If Hasbro Had Called Me…


Nerf (Photo credit: Helgi Halldórsson/Freddi)

I read yesterday in TechCrunch that Hasbro had used brainless tactics to enforce a simple case of overzealous fandom in an IP-related case.  A popular toy gun blog, Urban Taggers, had reported about an upcoming Nerf product being offered on the Chinese marketplace Taobao.  Hasbro representatives then contacted this blogger asking for his address so they could send free Nerf guns for his fans.  Instead of free guns, this blogger received legal action from Hasbro and their attorneys.  This is a common tactic used in the IP enforcement industry, but extremely flawed.

When the business of leaking products on blogs was heating up, we began receiving requests from clients asking us to have content removed.  While many employed the above plan against their fans, our clients consulted IPCybercrime.  We identified the bloggers and explained the situation to them in a friendly, yet parental, fashion.  No letters, threats or lies.  If that didn’t work, we contacted their parents (even if they were full grown adults).  You can click here to read about VentureBeat’s coverage of IPCybercrime’s part in a positive campaign for what turned out to be a billion dollar release.  As Churchill said, “It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war.”  The lesson?  If Hasbro had called IPCybercrime, this would never have happened.

Now I’m going to finish my coffee.

About Rob Holmes

Rob Holmes is Founder & CEO of IPCybercrime.com. Raised in New Jersey in a family of private investigators, Rob worked his first trademark infringement case at the age of twelve. While aspiring as a stand-up comedian in Los Angeles in the early 90s, he was employed at a premiere intellectual property investigative firm. Here, he found himself assigned to investigate a new breed of faceless perpetrators: online infringers. Rob conducted some of the world’s first IP-related Internet investigations, and pioneered the study of the “virtual crime scene”. His regular clients include 20 of the 100 Best Global Brands. Rob is a private eye, funny guy, blogger, Calvinist, Freemason, Prius owner, and a Gene Hackman Fan.