Counterfeiting accounts for around ½ a trillion dollars/year, or 2.5 percent of all global imports, according to 2016 figures. It is an epidemic that few companies are immune to, including SMEs. And unfortunately it’s a growing issue. Alexis Ovenstone, Head of Marketing at Snapdragon IP, tells us how the Edinburgh-based company fights fakes online.
Rachel Jones’ (the CEO and Founder of SnapDragon) first entrepreneurial endeavour was a “washable, squashable” travel high chair called Totseat, but after some early success she noticed it was being counterfeited and wanted to take action to protect her intellectual property (IP), the integrity of her product, but most importantly protect the safety of her customers. However this brought with it an enormous administrative burden which was impacting the time she could spend running her business. She approached some large organisations but as hers was a small company they were not interested in offering the level of assistance she required.
Undeterred, Rachel continued to fight the counterfeiters on her own, and soon started to help other SMEs facing the same issue. This led to the realisation that there were no organisations out there who helped SMEs fight counterfeiters. Partnering up with a software developer, they put together a system which could take away the manual process of fighting counterfeits. They have since disrupted the market offering services to a segment that was not being served.
SnapDragon has been built on a passion and commitment to helping SMEs. The software uses tools such as image recognition and AI to spot counterfeits. The team not only try to stop infringements but they also try to use their supply chain knowledge to recommend preventative measures.
The heart of the mission
Safety is something that is of paramount importance to the team at SnapDragon. Alexis says, “There is a real ethical feel to what we do. Not only does infringement have a big impact on revenues but it can be a massive safety risk as well as funding criminal gangs. If a counterfeit uses a cheaper material or doesn’t follow the correct safety procedures then this could have serious repercussions.”
The fight continues
The ethical desire and affordable technology combine to make SnapDragon a true disruptor in the IP-protection and counterfeit market. In 2018 SnapDragon was listed as number 55 in the Disrupt 100 list, an annual index celebrating the businesses with the most potential to influence change or create new global markets. This is an impressive achievement for a young business committed to its pledge to reduce the number of counterfeits and IP infringements in the market.
To find out more about SnapDragon and their solution visit – https://snapdragon-ip.com.
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