abuse. Germany hosts 7 percent, followed by the United Kingdom at 6 percent. Canada hosts 4 percent
Read the article further : http://blogs.zdnet.com/security/?p=1240