How to Protect Yourself Against Counterfeiting
How to Protect Yourself from Counterfeiting. "Small Business Owner" road sign.

How to Protect Yourself Against Counterfeiting

If you own a business in the cannabis industry, you should know how to protect yourself against counterfeiting. In the marijuana industry as with other industries, a company is hurt when they have to constantly fight against counterfeiting. It can severely hurt their bottom line and profitability and weakens their intellectual property value. Counterfeiting exposes the company to risking their reputation and litigating product liability. Business owners should take immediate action against those who chose to take this route.

Counterfeiting, which is estimated to siphon $1.82 trillion across all industries in 2020, is an intentional way to reproduce the genuine brand or product created by another company. In so doing, you mislead the consumer so that they believe that their purchase is an original product. This is common across industries, and you see it with handbags, shoes, movies, software and countless other things. 

The Original Brand

In the cannabis industry, if you were to manufacture and produce a certain brand of vaporizer and it is made in such a way as to function in a specific way, and has specific features that makes it look and work differently, this product is unique to your company and no other. But, what if someone should try to copy what you have created? It would be a serious violation of your property. However, for you, the brand would be of a higher quality than the imitation and so some people might be able to detect it.

The Logo

 It is important to have a snazzy company logo on the product to separate yourself from the fake one. If your product is receiving a high volume of sales, this is when it attracts counterfeiters so they can make money with your unique invention. For someone who is looking for something cheaper, they might get caught with the fake brand, but if your logo is not present, it is easier to detect that this is not the original.

It is best that you also hire an attorney before going into business (here are some other ‘before you go into business' tips) in the cannabis industry because if your product idea is being confiscated by others and it hurts the consumers, you can get sued for it, even though, the product is not yours. An attorney would be able to represent you well and prove that the logo was not on the counterfeit product. 

Intellectual Property Rights

Once you develop a product, it is best to protect it with the intellectual property rights. This might come in the form of trade secrets, patents, copyright protections and trademarks. These would be some of the first line of defense against counterfeiting. When you don’t secure the right intellectual property rights, you won’t be able to defend your products and brand appropriately. Always watch for the counterfeiter because you don’t want them to be one step ahead of you. And when you spot them, it is best to take action decisively and quickly; sending out a cease and desist letter immediately. If that does not work, then you will ask your attorney to start litigation right away. There is no room for procrastination in this case. 

Final Summary

It's vital that you protect yourself from counterfeiting. Be sure that you inform consumers of this counterfeiting issue so that they can be aware of it. Other things you can do include creating holograms into the packaging and code your product and include genetic markers as a product tracing solution. In any event, as a cannabis business owner, you should secure a reputable industry attorney to work on your behalf.

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