The major app stores are home to over 4 million apps, and growing by the hour. A number of apps in these stores are copycat apps—apps that mimic the look and feel of a legitimate app or brand. These unauthorized, third-party apps can damage a company’s brand equity in a number of ways.
Copycat apps make it more difficult for consumers to find the legitimately branded apps. Consumer confusion can adversely impact legitimate sales and brand reputation. Consumers may also fall prey to nefarious app publishers who are seeking personal information that can be derived through copycat apps and the unsuspecting users who install them. Bad actors can exploit this information for their own personal gain by sending phishing emails under the company name, further damaging the company’s reputation and brand equity.
The Business Challenge:
The brand manager of a well-known financial company discovered that many apps had been developed and published that clearly infringed the company’s intellectual property. The company markets its financial products under nationally recognized brand names, and many third-party apps were using the same names and logos. The company uses mobile apps to disseminate general information as well as to promote its newest products and offers. The brand manager turned to AppDetex to help identify unauthorized apps and pursue enforcement and takedown action on the offending publishers.
The AppDetex Solution:
- AppDetex has an unparalleled database of global apps indexed from the major and third-party app stores, consistently updated to include the newest, most relevant data. Using AppDetex’s basic and more advanced search capabilities, the brand manager was able to quickly identify unauthorized uses of the company’s brand assets. The brand manager also relied on AppDetex’s Managed Services group to perform forensic analysis within the app itself.
- The brand manager entered the identified third-party apps into AppDetex’s proprietary case management system. Using the AppDetex Enforcement Portal, the brand manager sent cease-and-desist letters and app store complaints to initiate the takedown of all identified offending apps.
- The Enforcement Portal seamlessly tracked each communication, logging and storing the data in the AppDetex case management system for future use. The brand manager was able to monitor the progress of all app enforcement actions through notifications and by accessing real-time information in the case management dashboard.
- The brand manager also created BrandTrack® reports for the company’s best known brands, which provided automated daily communications about any new use of the brand in the online app stores. This allowed the brand manager to uncover and address new brand infringement issues before they created costly problems for the company or consumers.