Online brand protection company, SnapDragon Monitoring, has received a Queen’s Award for Innovation, one of Britain’s most prestigious business accolades.

SnapDragon Monitoring is one of just eight in Scotland to receive the honour, which in 50 years has rarely been awarded to technology enterprises. The company was born out of its founder’s own experience of fighting fakes when her baby-product was counterfeited and her thriving business brought to near ruin.

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation recognises SnapDragon Monitoring’s success in giving companies, large and small, the tools and confidence needed to monitor and fight fakes on the world’s busiest online marketplaces and social media stores. Originally designed for SME’s but now used by major brands around the world.

Head Dragon, Rachel Jones comments:  “This is a hugely positive and exciting day for us all, particularly while everyone is in lockdown, and must be celebrated.

“My humble but heartfelt thanks go to our extraordinary team for working tirelessly with the ever fluid international marketplaces in the fight against fakes. Developing technology is no mean feat but the fact we now have something which empowers brands, of all shapes and sizes, to use intellectual property as their first line of defence online, which is fantastic. A special thanks is due to Shetland-based Barnaby Mercer whom has led much of the technical development.

“Recognition for innovation with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise will undoubtedly strengthen our position as a leading player in the online brand protection market – about which we are thrilled”

SnapDragon Monitoring’s ‘Swoop’ platform searches for copies and counterfeits of products and brands, so that they can be removed from sale. Doing so protects revenues, reputations and, most importantly, the end consumer. Swoop offers a much cheaper, quicker and more systematic monitoring process than traditional methods which have often been the domain of legal firms. Such improved efficiency means links which are identified as infringing can be removed in a little as four minutes.

Swoop is now used by businesses of all sizes across the globe to protect their IP online; from Australia, Canada and the USA to Israel and Europe. In the UK, clients include Queen’s Award 2019 Winners Glencairn Crystal and Cheeky Chompers, as well as  ITV, Harris Tweed, and Johnstons of Elgin and Orchard Toys.

Highlighting the seriousness of the problem, Head Dragon, Rachel Jones said: “Fake products contribute over 3.3% to world trade each year (Source: OECD, 2019) and it’s a problem which isn’t going away. Organisations that may have believed supply chains were under control need to look twice at the issue of parallel production, which is anything but ‘under control’.

“Child labour, unsafe materials and poor quality goods are commonplace with counterfeits, and it’s every brand’s responsibility to prevent these products, which pretend to be genuine, from getting into the hands of the customer. What brands may not realise is that sales made from counterfeits fund organised crime, such as trafficking. In identifying fakes online, and removing them from sale on the pertinent platforms, we prevent their visibility and subsequent purchase, export, import and distribution.”