The scale of a global counterfeiting problem is staggering. Individuals produce and sell an estimated $1.7 trillion to $4.5 trillion worth of counterfeit goods annually – equivalent to the tenth largest economy in the world.
As counterfeiters have evolved with the times, changing their colors like chameleons to stay abreast of consumer preferences and anti-counterfeiting measures, those in charge of intellectual property must remain proactive to have outstanding integrated supply chain solutions by using the most advanced technologies available. This is not just a battle for businesses but also an effort to ensure public safety.
There are some technological solutions available to help fight this global counterfeiting problem:
Radiofrequency identification (RFID) tags
Utilizing radio frequencies, these devices can recognize products and detect if they are counterfeit. Attached to the items, there are small microchips that RFID readers pick up. Many vendors use RFID tags primarily for high-priced goods due to their size, costliness, and intricate functions.
Blockchain, a groundbreaking technology, has already established itself as an invaluable asset in the fight against counterfeiting. Many companies have created their own product IDs to monitor and track supply chains. While there are no widespread regulations or instructions on how to use blockchain based traceability for this purpose, multiple industries, such as agribusiness, luxury goods and electronics, have begun leveraging its potential.
Blockchain technology is exceptionally intriguing due to its ability to remove the necessity of trust among participants in a transaction. Transactions are executed quickly, clearly and securely without any dependence on familiarity between parties – all achieved at lightning speed!
Rather than relying on a single entity, each transaction is authenticated and cryptographically secured by the entirety of the network to create a new block. Each subsequent block carries encrypted information from its preceding one, making it effortless for anyone to validate blockchain transactions.
With all involved parties having access to data in a blockchain, any record or history is exposed and readily accessible for inspection. This renders it almost impossible for fraudulent actions to happen undetected.
Blockchain technology makes cheating completely impossible by allowing all participants to share data and look into records or history at any time. Dubbed a “permanent ledger” by experts, this groundbreaking innovation helps manufacturers create and store immutable digital documents, thereby combating counterfeiting while also enhancing businesses’ capabilities of managing their products.
New Field Communication (NFC)
NFC technology leverages radio frequencies to authenticate a product’s legitimacy. An NFC reader serves as the primary conduit for communication between an NFC chip and the tag affixed to the item, making sure it is genuine. Many track and trace solutions companies offer this technology to combat counterfeit.
Broken seals are a tell-tale indication that goods have been disrupted. Electronic seals, however, come with the added benefit of compiling product data and allowing for real-time tracking. These impressive tools are used to seal freight containers due to their capacity to process e-signatures while storing route particulars as well. More importantly, any disruption on these electronic seals triggers an alarm immediately.
Magnetic stripes, typically found on the back of identity and payment cards, make it possible to store crucial user data that card readers can identify when swiped. Additionally, these same stripes can attach directly to a physical item for authentication as well as tracking purposes.
This revolutionary technology involves embedding a microchip within a plastic card, similar to magnetic stripe cards. The chip stores unique product data that can aid in authentication while also preserving vital information.