It’s happened! The dreaded moment when you see your brand being used illegally online. Whether this is the first time this has happened to you or maybe yet another incident, it is still inconvenient to deal with these abuses.

You may be dealing with trademark infringement, or someone is selling a very similar product online. It could be as obvious as a copy cat product or, more subtle like using a small component of your brand – such as a color, a jingle or a certain look. In any case, here are the 4 things you SHOULDN’T do, in a case like this:

1. Get angry

Ok, you’re allowed to get angry. But don’t let feeling upset with the situation dictate your next move. Acting out of anger is probably one of the worst things you could do in a situation like this.

Legal action requires clear thinking and taking the appropriate steps towards the desired outcome. Losing your temper could affect your ability to see things clearly and you may do something you will regret later.

2. Get even

This is big. If you have seen a competitor abuse your brand and you feel like your intellectual property was violated, this does not give you the right to try to inflict the same level of harm or to defame their brand and products.

One may feel right to want to take matters into their own hands and leave negative reviews and bad comments on a competitors site. But this does not undo the harm that was done to you and could even lead to legal action against yourself. Not smart.

3. Get down

If you ignore it, that doesn’t mean it will go away. If you do not take any kind of action, history can keep repeating until it has caused too much damage to your brand. Initiating the removal process early enough could deter the abuser or others like him to carry on.

4. Get going

On the other hand, acting out before considering all the facts is wrong as well. Perhaps, on first glance this seems like an infringement of your brand, however, when you consider the facts, you may notice that, in fact, you may not have a case. If you start the correspondence process, this may be a waste of your time. Analyze the facts first.

As a final word, being a victim of brand infringement is not easy to deal with in any case, but if you lose your temper or seek revenge, this can be used against you in the long term. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away and could make it worse but also acting out without getting your facts right could go against you.

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