Beyond takedowns: Safeguarding your brands on marketplaces 

Combatting intellectual property infringements on online marketplaces presents a significant challenge. The diverse range of infringements and the intricate nature of these platforms make regulating and reporting such violations complex.

Consequently, businesses continuously struggle to effectively address online marketplace infringements. By using effective brand protection strategies, intellectual property legal professionals, brand protection teams, and legal executives can safeguard their organization’s intellectual property on marketplaces.

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Types of marketplace infringements

There are three major types of marketplace infringements:  

Counterfeit goods

Counterfeit products pose a significant threat to brands. For example, in a case involving Chanel and Amazon, Chanel emerged victorious in a counterfeit lawsuit against Amazon in April of this year. Amazon was ordered to remove any stores selling counterfeit Chanel products, such as purses, phone cases, and t-shirts. The compensation awarded amounted to approximately $3 million.

Unauthorized sellers

Instances involving unauthorized sellers can vary significantly, as products are distributed through so-called “authorized” distributors. Some distributors may be unaware that selling the products online is not permitted, while others deliberately disregard the agreements and view platforms like Amazon and eBay as avenues to boost their sales. Family members or close associates may also acquire and sell the products independently. Additionally, organized sellers purchase substantial quantities of products from authorized distributors at significant discounts, only to resell them on online marketplaces at reduced prices.

IP or Trademark infringement

Trademark infringement is another significant concern in marketplaces. For instance, in the case of Atari vs. Redbubble, Atari alleged that Redbubble did not adequately police its marketplace, allowing artist uploads that infringed upon Atari’s trademarks, including its logo and other iconic images.

Main challenges in taking down illegal sellers permanently

Despite the presence of online monitoring services aimed at removing illicit sellers from marketplaces, many organizations continue to face challenges in eradicating these sellers effectively. The following are the five main challenges: Layer Image

Drawing a comprehensive map of infringement and counterfeit

Identifying all instances of intellectual property infringement and counterfeit products across various marketplaces and geographic locations can be a daunting task for brand owners and enforcement agencies. Without a clear understanding of how and where to look, it is difficult to permanently eliminate the threat.

Varying relationships between brand protection software vendors and marketplaces

Each brand protection software vendor has different relationships with marketplaces, adding to the complexity. These vendors may have varying levels of access and collaboration with different online platforms, making it difficult to have a unified and streamlined approach to combating illegal sellers.

Ineffectiveness of traditional data collection

Traditional data collection methods, such as spreadsheets or outdated case management systems, often prove ineffective in tracking and identifying illegal sellers on marketplaces. The dynamic nature of online marketplaces, the sheer volume of listings, and the use of pseudonyms by sellers make it challenging to gather accurate and up-to-date information about infringing activities.

Complexity of takedown steps

The steps involved in taking down unauthorized sellers have become increasingly complex. Online marketplaces have implemented various policies and procedures for reporting and removing infringing listings. Navigating through these processes can be time-consuming and intricate. Even with the assistance of online monitoring services to automatically take down listings from marketplaces, brand protection teams still need to collaborate with cross-functional teams to enforce efforts with other parties, including CMS platforms (Shopify, Wix, Squarespace), search engines (e.g., Google), domain registrars (e.g., GoDaddy, Network Solutions), and payment processors (Stripe, Visa, PayPal), to ensure that unauthorized sellers are stopped at each gateway.

Consumers’ willingness to purchase counterfeit products

A notable challenge is that consumers, especially Gen Z shoppers, knowingly purchase counterfeit products to save money. Some consumers prioritize a lower price over the authenticity of a product. This behavior perpetuates illegal selling in marketplaces and poses a challenge in changing consumer attitudes towards counterfeit goods.

Addressing these challenges requires concerted efforts from brand owners, enforcement agencies, marketplaces, and consumers. Implementing robust strategies, improving collaboration, leveraging advanced technologies, and raising awareness about the consequences of purchasing counterfeit products is crucial.

How to safeguard your brands on marketplaces  

Use a data visualization tool

Utilize a data visualization tool to draw a more comprehensive map of infringement and counterfeit activities and prioritize your efforts. This tool will help you visualize and analyze data, enabling you to identify trends, patterns, and areas of concern more effectively.

Consolidate your data

Consolidate data from various sources, including online monitoring services, spreadsheets, case files, test purchases, and email correspondence, into a centralized data hub. This approach allows you to have access to multiple data points and insights, making it easier to have a unified and streamlined approach to combating illegal sellers on several marketplaces effectively.

Target the largest offenders

Research has shown that 20% of offenders contribute to 80% of cases. It is crucial to promptly identify these major offenders, enabling you to prioritize your efforts and focus on tackling the most critical infringement instances.

Implement automatic workflows

Develop automated workflows to streamline routine takedown tasks and set reminders for important activities. This automation improves efficiency and ensures that essential actions are not overlooked or delayed.

Collaborate with the community

Build strong relationships with customers, brand advocates, online communities, and government agencies to foster trust and educate consumers about the damage caused by counterfeits and infringements.

How can Hubstream help you? 

Hubstream offers a data-driven case management solution designed specifically for brand protection teams. Our software has been tailored to meet the unique needs of various industries, including retail, consumer electronics, e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, law enforcement, and government agencies.

With Hubstream, you can benefit from:

A centralized data hub to organize and manage investigation cases from various social media platforms effectively.

An AI-powered link analysis to detect patterns of dupe influencers, decode dupe keywords and hashtags, assisting you to tackle the most impactful cases first.

Collecting probative evidence in one data hub for legal proceedings.

Assisting to develop data intelligence and provide insights to get buy-ins from key shareholders and build industry alliances.

Our global customer base attests to the effectiveness of Hubstream in providing reliable brand protection solutions. Whether you are a private organization or a public sector entity, we are committed to helping you safeguard your brands on social media platforms.

Interested in learning more?

If you are interested in learning more about Hubstream, please try our risk-free software or contact us at to schedule a demo.