MAC cosmetics has sued Target for selling (allegedly) fake MAC make up. David Jones and Myer are the only authorised retailers for MAC products in Australia. Target sourced the MAC branded products from a US company that it’s now pursuing in US courts.

Last week Target tried to settle the case. It has agreed to stop selling the products and pay MAC some damages. MAC wants Target to go one step further and admit that the products are fake.

It’s a tough case.

MAC is no doubt miffed that it had products sold in an unauthorised retailer like Target. To make matters worse it says that the products Target sold weren’t up to scratch.

For its part Target’s a big brand and wouldn’t want to admit that it’s done anything dodgy. It needs to pass any blame back to the US supplier.

Here are the top 5 things you need to know about brand protection.

  1. Trade mark registration is key to brand protection. If you haven’t registered your trade mark, do it now.
  2. Exclusive distribution and reseller agreements may not be sufficient to stop others selling your products in a region.
  3. Parallel imports can be legal. To stop them you have to get your IP arrangements just right.
  4. Counterfeits are never legal. Prove that the products were illegally manufactured and you will be on strong ground.
  5. When sourcing branded products, always get a warranty from the supplier that the products are legit and back it up with an indemnity for any IP infringement claims.