THE Harris Tweed Authority has appointed intellectual property specialist SnapDragon Monitoring to help defend the Harris Tweed marks, which include the Orb Mark, on digital platforms such as Amazon, eBay and Alibaba.

Under the agreement SnapDragon will monitor ecommerce, social media and auction sites for misuse of the Orb brand and take action to help prevent online sales of counterfeit Harris Tweed products.

SnapDragon was recommended by Burness Paull, which manages the authority’s legal affairs across the world.

In recent years the Harris Tweed Authority, the legal guardian of Harris Tweed and the Orb mark, has taken action against the misuse of the Orb, including the forgery of recognisable Harris Tweed labels, which were sold for use on fake products.

As part of its ongoing mission to protect the industry, Harris Tweed Authority in January appointed an ambassador to Japan to educate businesses in the country on why they should not buy forged goods.

Lorna MacAulay, chief executive of the Harris Tweed Authority, said: “It has taken generations to build the Harris Tweed brand into the popular global phenomena we see today. It is our job to guard against unauthorised use of the brand and we take that role very seriously.”

Rachel Jones, chief executive of SnapDragon Monitoring, said the high profile of the Harris Tweed Orb made it a target for forgers. “Our team of experts will work to eliminate the sale of Harris Tweed counterfeits online and protect its reputation for the future,” she added.