Blockchain technology is a game-changer for protecting brands against counterfeit goods: Padmakumar Nair

Blockchain technology is a game-changer for protecting brands against counterfeit goods: Padmakumar Nair

The conflict between brands and counterfeiters has taken on a new dimension in today's era.

Padmakumar Nair

Mumbai: Ennoventure Inc. has unveiled an advanced brand protection technology which has been designed to bolster legal defenses against brand abuse. We would like to propose a fascinating and topical narrative that explores the intricate and ever-changing landscape of trademark protection: "The Tech-Counterfeiter Tango: How Innovation Fuels the Game of Cat and Mouse."

In today's era of rapid technical progress, the conflict between brands and counterfeiters has taken on a new dimension, resembling an intricate dance where each move is met with a strategic countermove. As per a report by ASPA and CRISIL, in India alone, 25-30 per cent of products sold are spurious with counterfeiting. This increases the need for anti-counterfeit solutions to battle the grappling issue, ensuring brand protection and product authencity. To address this, Ennoventure's latest technological innovation named 'Enncrypto' will help brands respond to the relentless pursuit of cutting-edge technologies by counterfeiters, employing equally creative methods to preserve their reputation and ensure customer safety and satisfaction. caught up with Ennoventure, Inc CEO & co-founder Padmakumar Nair where he shed light on numerous topics regarding the evolution of counterfeiting techniques

Edited excerpts

On the sophisticated methods currently employed by counterfeiters to bypass brand protections

Counterfeiters are increasingly using advanced technology to evade brand restrictions. They are able to replicate products in almost all industries using these techniques.

1   Advanced Printing Technology: Counterfeiters use high-resolution printers and specialized inks to reproduce packaging, labels, and even security features such as holograms and barcodes with remarkable precision.

2   Chemical and Material Mimicry: Advanced chemical processes enable counterfeiters to mimic the physical properties and materials used in authentic products for instance in the pharmaceutical industry, making it difficult to distinguish between genuine and fake items.

3   Supply Chain Infiltration: Counterfeit goods are introduced into legitimate supply chains through various means, including unauthorized production at subcontractors, smuggling, and diversion of genuine products.

4   Digital Counterfeiting: Online platforms are exploited through the creation of counterfeit websites and listings on e-commerce marketplaces, using sophisticated digital imagery and deceptive marketing to deceive consumers.

5   Global Smuggling Networks: Illicit networks utilize complex logistical routes and falsified documentation to transport counterfeit products across international borders, evading customs inspections and legal scrutiny.

6   Technological Adaptation: 3D printing, digital scanning, and artificial intelligence replicate complex designs, especially in the luxury goods industry.

On invisible signatures offering more over traditional anti-counterfeit measures

Invisible signatures offer significant advantages over traditional anti-counterfeiting measures, making them a powerful tool in combating counterfeiters. Primarily, they enhance security by making it difficult for counterfeiters to detect and replicate, providing an additional layer of protection. Their non-intrusive nature ensures that the appearance of products or packaging remains unaltered, thereby preserving brand integrity.

Moreover, invisible signatures are easily verifiable using mobile devices, streamlining the authentication process. This quick and efficient verification is particularly beneficial in high-volume environments. The ability to customize these signatures for each product batch further complicates counterfeiters' efforts, as mass-producing fake items becomes substantially more challenging.

Additionally, invisible signatures can be seamlessly integrated with existing processes and other security features, such as QR codes or blockchain technology, for enhanced protection. This combination of features creates a robust anti-counterfeiting system that is difficult to breach.

Overall, the security, non-intrusiveness, ease of verification, and customizable nature of invisible signatures make them an invaluable asset in safeguarding brands against counterfeiting.

On utilisation of blockchain technology to protect brands from counterfeit goods

Blockchain technology is a game-changer for protecting brands against counterfeit goods, offering several robust solutions. Firstly, blockchain provides unparalleled supply chain transparency by creating a transparent and immutable record of a product's journey from manufacturer to consumer, making it significantly easier to track and verify authenticity. The tamper-proof nature of blockchain ensures that once data is recorded, it cannot be altered, guaranteeing the accuracy of product information. This technology also empowers consumers, who can access blockchain records via QR codes or NFC tags on products to confirm authenticity before making a purchase. Besides, blockchain can be seamlessly integrated with other anti-counterfeit technologies, such as invisible signatures and AI-powered authentication, creating a comprehensive security solution. Utilizing blockchain technology can dramatically enhance the effectiveness of our anti-counterfeiting strategies.

On consumers becoming more empowered in the fight against counterfeit goods

Consumers are increasingly empowered in the fight against counterfeit goods through a variety of innovative means:

1   Access to Information: Consumers have greater access to product information and supply chain details through digital platforms and mobile apps, enabling informed purchasing decisions.

2   Verification Tools: QR code scanners and NFC technology in mobile apps allow consumers to authenticate products easily, helping them identify counterfeit items at the point of purchase.

3   Consumer Education: Brands conduct awareness campaigns to educate consumers about counterfeit risks and how to distinguish genuine products from fakes, empowering them to make informed choices and report suspicious products.

4   Social Media Impact: Social media provide a platform for consumers to share experiences and warnings about counterfeit goods, promoting community awareness and vigilance.

5   Reporting Mechanisms: Improved reporting channels, including official websites and consumer hotlines, enable consumers to report suspected counterfeit products promptly, aiding in enforcement efforts against counterfeiters.

6   Legal Support: Strengthened regulatory frameworks and laws support consumers in seeking redress and combating counterfeit trade, enhancing consumer protection and market integrity.

On discussing the dynamic cat-and-mouse game between counterfeiters and brands

The battle between counterfeiters and brands is a dynamic cat-and-mouse game, where both sides are in a constant state of adaptation. Whenever brands introduce new anti-counterfeit technologies like invisible signatures or blockchain verification, counterfeiters respond with agility and resourcefulness. They reverse engineer products to replicate security features, invest in advanced printing technologies to mimic packaging and labels with high accuracy, and exploit vulnerabilities in supply chains through social engineering or insider threats. Technological advancements such as 3D printing and digital scanning further empower counterfeiters to replicate complex designs and security elements. Global smuggling networks enable them to distribute counterfeit goods across borders, exploiting regulatory gaps and leveraging online platforms to reach consumers directly.

To stay ahead, brands must remain vigilant and continuously adapt and innovate their anti-counterfeit strategies, collaborate closely with technology experts and law enforcement agencies, and maintain rigorous oversight of global supply chains to effectively protect consumers and uphold brand integrity.

On the future of anti-counterfeit solutions evolving in the next five to ten years

The future of anti-counterfeit solutions is set for significant evolution over the next five to ten years. We can expect huge advancements in AI, machine learning, and blockchain to greatly enhance the accuracy and reliability of our anti-counterfeiting efforts. Integrated solutions that combine various technologies—such as invisible signatures, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT)—will offer more robust protection. Real-time tracking and monitoring of products throughout the supply chain will become more sophisticated, helping to detect and prevent counterfeiting more effectively. Stronger regulatory frameworks and international cooperation will also play a crucial role in creating a more robust legal environment against counterfeiters. Moreover, increased consumer education and engagement will empower individuals to recognize and report counterfeit products, promoting a collective effort to safeguard authenticity. Ultimately, these advancements will lead to a more secure marketplace that ensures the integrity of products and enhances consumer trust worldwide.