With the ever-increasing popularity of online apps, it’s no wonder that more businesses are moving into the mobile space to reach their customers. It’s estimated that by 2020, mobile apps will generate over $189 billion dollars in revenue. Not only are apps being used by consumers for shopping, but more brands are using apps to connect directly with their customers and cultivate loyalty.

Unfortunately, with the relative ease of app development, bad actors looking to capitalize on brand name recognition and consumer confusion are creating their own apps, tailoring them intentionally to draw in shoppers who would otherwise be looking for the legitimate app. They then take these copycat apps and upload them to app stores in the hopes that consumers will install them to their devices, exposing them to any number of issues including malware, phishing scams, theft of personal identification, and more.  

A recent report from McAfee revealed that apps are the number one source of malware for mobile devices. The possibility of trademark infringement in mobile apps combined with the threat of security risks and damage to professional reputation and company bottom line is a significant concern for brand holders. This is why a solid online brand protection plan should include monitoring the app stores for misuse of your IP.

Odds are, there are two names that instantly pop into your mind when someone talks about app stores; they are globally known as the largest distribution channels for apps. However, there are other smaller, third-party app stores.  Are you watching those? Do you know what they are and where to find them? Solid online brand protection means keeping an eye out for copycat apps no matter the app store.

While most app platforms employ some level of safeguards and protection, including security measures for malware and trademark verification, clever hackers are still able to slip in infringing and malicious apps. Making sure you’re keeping an eye on the smaller app stores is critical for brand protection.  

Keeping your IP safe

With new app stores launching seemingly every day, it can be hard to keep up. While most platforms are legitimate, it’s not guaranteed that they  have the same level of security and malware protection or copyright infringement prevention in place.

Of course, keeping an eye on all the app stores and watching for potentially infringing or malicious activities can be overwhelming and time consuming, but the alternative can be potentially devastating for a brand holder. Now, more than ever, companies must vigilantly monitor third party app stores for infringing content—to protect both the integrity and the security of their brands.

As the number of mobile apps created and downloaded continues to increase, app monitoring services have quickly become an essential tool in a company’s overall brand protection toolkit. At the end of the day, it is in the best interest of a brand holder to ensure that no unauthorized third-party apps use its trusted trademarks or brand names.

Concerned about how your IP is being used in the online space including app stores? Request a free digital risk analysis and see exactly where it’s being used and by whom.

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