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MarkMonitor Unveils Online Channel Protection Service to Combat Global Counterfeit and Gray Market Sales

October 5, 2006; 01:01 AM

IACC Fall 2006 Conference - With online counterfeit and gray market sales estimated at more than $50 billion annually, MarkMonitor(R), the leader in online corporate identity protection, announced its new Online Channel Protection service to help companies prevent revenue loss, minimize brand erosion and preserve customer and channel relationships due to unauthorized selling of branded goods online. The service will be unveiled tonight at the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) Fall 2006 conference, and demonstrated from October 4-6 in MarkMonitor's booth.

"The pervasiveness and anonymity of the Internet unfortunately make it a truly effective channel for counterfeit and gray market sales, which have grown to epidemic proportions over the last few years, affecting nearly every geography and industry," said Nils Montan, president of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition. "Fortunately, new technological advances make it easier for organizations to get a handle on the issue by allowing them to scour the Internet for offenders and take definitive action to staunch the flow of illicit sales online."

MarkMonitor's Online Channel Protection solution takes a holistic, end-to- end, lifecycle approach to protecting the online channel -- from preventing fraudulent domain use, to detecting illicit sales and brand abuse, to providing a swift, automated enforcement mechanism. Its proven technology monitors global auction sites, B2B exchanges, e-commerce and pay-per-click sites, and millions of e-mail solicitations daily looking for suspected counterfeit or gray market activity. When discovered, MarkMonitor helps companies take definitive action to protect their intellectual property, including removing auction listings, sending "cease and desist" letters, compiling electronic evidence for further legal action, and other tactics.

"Corporations spend millions of dollars every year building their brands and creating markets online, but it only takes fraudsters a few hours -- and even fewer dollars - to undermine a company's established brand equity, sales channels and customer goodwill by selling counterfeit or gray market goods online," said Chris Bounds, CEO of MarkMonitor. "The Internet has become the world's street corner for counterfeit and gray market goods, but our new Online Channel Protection service gives organizations the means to preserve the integrity and equity of their brands, protect their revenue streams and restore consumer faith in the online channel."

"As the owner of some of the world's most respected golf brands, we recognize that our customers expect the consistent performance and quality of authentic equipment. Counterfeit sales of inferior products not only impact our revenue, they also do irreparable harm to our brands and short change the consumer," said Joseph Nauman, Executive Vice President, Corporate & Legal, at Acushnet Company. "MarkMonitor understands that our brands are among our most valuable assets, and its new Online Channel Protection service enables us to more aggressively pursue those who seek to illegally profit from or compromise the integrity of our brands." Acushnet Company is an operating company of Fortune Brands comprised of major golf brands Titleist, FootJoy, Cobra and Pinnacle.

MarkMonitor's holistic approach to Online Channel Protection encompasses three critical components for effectively protecting brands, revenue streams and customer relationships online including:

* Securing the Online Channel -- Ensures that companies own the online channel for key brands through top-level and country-specific domain registration. Also continuously monitors new domain registrations that may infringe upon a company's brands and divert traffic to sites selling counterfeit or gray market goods.

* Detecting Online Channel Infringements -- Monitors the Web and email channels to identify all instances of counterfeit or gray market sales, and prioritizes the worst offenders to create an actionable enforcement strategy. Can also investigate authorized resellers to identify potential policy or compliance violations.

* Protecting Revenue and Customers -- Streamlines and automates the process for responding to infringements and tracking outcomes, including sending bulk delisting requests to auction and B2B exchanges, automating "cease and desist" letters, and caching auction listings, Web pages and other data for evidentiary purposes.

MarkMonitor's Online Channel Protection service also features comprehensive case management, workflow and reporting capabilities, and is available as a self-serve enterprise application or as a managed service.

To better help organizations understand the issues surrounding online
counterfeit and gray market sales, MarkMonitor also published a free white
paper titled, "Gaining Control of the Vast Unknown: A New Solution to
Curtail Online Distribution of Counterfeit and Gray Market Goods." The
paper is available for download at

MarkMonitor will unveil its Online Channel Protection solution this
evening at the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC) Fall 2006
conference, and the service will be demonstrated at the conference from
October 4-6 in MarkMonitor's booth.

MarkMonitor is the global leader in delivering comprehensive online corporate identity protection services, Making the Internet Safe for Business(TM). MarkMonitor's real-time detection, investigation and response solutions are enabled by a comprehensive brand and fraud intelligence network that monitors for inappropriate or fraudulent use of a corporate name or identity anywhere in the Internet, including web sites, search engines, major email systems, domain name systems, registries, message boards, and auctions.

Mary Roach, MarkMonitor,
[email protected], 415-278-8470
Eric Sokolsky, Weber Shandwick for MarkMonitor
[email protected], 212-445-8081

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