Currently, counterfeiting is on the increase as has been shown by the rise in fake medicines and personal protective equipment, among other products, emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The damages caused by IP crime endanger company profits and create uncertainty and insecurity among consumers. Therefore, it is essential that companies both large and small know the full range of tools at their disposal to protect themselves against IP crimes.
The European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights has prepared a Guide for SMEs and general users based on the research and documentation provided by several entities and experts in this field.
The Guide covers all the main types of anti-counterfeiting technology currently on the market, gives a definition of each, describes their main characteristics, and sets out practical implementation requirements.
What are the anti-counterfeiting technologies?
Anti-counterfeiting technologies provide us tools to determine whether a product is genuine or fake or has been subject to fraudulent activities. They may use different methods to do this but, essentially, they do it by performing one or more of the following functions:
- Authentication: Process by which the claimed identity and attributes of a product are verified.
- Tracking/tracing: Process of determining the intended locations or the current or past locations of a unique item along the supply chain.
- Anti-tampering/ anti-alteration: Mechanism or technique to prevent meddling with a product to alter, falsify or somehow interfere with it.
Anti-counterfeiting technologies differ according to the combination of essential functions they perform, the methods they use to perform them and their mode of inspection.
In the ACT Guide each chapter is dedicated to a different area of anti-counterfeiting technology:
Each of the anti-counterfeiting technologies has special features that aim to meet different specific protection needs.
Companies will have different anti-counterfeiting needs depending on their products, environment and mode of operation. Not all the technologies will be suitable for your business, and some will be more suitable than others.
It is also worth bearing in mind that the ACT Guide is intended merely as an informative aid, it cannot claim to be an exhaustive compendium of all the technologies out there or attempt to offer a universal anti-counterfeiting solution.
We strongly recommend reading the Guide and reviewing the means that your company currently has to fight against counterfeiting.
Article by Imma Miralles.