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Vibram take the fight to online counterfeiters

VIBRAM are taking the fight to online counterfeiters who are ‘duping’ unsuspecting customers.

The Italian sole manufacturer and inventor of the Vibram FiveFingers shoes, designed to give wearers the feeling of minimalism with the protection and performance of a Vibram sole, has enlisted the help of online brand protection expert, MarkMonitor, to tackle the growing number of counterfeit products online.
 
To help combat these issues, Vibram  launched an online brand protection partnership with MarkMonitor in November 2015 and conducted an extensive scan of more than 60 online marketplaces. 

Vibram continued working closely with MarkMonitor and developed a brand protection strategy to tackle its counterfeiting problem.

In just over seven months it removed more than 1,900 different listings from online marketplaces, selling 416,000 infringing items worth an estimated 17 million Euros ($19 million). 

MarkMonitor has also enforced against counterfeit goods on 353 websites and resolved issues on 198 infringing sites.
 
Mike Wiltshire, of Primal Lifestyle, official UK distributor for Vibram FiveFingers, said: “Our barefooting concept will continue to evolve and we want to do everything in our power to ensure that those consumers seeking genuine products are not duped by counterfeiters.

“Many of the counterfeit products are distributed via online marketplaces, or on illegitimate websites using stolen imagery and text, and can look very similar to our genuine website and products.
 
“Many unsuspecting customers don’t realise they have been deceived until they receive the poor quality product and sometimes they receive no product at all.

“We are working diligently to take action against online counterfeiters and we are really impressed with the initial successes achieved by MarkMonitor.

“Tackling the problem of counterfeiting and brand infringement is an ongoing challenge and it would be nigh impossible without the right expertise and technology in place.”
 
Vibram was established in the 1930s by Italian climber Vitale Bramani who sought to introduce rubber-soled shoes for the sport, following a tragic accident caused by leather-soled shoes.

Seven decades later the company designed the Vibram FiveFingers shoes that take inspiration from the human feet (minimalism and five-toes shapes) with the protection and performance of a Vibram sole, a product well regarded in the market.

The brand now offers a variety of the unique designs to cover a range of activities — from fitness training and yoga, to running, trekking and sailing.
 
Jerome Sicard, MarkMonitor regional manager for southern Europe, said: “The issue of counterfeiting online is affecting brands across the globe and having a robust and effective brand protection strategy has become an inevitable requirement for all organisations conducting their business on the Internet.

“Counterfeiters are continually refining their methods and processes in an attempt to deceive consumers, and with the sheer volume of marketplace listings and methods of infringement, seeking external help and an advanced technological solution is the quickest and most effective approach. 
 
“We are still in the early stages of the campaign with Vibram.

“However,  the initial results are very promising and we will continue to work closely to protect the brand and its customers and take robust action where appropriate.”

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