I wasn’t surprised to see over the weekend some stories about trademark infringement in the Far East, and unofficial suppliers passing themselves off as major names. If you remember, last week I described Google’s new “Shopping For Suppliers” product, an article which I recommend that you read, if you haven’t already. Now, one of the features of the Google suppliers directory (because that’s what this looks like) will be a verification process that the website you’re going to is indeed the site of the authentic supplier. Google probably knows better than any other organisation the scale of “passing off” online, or even the scale of “lookee-likee” companies, as it tries to identify true brands through algorithmic methods. It can see an increasing problem that most people probably aren’t aware of, and understands it has a role (and a business opportunity) in fighting what is at best confusion, and at worst, fraud. “Shopping For Suppliers” will allow it to put some sort of manual verification in place. But it won’t do any harm, in terms of launching the service, if there’s greater awareness of the scale of the problems out there. Expect to see plenty more coverage in the press on this subject.