Wiggin scooped the Future of Legal Services Innovation award for its use of technology to tackle intellectual property (IP) infringement among websites selling counterfeit goods – a big problem for businesses trading in branded products.
Given that online counterfeiters typically operate across multiple platforms and languages, traditional methods of stopping them can be tricky: litigating in multiple jurisdictions is time consuming, expensive and often results in another operator simply taking its place, while monitoring and enforcement via sending out blanket notices does not discriminate between large commercial counterfeiters and smaller outfits.
Wiggin is seeking to resolve these problems by adopting a two-tiered approach to tackling IP infringement online. First, it has pioneered the use of court orders to force internet service providers to prevent users from accessing websites selling fake goods, side-stepping the need to track down individual operators.
And second, it has founded a technology company – Incopro – that helps identify commercial-scale counterfeiters by gathering and analysing online data, allowing the firm to prioritise what websites are most visible to consumers and therefore more urgent to block. Wiggin has already put this IP protection strategy into practice for Swiss luxury goods company Richemont. “Ticks so many of the future of law boxes,” one judge commented.
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