Should be Your Brand Protection Expert?

Richard Rytman
Director, Global Security

They have to be so much more than someone who reacts to an issue once identified. The expert has to be someone who understands that brand protection is not one-dimensional. It is multi-faceted and must be approached with a holistic view. This expert will also understand the importance of establishing relationships (legal, business units, etc.) to build a truly effective team that will work together to develop a strategic program that is both proactive and dynamic. I would rather have an inexperienced professional who understands the above than an experienced one who views BP from within a silo.

Sasha Lazarevich
Deputy City Attorney
Intellectual Property
Prosecution Section
Criminal Litigiation Section
Office of the Los Angelos CIty Attorney

Your brand protection expert should be passionate about intellectual property as a fundamental, constitutional right. They should be knowledgeable about both criminal and civil remedies when engaging in enforcement, and understand the harms that result to the brand owner, as well as consumers, when IP rights are violated. They should have expertise in regards to your particular product and industry – especially aspects of the trade that make your brand vulnerable to violations. Perhaps what is most essential, is that your brand protection expert stay on top of emerging trends. This is especially true of the way in which e-commerce and cybercrime have exponentially increased the proliferation of IP violations and the availability of counterfeit goods in the global marketplace. 

William Mansfield
Director of
Intellectual Property
ABRO Industries, Inc.

ABRO faces many counterfeits in foreign countries, so I hire a large number of foreign practitioners (both attorneys and investigators) in those countries.

When I consider who to use, I always look for specific – as opposed to general – knowledge. I sit down with them and ask “what can we do to respond to counterfeits in your jurisdiction?” If they answer by telling me a long list of all the possible things that might be done (at least on paper), then I do not hire them. Almost all nations have the same list of theoretical actions a brand owner can take (civil litigation, administrative remedies, criminal action, Customs, etc.). But, inevitably and for various reasons, only one or two actions actually get results. I hire the practitioner who can immediately tell me which actions those are and why they work. 

I’m looking for specific, practical, actionable knowledge.

Kristina Montanaro Schrader
Team Leader
Adams and Reese

Look for someone with a sizeable network of contacts at e-commerce sites, social media platforms, online intermediaries, law enforcement agencies, and other brands. The brand protection community can be relatively insular and difficult for outsiders to navigate. Oftentimes, the solution to an enforcement problem is as simple as knowing the right person to call. A good expert can leverage his or her network to achieve results and deliver a bigger return on investment.