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Can the counterfeiting problem be solved?

August 4, 2017

In June a new anti-counterfeiting tech firm announced it could “kill the fake markets instantly” by using QR codes.

World Trademark Review reported on Validactor, a technology company based in Italy, which launched new technology that adds “unique QR Codes to products so consumers can obtain information about them, including whether an item is authentic, expired, stolen or recalled.”

The company told World Trademark Review that by giving free access to its technology the company has the ability to “kill the fake markets instantly”.

The article describes that Validactor’s founder and head of development Dino Sergiano said at the launch event in June this year: “The biggest innovation we are implementing is the empowering of the biggest army in the world: customers. Each one, with their smartphones, may today be the biggest weapon available.”

According to the article, “the company’s social media presence is strong, with nearly 70,000 followers on Twitter at the time of publication (and, according to Twitter Audit, these are overwhelmingly legitimate) and 14,000 on Facebook.”

Sergiano told World Trademark Review “We all have to move on a more social standpoint: fake products kill people, fake market revenues destroy economies, and we all have to fight this; therefore, we are taking a more social approach through the involvement of smaller companies and granting any of them free access to any Validactor feature.

“It is totally free, since we think that in order to ‘kill the fake markets instantly’ we need to have this technology present worldwide. Our vision is to provide free codes to as many companies as possible.”

Sergiano added: “Anti-counterfeiting measures must employ the customer base, that is the only way to fight fakes. The main error that brands are making has been – and still is – the distance that they put between themselves and the final customer. My wife, just as example, tried to verify the authenticity of a major Italian brand garment: it has been nearly impossible – it is tricky and time consuming.”

Riot Games, Brother, 3M, Giuseppe Zanotti and Sennheiser are only a few of the brands the article names that already have an authentication service available via their websites.

The article concludes: “An effective solution to end a problem as significant as counterfeiting requires entrepreneurs with pioneering ambitions. Additionally, rights holders would embrace any tool that looks likely to succeed in this battle. However, the fight against fakes is a multi-dimensional one and it remains to be seen whether there is the consumer will to shun counterfeits on the required scale, or a single solution that can succeed where others have not. For now, the end of counterfeiting remains a holy grail.”

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