Zacco welcomes two Digital Brand experts to the team: Alexander Karlsson and Renaud Permezel - Zacco
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Zacco welcomes two Digital Brand experts to the team: Alexander Karlsson and Renaud Permezel

26 January 2023

Zacco is pleased to welcome Alexander Karlsson and Renaud Permezel to the Digital Brands team. Both hold distinguished careers within online brand protection (OBP), with Alexander joining from heading an in-house team within luxury goods and Renaud coming from one of Europe’s leading brand protection software providers.

Exceptional Careers in Online Brand Protection

Alexander moved into brand protection a few years ago following a successful career in business and economics. After working in profitability analysis in the finance sector, he moved into the luxury goods space, joining the international business development team, before transitioning into the in-house legal department where he quickly gained a reputation for developing their OBP strategy. As the company grew they invested heavily in technology, building a significant online presence and Alexander took responsibility for expanding and maintaining the OBP programme, which eventually incorporated their domain presence, social media and online marketplaces.

Renaud moved into OBP via from an intellectual property background, studying a Masters in IP Law before joining the EUIPO as a trademark examiner and then joining the private sector. This began as a trainee IP lawyer in Europe and Asia, then moving in-house as IP counsel before moving to an IP/data privacy advisor position. He finally settled into OBP as a client manager, where he led both strategic and operational discussions designed to identify and solve the unique business needs of multiple international clients.

For Alexander, working in luxury goods meant there was always a risk of imitation and fraud because the economic incentives were too high. This led to a dependency on tech to keep up with the growing number of online infringements because the speed at which these could be identified and removed was key to protecting their reputation online, which was fast becoming a major revenue stream. “As we developed the brand, we learned what a good OBP provider looked like, understanding the value they can add to an organisation as well as ensuring that we made it as difficult as possible for criminals to benefit financially from poor quality counterfeits or misleading brand association”.

Renaud, meanwhile, saw the emergent need to use technology within the field of trademarks from his early days at the EUIPO, identifying OBP as an area ripe for innovation given the means by which it could ease the workload of legal counsel. He knew the extent of the issues experienced by legitimate organisations and felt that going into the field to face them head on was a natural career progression, given the excitement and interest in what was happening in the industry. “Most people don’t set out to buy fake goods but they can be misled and may also be the victims of counterfeits. While a price difference can be appealing, but it hides the consequences of infringement, such as slave or child labour, potentially dangerous materials and supporting criminality, which few consumers would actively choose to support. At least with legitimate purchases there is transparency and you know where that money is going.”

What does it mean to be joining Zacco?

Both were impressed by the technical capability at Zacco, and the investment made in strengthening the Digital Brands offering, as this represents an opportunity to develop innovative solutions for those interested in protecting their brand reputation across digital channels. Both men know Zacco well from their previous careers and are keen to explore the possibilities presented by being able to provide a comprehensive range of IP-related legal and technical services, both online and off. They share a common interest in raising awareness of the threats that companies face, and both are motivated by the knowledge that they are helping organisations to safeguard their investments and ideas.

Alex notes that “There is much that can be accomplished by combining OBP with the more traditional protections offered by patents and trademarks. As the e-commerce market continues to expand, so too will infringements, and the needs of clients will evolve alongside that. Online means Global and Zacco’s international outlook and rich history of working with intellectual property means that they are perfectly placed to support and secure the innovation and reputation of our clients.” For Renaud, it was also important to acknowledge that he is “excited to develop the culture of innovative services available. The Digital Brands team at Zacco have always had a reputation in the market for being forward thinking and, with many clients in Europe still finding their way when it comes to OBP, there are many opportunities to help them to build in such protection as they grow. Zacco has the credibility in the IP space to make companies take us seriously when we talk about the need to enforce their rights online as well as via more traditional means.

What does the future of Online Brand Protection look like?

“We can see that many other companies are still trying to catch up when it comes to providing services aimed at protecting clients online presence. A good service is tech dependant, requiring investment in capable monitoring and takedown systems, as well as forethought into where the next threat could come from. Zacco has stepped ahead of many competitors in this space, and access to the patent and trademark expertise of colleagues, means that they have a holistic view of the threats that companies face as well as the most practical means to counteract them.”

“With so many platforms, both established and emerging, the needs of organisations are in constant flux. Add the metaverse, blockchain and NFTs into that mix and the constant technological disruption means that even established services can quickly become obsolete. There is never a one size fits all approach when it comes to Online Brand Protection, it all depends on organisational strategy and how they use their IP. That’s why the Zacco Digital Brand services will continue to invest in best practice.”

Welcome Alexander and Renaud, your skills and knowledge make an excellent contribution to the team, and to Zacco, and we look forward to you putting your considerable expertise to good use on behalf of our clients.

Get in touch!

If you would like to speak with Alexander or Renaud about the impact that a well thought through protection strategy can have on your existing and future brand reputation and potential revenue streams, then please reach out directly through the details below:

Alexander Karlsson
Digital Brand Consultant

Renaud Permezel
Digital Brand Consultant
+47 934 35 158

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