Spirits Industry

Brand infringers wear an elusive mask in today’s marketplace. With access to more sophisticated tools and resources both online and offline, they pose a very significant threat to rights owners. Naturally, many companies and even those with their own in–house legal counsel, find it overwhelming to monitor and protect their brand across a multitude of online and offline channels. A leading producer and marketer of wines and spirits whose portfolio boasts of a number of world-renowned brands found itself in such a position when it required investigative services to give insight into the type and density of infringements impacting their brands.

SIPI boasts a team with the investigative prowess to discover key areas of vulnerability. Thus, when this multi-billion dollar conglomerate approached SIPI, it was a natural fit. The client requested information regarding their brands’ position on
e-commerce platforms as well as social media outlets on both global and local sites.

SIPI discovered that many sellers were misusing the brands’ trademarks and riding on the brands’ customer goodwill to sell their own products in unrelated categories from clothing to perfumes to even phone cases. In fact, for one of the large spirits brands owned by the client, SIPI found that refilled bottles accounted for approximately 50% of the type of infringements.

SIPI took down over 90% of infringing e-commerce and social media sites in 15 days. The sites that did not comply were sent legal letters instructing them to shutdown or face legal consequences. The Alibaba group, the Chinese e-commerce giant, proved to be the one marketplace rampant with unauthorized sellers of the clients’ products. CEO, Bharat Dube underlined “Herein lies SIPI’s real competitive advantage. We hold a double headed spear in terms of our investigative prowess online and extensive enforcement ability offline in East Asia.”  Thus with a deep understanding of the Asian online marketplace as well as contacts with local legal counsel, SIPI tackled this challenge head-on and achieved a 100% compliance rate with AliExpress in a matter of weeks.