The Harris Tweed Authority has appointed SnapDragon Monitoring to help protect the Harris Tweed trademarks, which include the iconic Orb, on the world’s busiest e-commerce marketplaces. The Edinburgh-based intellectual property defender will monitor e-commerce, social media and auction sites for misuse of the Orb brand and take action to help prevent online sales of counterfeit Harris Tweed products. The SnapDragon team was brought in on the recommendation of law firm Burness Paull, which manages the suthority’s legal affairs across the world.
The Orb is the oldest British certification mark in continuous use and may only be used on, or in relation to, genuine ‘Harris Tweed’ cloth or products. In recent years the Harris Tweed Authority, the legal guardian of Harris Tweed and the Orb mark, has taken action against the misuse of the Orb, including forgery of the recognisable Harris Tweed labels which were sold for use on products that had no connection to genuine Harris Tweed. The Harris Tweed Orb guarantees the highest quality tweed, dyed, spun and hand-woven by islanders of the Outer Hebrides in their homes, according to laws outlined in the Harris Tweed Act of Parliament.
Lorna MacAulay, chief executive of the Harris Tweed Authority, says: “It has taken generations to build the Harris Tweed brand into the popular global phenomenom we see today. It is our job to guard against unauthorised use of the brand and we take that role very seriously. SnapDragon Monitoring will help us to continue to do that effectively in the digital world and protect our reputation in the eyes of businesses who invest in Harris Tweed and the customers who buy their products.”
SnapDragon Monitoring helps small and medium-sized enterprises to protect their intellectual property and tackle online sales of counterfeit goods. The business was founded by Rachel Jones, prompted by her first hand experience of fighting and beating counterfeiting while running a business selling baby products. “Brands work hard to build trust but counterfeiting can easily destroy it,” said Jones. “The Harris Tweed Orb is one of the most recognisable trademarks in fashion, which makes it a target for fakes. Our team of experts will work to eliminate the sale of Harris Tweed counterfeits online and protect its reputation for the future.”
SnapDragon Monitoring works closely with world-leading ecommerce platforms including Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba to remove counterfeit products from sale. It counts Edinburgh-based Morphsuits, Cheeky Chompers and Glencairn Crystal among its clients. The rise in counterfeiting and other online intellectual property (IP) infringement is one of the biggest challenges facing businesses today. In 2016 alone SnapDragon Monitoring prevented the sale of $10bn worth of counterfeit products.