Success Story: Protect Your Brand From Getting Burned By IP Infringements

Success Stories | May 24, 2022

The Client: 

The client is a well-known sun care brand. Products include sunscreen, hair care, skin care, lip care, and related items, with prices ranging from $3.49 to $200. Our focus for this program was to remove third-party listings on Walmart.com that violated marketplace guidelines and utilized stolen Intellectual Property, such as the brand’s copyrighted images.

The Situation: 

The client was plagued with unauthorized third-party sellers on the marketplace and needed POTOO’s help to identify, contact and report these sellers to remove unapproved listings, especially those capitalizing on the brand’s copyrighted product images. The goal of the initiative was to decrease violations in the marketplace by 75% in one year.

What are Intellectual Property Infringements?

According to the International Trade Administration, intellectual property is defined as “creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works; and symbols, images, names and logos used in commerce.” A brand’s intellectual property should always be highly protected in the marketplace. 

Walmart’s Brand Protection Portal

The Walmart Brand Portal is an online resource offered in the United States built to “enable rights owners to better manage and protect their intellectual property rights,” which creates a more trustworthy platform for customers. Registering for the portal is a simple, straightforward process that provides brands with a direct communication line to assist with protecting their brand’s identity. The portal has revolutionized the way brands manage and protect their product listings from IP violations and infringements. Manage all of your brands in one location, submit and track claims, and receive updated reporting. IP theft is becoming increasingly common, so it is more important than ever to monitor and submit patent, counterfeit, copyright, and trademark claims that protect your brand.

Action

Walmart is the world’s largest retailer by revenue. It is not uncommon for third-party sellers to co-list their inventory on Walmart and other selling platforms. POTOO’s Walmart services closely mimic that of the POTOO Amazon service. POTOO can help combat unauthorized third-party sellers and their bad behaviors.

​​Over the last several years, POTOO has identified (and continues to identify) third-party sellers across several of the largest online marketplaces. This allows POTOO to communicate with sellers and obtain additional information beneficial to our clients. The Walmart service will include a dashboard build-out where the client’s products will be tracked and monitored. Brands will gain insight into who is selling their products and at what price each day. 

Additionally, POTOO’s Account Management team is trained in identifying Intellectual Property infringements and will report accordingly.

POTOO can take action on the below IP Infringements on Walmart:

  •  • Copyright (original works, i.e., images and text)
  •  • Trademark (a registered symbol, word, or words)
  •  • Counterfeit (fraudulent imitation of products)
  •  • Patent (authority or license to a design/invention

The POTOO team conducted extensive weekly scraping of the marketplace to identify listings utilizing copyrighted images. The initial scraping resulted in 10 pages of listings, with the majority using the client’s stolen Intellectual Property. Each listing in violation of the client’s IP was immediately reported by their assigned Account Manager to Walmart’s Online Brand Portal. Progression of claims were monitored, tracked, and communicated with the client.

Results

Over 12 months, POTOO identified and removed a total of 139 violations. The program initiative proved successful, with 95% of unapproved listings removed. The brand’s current health on the marketplace is a drastic improvement from when the program began, with only one page of compliant product listings appearing on the marketplace today. POTOO continues to regularly monitor and protect this client’s brands from IP infringements and damaging third-party resellers on Walmart.com.

We would be happy to support your team with monitoring authorized and unauthorized seller activity on the marketplace, including reporting IP violations. Reach out to our team today to learn more about how POTOO can strengthen your efforts.

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