...we are fully aware that this is a global problem and we urge that all retailers – both small and large – do what they can to fight back against these counterfeiters. We can’t let them win.
(PRWEB) February 26, 2018
Swagmat, a US supplier of silicone rings has announced their recent success in registering the ‘Swagmat’ trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
However, it hasn’t been an easy journey for the niche jewelry firm. Those behind Swagmat know as well as anyone how having a trusted trademark will play a vital role in combatting illegal counterfeiting.
Starting out life as a relatively small start-up firm, Swagmat began trading their products on a number of channels, including retail giant Amazon.com. Although Amazon had always proved to be one of their best sales outlets, Swagmat had seen sales figures drop and after a thorough investigation found a tide of counterfeit Swagmat-labelled products had entered the marketplace and were slowly starting to take away custom.
Knowing that unauthentic products in the marketplace would have a highly negative impact on the company’s reputation, Swagmat sought to have these illegal sellers removed from Amazon.com; however, this was only the beginning of a long-running battle with the counterfeiters.
One of the counterfeiters, a Chinese firm based in Shenzhen, had also attempted to register the name Swagmat with USPTO, therefore halting any progress that the silicone ring company could make with their genuine proposition.
“After losing business to the counterfeiters, having another setback like this was utterly heart-breaking,” said Peter Wilcox, CEO of Swagmat Ltd. “I’d put my heart and soul into this venture and worked continuously to bring the company up to the point of trademarking and then to find that an illegal counterfeiter was trying to undermine us with cheap imitations of our genuine product was absolutely devastating and was a threat to our whole business.”
Wilcox attempted on numerous occasions to have the fraudulent sellers removed from Amazon.com, but with the on-going trademark war, it was becoming an increasingly frustrating battle with the giant retailer. However, following an eleventh-hour reprieve, Swagmat were eventually able to cross the final hurdle.
In order for the USPTO to successfully license a company trademark, proof is required that the brand has previously been used in a commercial context. At the very last minute, the Chinese counterfeiter submitted their evidence, but thanks to a poorly executed copy of the Swagmat brand on a ring box and continuous opposition from Swagmat themselves, their claim on the name was considered to be fraudulent, allowing the original company to move forward with their own application.
Following the successful trademark registration, Amazon.com was swift to rectify the situation with the counterfeiters, removing all illegal sellers of the Swagmat-branded silicone wedding ring within 48 hours.
Wilcox added “The sense of relief to have our brand formally recognized was overwhelming, however, it was a tough experience to go through, not only for us but for our customers too, who have been facing sub-standard products and customer service from these illegal sellers. Having experienced it first-hand ourselves, we are fully aware that this is a global problem and we urge that all retailers – both small and large – do what they can to fight back against these counterfeiters. We can’t let them win.”
Swagmat, now concentrating on putting the episode behind them, continue to expand their business with an aim to increase their product range and take their silicone rings to a more global market.