I was introduced by a colleague to a company named Genuone, which specializes in brand protection technology. They ran a demo for me of something I hadn’t seen before. Their software uses spidering technology to go out and look for websites which misuse brands. This could be a powerful way for companies to really get a good “onlne brand picture.” Their various tools can look at things like how trademarks are being used in top-level domains, in web content, and in the online distribution channel.
What caught my eye was a demo of the pricing module they ran for me, which used a pharmaceutical product. The results included specific pricing, dosage, and product fulfillment (no prescription, online medical consultation, etc) information. The program calculated things like the average price of the product on the web, and highlighted significant deviation. The point is that substantial under-pricing could be an indicator of grey- or black-market product. It seems that this would be of interest not only as an IP-protection tool but as a market-intelligence gathering tool