Tuesday May 09, 2023

Navigating the Processes of Knockoff Takedowns with NightCap’s Michael Benarde

In this episode, Branddy speaks to Michael Benarde, Co-Founder & President at NightCap, a maker of drink spiking prevention products. During the episode, they talk about the creation of NightCap, their deal on Shark Tank, and the appearance of knockoff products shortly afterwards. They also discuss the ways small businesses can keep themselves protected, the financial challenges small businesses face in fighting counterfeiters across online marketplace platforms, and the different resources, programs, and organizations that can help.

Topics discussed:

  • ​​How Michael started NightCap with his sister, how they evolved the product, brought it to market, and went on Shark Tank to receive the fastest deal in the show's history.
  • The challenges NightCap faces in trying to take down knockoffs of their product — 3,000 of them so far — and the game of whack-a-mole that they play across online marketplaces.
  • Which platforms are the most difficult to get knockoffs removed from, and how organizations like the IACC have helped NightCap to do so successfully.
  • Michael's experience with using Amazon's Neutral Patent Evaluation Program that evaluates infringement through a third-party law firm.
  • Advice for small businesses on how to go about protecting their IP, including using software to scan the internet, making sure to have IP protections in place, and looking to organizations like the IACC to help.
  • How fighting IP infringement is a financial challenge for small businesses, and why sometimes it's too costly to take action on certain platforms. 

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