“With counterfeit and pirated products on the rise brand protection has never been more important,” says Infineon vp Maurizio Skerlj.
In the report “Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods”* from 2019, the OECD and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) stated that the industries most negatively impacted by counterfeiting activities are consumer goods, business-to-business products, IT goods and luxury items.
The report shows that in 2016, imports of counterfeit and pirated products into the EU amounted to as much as €121 billion representing 6.8% of EU imports, as compared to 5% in 2013.
SECORA Blockchain with secured physical asset verification offers a promising anti-counterfeit solution that seeks to alleviate this trend and boost transparency in affected markets.
Today, blockchain is already used to provide a mechanism to prove the provenance of scarce or limited-edition goods. However, such processes often rely upon the public trust in the manufacturer and third-party handlers of a product.
Even when vetting processes are put in place to clear contributors, sources for blockchain data are often dependent on data carriers like QR codes, which can be highly prone to replication or fraud. It is challenging to check if no substitution of the good occurred at any point of transfer, or if the object is truthfully as scarce as it is claimed to be.
Infineon’s and DIGISEQ’s joint project puts forth a proposition that binds the physical item to its digital identity and footprint, allowing an instantaneous authentication system to determine the validity of goods throughout their lifetimes. SECORA Blockchain enables the connection between the physical item and the blockchain, which enhances blockchain setups.
The SECORA Blockchain device contains a crypto enabled NFC chip. It can effectively store the private key to sign transactions on the blockchain.
Such a security controller is able to protect secret keys from logical and physical attacks, allowing to protect the system from unauthorized data.
As project partner, DIGISEQ will provide the system with over-the-internet data-delivery capability. It allows unique secured identity data to be delivered into the chips that are physically embedded into the individual items. Item-level data will be configured to flow into the blockchain ledger automatically.
This will work hand-in-hand with blockchain technology, which allows for transaction and exchange data to be encrypted and securely stored within a ledger through the item lifetime.
* OECD/EUIPO (2019), Trends in Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods, Illicit Trade, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/g2g9f533-en