Nanotechnology & the Combat Against Counterfeit Goods

On April 3, President Trump announced an anti-counterfeit memo in order to crack down on the sale of counterfeit goods online. While the aim of this was to warn retailers that they need to clean up their act, it is uncertain how the government plans to intervene. In the meantime, the government plans to compile a report that will analyze how widespread the current problem is as well as how effective current processes are in reducing the prevalence of counterfeit products.

Image courtesy: Pixabay

Image courtesy: Pixabay

While manufacturers, distributors, and retailers wait for the government to share its report in the coming months, these companies may want to check in on their subcontractors 

Because companies are outsourcing the production of goods, products, and labels, it is very easy for third parties to make pirated goods that look like the real deal. Not only are factories employing second and third shifts to produce these fakes, they are working with lower quality materials. The subcontractors then apply identical packaging and labeling, so the difference between an authentic and a counterfeit product are nearly impossible to point out.

Because there are no current tools in place to detect fakes, U.S. customs struggles to identify which shipments contain counterfeit products. This is problematic.

The influx of counterfeit goods into the marketplace is causing brands to lose millions of dollars in potential sales while their reputations plummet. And it’s not only apparel and luxury brands that are being affected; consumers can buy a counterfeit version of virtually anything. This, paired with growing use of e-commerce – where it can be even easier to insert fakes into the supply chain – by consumers is causing the total amount of counterfeiting globally to skyrocket with the projection of reaching $1.82 trillion USD by the year 2020.

Whether it’s the latest electronic gadget, ketchup, ibuprofen or a pair of shoes, companies need to ensure their brand labeling is only on products that have had their authenticity verified. This not only protects themselves from major profit losses, but it also protects the health and safety of consumers.

In order to do this and adhere to the latest anti-counterfeit memo, brands can utilize cutting edge technology to keep track of their goods. This is the only way to ensure product integrity along the supply chain and beyond.

By applying a Certified QR Code or nanotechnology tracking device, companies can know where there assets are in real-time. Because these certified codes can be printed on machines manufacturers already own, the cost of printed such labels is virtually nothing and they will save millions in losses. Plus, no fancy tool is needed to scan these codes.

About 77% of the U.S. population owns a smartphone, giving almost every American a tool in their pocket to determine an item’s authenticity or lack thereof. Using a smartphone, consumers can scan Certified QR Codes to learn more about a potential purchase. Because their browser will bring them to a verified and secure site, buyers can be assured that the information they are receiving is trustworthy. Only then, can they be 100% certain that they are not purchasing a counterfeit good.

While the fight against counterfeit goods as only begun, we now have the tools and technology to protect everyone on the planet from the harm of pirated goods.

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