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In this blog, Mary Kernohan, Head of Business Development at SnapDragon, goes into detail about how to make the most of your design rights and trademarks.

Shockingly, online counterfeit retail sales have grown at an annual rateof 25% since the rise of e-commerce, meaning that the volume of fake goods soldonline will soon surpass those sold by physical vendors. 

Sadly, the toy and nursery market as well as the home and giftwareindustry are two of the most highly targeted by counterfeiters. “Must-have”items flood the market at key times of year, such as Christmas, offering aprice that just undercuts the original - so it looks like a bargain.

One way to protect your brand from counterfeits is with trademarks anddesign rights. It is vital to file trademarks that are valid in the countrieswhere you plan to sell – and make - your product, preferably before anyinformation about it appears online.

The First Steps...

Most trademark attorneys offer a very cost-effective service aroundtrademark registration and it’s even possible to file your own, if you knowwhat you’re doing. Registered trademarks are your first line of defence whenyou’ve been copied online – in that they are accepted as a registeredintellectual property right by the online marketplaces which means if you canprove the trademark is registered, and yours, a counterfeit product (using yourtrademark) should be removed.

Trademarks come highly recommended as being amongst the mostcost-effective pieces of registered intellectual property available. You mayalso be able to file Design Rights for your product. These protect the shapeand configuration of a product – not the function – but again can be extremelyvaluable in proving ownership of a concept.

Make sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming blogs to keep one stepahead of the fraudsters – you can get our blog updates straight to your inboxby signing up on the top right of this page.

Our 'Top Tips' to Protect Your BrandOnline

In the meantime, you can use our helpful checklist of Top Tips toprotect your brand online. And, if you’re in doubt, or worried, please get intouch with us today to find out how we can help:

  1. Register your trademark in as many territories as possible – and definitely in China.
  2. Register products and trademarks with the EUIPO enforcement database and its equivalent elsewhere. (This is a free service and helps protect your brands at ports of entry.)
  3. Translate your brand – into as many direct and slightly indirect variants as possible and search regularly for these on online platforms.
  4. Report sellers for infringing activity and get listings removed. If you find counterfeits, buy a sample and get to know it so you can tell the difference and teach others – including customs – how to do so too.

Be super aware in terms of customer safety

5. Don’t get too distracted from your day to day business.

You can win – and with persistence, you will!

6. Don’t forget we have been there, done it and got the (genuine) T-shirt.  We are here to help.

By Mary Kernohan from Snapdragon. For more information on snapdragons services and how they can help your business then please contact Mary at

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