A report by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on intellectual property was released at the end of February 2017. The report considered the emerging threats in the field of intellectual property (IP).
The APPG recognised that technology is continuing to increase the opportunities for infringement which is making enforcing IP rights more challenging for IP owners. The threats the APPG identified included stream ripping (where individual creates a permanent download of a song or video played on a streaming service) and substitute selling.
Substitute selling is the process by which individuals or companies advertise products under existing listings on online sales platforms such as Amazon or eBay. Instead however of supplying the branded product which is advertised in the listing, infringers supply an alternative, substitute branded product or generic unbranded product.
This results in a loss of sales for the brand owner and a loss of control over the brand, and is unlawful.
We have been working closely with the British Brands Group to bring this issue to the attention of brand owners and the government. It is encouraging that this problem (which is experienced by many of our brand owner clients) has been recognised by the APPG and we hope that this recognition will result in effective solutions at government level.
If substitute selling is a problem faced by your business please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss how we might be able to assist.