Selling products on the Internet is exploding.  Everyday, there are new ways people are discovering to sell their products and services worldwide.  But, it can also be a dangerous place to offer your company’s products.  That is because of copyright infringement. 

Once you start to market your company publicly, you have ownership of your brand name and logo.  That means that no one else can use it without your permission.  But, that doesn’t mean someone won’t do just that or try to. 

If your brand and products are popular enough, there are people who will want to sell your products, or at least look like they are selling them.  It is common to find your products displayed on someone’s website that you have not authorized.  They may not actually sell them, but are displaying them to attract attention to their website.  Or, they may be buying them from another party without your knowledge, and reselling them.

The good news is that no one can display your products, or your logo without your permission.  The bad news is they will do it anyways.   When they do, it will most likely be difficult to find the culprit.  There are a number of scenarios that can take place.

You Find Your Product Selling Through a Marketplace

There are a number of remedies you can take to get your product off this site.  You can try and contact the seller directly and send them a Cease-and-Desist order. 

You Find Your Product Being Sold Directly on a Website.

It may be that the site itself is displaying your products.  This can be a much harder situation to resolve.  There are many “Phantom” websites online.  Their reason for existing is questionable, but they are there.  Remember that they can be located anywhere in the world.  Tracking them down is very difficult.  There is no easy way to find them and get them to take down your product. 

In both cases, there are professional investigators who can help find out where the display is originating from.  If they are doing damage to your brand, through discounting products they don’t sell, or misrepresenting your products, you may be forced into spending money to track them down and stop them, if you can. 

You work hard to build a good name and reputation for your brand and products.  If your product’s reputation is at stake, you need to address the problem, because it will not go away on its own. 

Perry Goldstein
Perry Goldstein

Perry Goldstein is an electronics industry veteran, with over 40 years of experience in manufacturer sales and marketing in both the consumer electronics and Pro A/V spaces. He has managed sales in both B2B and B2C markets.