WWE looks to fight online counterfeit sales

MUMBAI: MarkMonitor, which works in the area of online corporate identity protection, has announced that World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has selected MarkMonitor's Auction Monitoring solution.

The aim is to monitor the sale of WWE branded goods on the site eBay and to automate requests to terminate counterfeit and other unauthourised auctions.

MarkMonitor's Auction Monitoring solution is the newest addition to its integrated suite of online brand and fraud protection services that provide end-to-end detection and aggressive response to a growing list of corporate identity-based threats from misappropriation of trademark rights, to unauthourised online sales of gray market and counterfeit goods to phishing.

More than $34 billion worth of merchandise exchanges hands annually at online retail auction sites. While online retail and wholesale auctions have become major vehicles for the sale and distribution of legitimate products globally, they've also become a distribution channel for gray market sales and counterfeiters.

WWE associate counsel of intellectual property, Stacy Papachristos says, "The trademark offenses are flagrant. I frequently identify counterfeiters on eBay selling illegal copies of our programming, Home Video releases, and counterfeit clothing. I used to spend several hours each day searching eBay manually for offenses. With MarkMonitor's new auction monitoring capability, I'll receive a daily automated snapshot of suspicious auctions and suspect resellers. "

"Using one integrated workflow system, I can determine whether to send a cease and desist letter, to report the offense to eBay or, in the most egregious cases, request a suspension of the seller, and determine the necessity of further legal action," adds Papachristos.

MarkMonitor's Auction Monitoring gives corporations control of their brands and how their products, legitimate as well as counterfeit, are sold on online auction sites through a comprehensive corporate identity management solution that may also include domain management and fraud and brand
protection. The service scans auction sites, identifies and prioritises the abuses that are most costly or of greatest concern, and enables automated responses which allow for swift, meaningful action on violations.

MarkMonitor CEO Mark Shull says, "Online markets are growing rapidly, and unfortunately they are ideal for gray marketers and counterfeiters. It is no longer possible for companies to manually monitor fraudulent sales and brand abuse, much less take action and track results. MarkMonitor's Auction Monitoring and other Brand Protection systems automatically find, prioritise and present the most serious problems, and then automate and track shutdown, cease and desist letters and other actions in a central case management system".

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