How firms can protect themselves


In view of the damage caused by counterfeiting, firms which make quality, creativity and innovation their hallmarks must adopt a business strategy based on protecting their intellectual property and prevention, partly in order to increase and boost legal protection, which should always remain the last resort. The principal elements of the strategy should be:

• maximising awareness of national and international property rights
• defining the company's intangibles on the reference market in relation to the portfolio of intellectual property rights possessed 
• analysing the specific risks of infringement of intellectual property rights and unfair competition on the reference market and on potential markets as far as concerns the different phases of business (design, production, distribution and sale), particularly in cases of possible relocation or in-house production, taking the potential risks of publishing the contents on the Internet into account
• assessing the need to add additional and complementary aspects not previously considered to the portfolio of intellectual property rights, through use of further intellectual property rights and their extension to potential markets
• assessing whether it is worth applying deterrents (anti-counterfeiting methods) or preventive actions (e.g. customs protection in the EU)
• constantly monitoring the reputation of their intangibles on the reference market
• taking legal action if necessary.

Firms whose industrial property rights are damaged by counterfeiting have various means of protection at their disposal:

• Opposition procedures
• Customs protection
• Administrative protection
• Civil law protection
• Criminal law protection



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