The New Frontiers of Anti-Counterfeiting Technology
This was the first European contest organized to inspire the creation of new anti-counterfeiting devices, based on blockchain technology. The contest gathered 11 programmers and among them the Italian company Cryptomice stood out, winning the award for the best solution with the prototype “virtual twin”, also based on blockchain technology, therefore impossible to forge or counterfeit. Although systems based on this technology, grounded on “data blocks” (hence the term “blockchain”), are relatively new, the progress in the field of anti-counterfeiting technologies protecting intellectual property has been a crucial theme over the last years.
As described in a report from the European Commission , the most frequently used systems are labels or tags that are able to communicate through RFID or NFC technology. These devices can certify the authenticity of a product and allow its movements to be followed along the entire value chain — even after purchase.
The benefits of traceability are evident at multiple levels even for companies that implement advanced methods. Knowing the exact path of a product along its value chain allows, for example, the improvement of supply chain efficiency. The devices would allow real-time monitoring of data, allowing optimization of production and organizational aspects. The benefits would continue even after purchase. For example, after-sales service could provide better assistance by tracing a defective product more accurately.
In the field of anti-counterfeiting, traceability technology makes it possible to protect the product in various ways. First of all, they constitute a deterrent to counterfeiting itself since they introduce an element of complexity that would make the creation of a forgery more expensive. In addition, they facilitate the work of customs authorities by making it possible to identify an authentic product immediately and offer an important tool for protecting customers.
As mentioned, the Blockchain system is among the latest technologies applied in the industry and the newly implemented prototypes shall be looked at closely by stakeholders in order to fully understand and exploit their intrinsic value: the creation of a public and unchangeable register allowing the attainment of a product identity card as a guarantee to producers and consumers.
Before adopting a specific device to allow for traceability and protection from counterfeiting, it is necessary to develop a personalized protection strategy to maximize the value of the investment. Thanks to legal expertise, combined with engineering specialization, the professionals of Barzanò & Zanardo can help companies estimate the impact of these innovations on their business: a careful assessment of costs and opportunities is accompanied by the choice of technology best suited to their needs.