MarkMonitor, Steele Foundation Ink Pact

MarkMonitor and The Steele Foundation have formed an alliance to provide businesses with a comprehensive solution to the surge of costly crime

San Francisco -- MarkMonitorR, the global leader in enterprise brand protection, and The Steele Foundation(TM), a longtime provider of global investigative and risk management solutions, have formed a strategic alliance to provide businesses with a comprehensive solution to the surge of costly counterfeit, piracy and gray-market crime. By spanning both the virtual and physical marketplaces, this unique solution gives businesses a seamless set of tools to prevent, identify and combat threats to brand integrity both online and on the ground in countries around the world.

"Companies of all sizes are experiencing an increase of counterfeits in online auctions and gray-market diversions, which conspires to undermine channel distribution strategies, as well as consumer trust and safety," said Irfan Salim, chief executive officer at MarkMonitor. "By joining service offerings, MarkMonitor and The Steele Foundation provide the means to identify illegal sales, validate the legitimacy of products sold online and the capability to launch international physical investigation teams to track and take down illegal product distribution activities associated with this type of brandjacking."

By joining forces, MarkMonitor and Steele enable businesses to pinpoint the sources of Internet-based counterfeit and gray-market crime as well as the ability to track and redress these ongoing problems at the source. Services offered jointly by Steele and MarkMonitor include the Mark Monitor Online Channel Protection(TM) solution, which tracks and flags suspicious online activity, and The Steele Foundation's Global Rapid Response(TM) operations centers, which monitor all flagged online activity around the clock and deploy locally based field investigators with specialized forensic and intelligence capabilities. Together, this alliance allows for an end-to-end solution providing businesses the ability to create an integrated plan to track down and combat counterfeiting, unauthorized distribution, out-of-compliance distributors and product diversion at every point of the market lifecycle. MarkMonitor and Steele further offer services and data in support of criminal enforcement and litigation.

"When it comes to fighting brand fraud, criminal enforcement has much greater long-term impacts compared to administrative enforcement, which usually leads only to seizure of fake products and payment of modest fines," said Kenneth Kurtz, chief executive officer at The Steele Foundation. "What we are offering with the combination of MarkMonitor and The Steele Foundation is a way for business leaders to protect consumer interests and safety by taking back control of their brands. Without a comprehensive solution heavy on data, forensics and enforcement, the task is much more difficult."