- Wednesday, 09 May 2012 19:49
The ICC Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau (CIB) has launched a new service to shut down websites that clone those of its members.
On behalf of one member, the CIB has already successfully got two copycat websites closed down and is currently working with the relevant ISPs to close several others. The websites closed to date were being operated by Chinese sellers of the member’s products and used domain names that were close derivations of its official site. But, the products being sold on these sites were all counterfeit and were damaging its reputation.
A CIB spokesman commented: “The company’s own efforts to get the websites closed down were initially hampered by the fact that the host servers were located in the US, rather than China. However, once the CIB became involved and was able to determine exactly how the system worked, it was able to petition the ISP to close the sites.”
The new service primarily focuses on those cloned or copied websites that sell counterfeits and is available to CIB members as part of their membership subscription. A similar service is offered by the ICC Financial Investigation Bureau (FIB) to banking members whose websites have been cloned or copied as part of a fraud.
The internet is now the preferred way of bringing counterfeits to consumers, as it provides an ideal conduit to both attract customers and enable variations that trick consumers into thinking they are dealing with the genuine brand. Since it is almost impossible for brand owners to protect themselves 100% for any and all variations of their name, the criminals can continue to profit at their expense.
“When a member contacts us with the details of cloned or copycat websites it believes are selling counterfeits of its products, our first task is to verify this and to also search for others, as the same people often operate multiple sites,” the spokesman continued.
“We then conduct thorough research to track these sites back through their operators to the ISPs, and only when we are sure of all the facts do we write to the ISP on behalf of the member and request they be closed down. Faced with irrefutable proof of what’s going on from a reputable third party, most ISPs are happy to comply,” the spokesman added. “It’s not a foolproof system, but it works and represents good value for the member.”
For further information on CIB services and membership, please call +44 207 423 6960 or email firstname.lastname@example.org