Anti-counterfeiting refers to strategies used by governments and businesses to prevent the replication of another company’s product with the intention to mislead the consumer. Acquiring copyrights, patents, design registration, and prosecution of those caught with fake goods are among the anti-counterfeiting measures in place today. However, businesses can complement government efforts by actively scraping search engines to determine where replicas of their products are sold.
Read on to learn how scraping SERP data with Google reverse image search API can boost your anti-counterfeiting efforts.
Why Anti-Counterfeiting Matters To Any Creator or Business
Counterfeiting is detrimental to businesses, creators, and governments.
A 2018 report by the Federal Research Division of the US Library of Congress cited counterfeiting as the leading global criminal enterprise. At that time, the total approximate value of domestic and international sales of fake and replicated goods was between $1.7 and $4.5 trillion a year. Sales figures from counterfeiting and pirating were higher than drugs or human trafficking.
Counterfeiting and piracy aren’t a problem in the US alone. Today, at least 3.3% of the goods traded globally are counterfeit. In 1996, about 50% of motion pictures, over 40% of business software, and 1⁄3 of music records sold were pirated. Other items that are prone to counterfeiting include clothes, footwear, spare parts, toys, cosmetics, and food.
Counterfeiting infringes copyrights and trademarks. It’s an illegal trade that benefits organised crime syndicates at the expense of governments, creators, and businesses. The illegal businesses steal revenue from reputable businesses and the government to feed criminal activities.
Counterfeits of essential goods such as food, medical supplies, toys, electrical equipment, and car parts pose serious health and safety risks. Those ailing will get ineffective or harmful prescription drugs. Poor electrical goods can cause fires and substandard spare parts will cost you more to repair your automobile.
Since counterfeits try to imitate the original item, they mislead consumers to purchase an item thinking it’s from a well-known brand. Unfortunately, fakes don’t match the quality and function of the original items. In serious instances, it’s possible for a company to suffer unnecessary lawsuits by disgruntled consumers. This can ruin a company’s reputation and affect its bottom line.
Fake goods in any market create imbalanced competition and can stifle a country’s economy. It’s hard for authentic producers to grow in an environment where there’s a high rate of counterfeiting and piracy. Those trading in fake and stolen goods tend to sell at throw-away prices. Unsuspecting consumers will be drawn to cheaper products since they seem to be the same. It becomes hard for producers of authentic goods to compete with fakes.
Besides, it is hard, even for government agencies, to point out fake goods. For instance, counterfeit spare parts are commonly traded in the grey market. Here, you’ll find a mix of goods, including recycled items, overruns, and stolen merchandise. It becomes hard to differentiate illegal and fake items from authentic and legal ones.
Google Reverse Image Search as An Anti-counterfeiting Measure
Now, to curb this malpractice, governments and businesses alike have come up with various anti-counterfeiting measures. Companies and individual creators should acquire copyright, patent, trademarks, and other licences for their creations. There are also other government policies that control the entrance of counterfeits in the markets. It’s also possible for businesses to minimise counterfeiting by educating employees and consumers on how to determine fake items.
Additionally, companies and creatives can supplement government efforts to curb counterfeits by keeping tabs on where their products are posted. A lot of goods are sold online today and counterfeits aren’t an exception. If you scrape SERP data for keywords that match your products, you’ll see different websites that list your products for sale. Analyse this information to detect any illegal posting of your items or work of art.
A good web scraping technique for tracking counterfeits could be reverse image search. It involves uploading an image of your product on Google’s search for images. Then, browse the results to spot an unauthorised reseller of your products. However, this is tedious since to get meaningful insights, you need to scroll through voluminous data.
The best news is that you can automate this process through a third-party Google Reverse Image Search API by SERPMaster. It enables you to automatically harvest huge volumes of data and retrieve results for a specified picture and details of the website where it’s posted. This way, you can tell as soon as your items are listed illegally. To learn more about how it works, visit SERPMaster here.
The data you collect with this tool will also come in handy when you wish to prosecute malefactors. It’s easy to gather images of clones and original products to create a strong portfolio that you can use in court to defend your case.
Just like any other crime, counterfeiting thrives in secrecy. But if you can detect the distribution of fake goods in time, you’re likely to prevent losses. Scrape data automatically with a robust Google Reverse Image Search API and stay abreast with where your goods are distributed online.