The growth of the Internet has made it easier than ever for businesses to sell to larger numbers of customers, with users having access from anywhere they can connect online. However, it has also made it more difficult for businesses to protect their intellectual property.
Bonnington Plastics, the company behind the Kingfisher brand, has encountered this problem, with companies wrongly advertising their own products under the Kingfisher brand, which was losing Bonnington Plastics up to £1million worth of business every year.
This is where Williams Commerce came in. Ian Fisher, Bonnington Plastics' managing director, asked Williams Commerce to develop a piece of software that would identify and track which companies were wrongly selling products under the Kingfisher brand on Amazon and Ebay that were not customers of Bonnington Plastics.
Rob Williams, managing director of Williams Commerce, said: "Ian came to us two years ago and told us about the problems he was having with companies advertising their own goods online under Kingfisher listings and asked if we could develop some software to monitor the listings. It was a complex piece of software to develop and we've had to adapt it as Bonnington has refined its IP enforcement process but the version we have now is fantastic. Bonnington has used it to identify more than 50 companies suspected of selling their own branded stuff under Kingfisher listings and we've had a lot of interest from other companies who are facing the same problem".
With the software from Williams Commerce finding more than 50 offending companies, Bonnington Plastic's lawyers, Pannone Corporate, were able to issue a High Court claim, receiving out of court settlements around £100,000, suggesting that their mission to tackle online intellectual property infringement is succeeding.
Keen to help other businesses fight the same problem, Bonnington Plastics will be hosting a seminar delivered by Pannone Corporate, and will showcase the software developed by Williams Commerce to businesses, while also give attendees the opportunity to discuss their own experiences of online IP infringement with Lawyers who have pioneered the approach to tackling this threat to internet retail offering advice.