Unauthorized use of logos and images and use of hidden and visible text top the list of online brand abuses, according to Alexandria, VA-based Cyveillance, whose technology protects brands against devaluation and loss of market share due to misuse.
Cyveillance said its top 10 list is the culmination of two years of research conducted by downloading and analyzing millions of Web pages.
Cyveillance ranked these abuses based on their frequency and prevalence on the Internet:
- Unauthorized use of logos and images
- Use of hidden and visible text
- Unauthorized use of a company’s name or product in metatags
- Software, music and video piracy
- Unauthorized distribution or sale of consumer goods
- Use of a company’s name on a competitor’s site
- Use of logos or images in a pornographic context
- Domain name abuse and parody sites
- Gripe sites and negative newsgroup postings
“Over the past two years, we have seen a growing proliferation of these types of brand abuses on the Internet,” said Cyveillance CEO and Chairman Brandy Thomas. “Site designers and owners have become more creative in luring consumers to their sites by using established household brand names in metatags or by capitalizing on competitors’ names by referencing them, framing or linking to them right in their sites. These methods cost companies billions of dollars in market share and brand value.”
According to the International Trademark Association (INTA), companies lose an average of 22 percent of sales due to trademark infringement and counterfeiting. The Internet will no doubt create a multiplier effect on this statistic, Cyveillance said.
“Corporations can prevent these types of brand abuses from severely impacting their bottom lines by taking decisive action now,” said Cyveillance President and COO Christopher Young. “There is simply no excuse for allowing these types of abuses to go unchecked. Corporations that do not take action now are going to be caught with their pants down.”
Cyveillance, founded in 1997, is a privately held company that uses proprietary technology to pinpoint and prioritize sites and postings on the Internet that have the greatest business impact for its clients. Cyveillance offers four core products that focus on helping customers identify and take action against infringements in the areas of e-commerce, copyrights and trademarks, pornography and online rumors.