Ever been worried you’re buying a legitimate product or service?
Probably not, in a traditional store where you can have confidence in the purchase but this is a real problem with online shopping where the remote nature of the purchase can engender uncertainty about the provenance of offered goods or services.
Obviously this is not a problem with branded or trusted online stores, which can be relied on to utilise legitimate supply chains but the online economy provides fertile ground for counterfeit operators particularly adept at presenting their goods as legitimate.
IP Australia is trialing a new Smart Trade Mark to help provide greater confidence consumers are buying the real thing.
The Smart Trade Mark enables a trade mark owner to provide online authentication of their products or services and the places where they are available for purchase.
If an online store is selling goods or services that are not authenticated, those goods can be considered counterfeit.
The Smart Trade Mark uses blockchain technology and application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect information about the trade mark, such as who the owner is and where it is being used digitally to enable the trade mark owner to control legitimate trade mark use.
Without that control, consumers are susceptible to purchasing products they believe to be original but are instead of inferior quality and/or not covered by brand warranty.
The Smart Trade Mark system operates by the trade mark owner recording a specific product reference or domain address to establish a Smart Trade Mark. The registered Smart Trade Mark information is securely stored to provide digital verification using a Trust Badge to provide consumer confidence the online store is selling authentic products or services.
Multiple trust badges can be created by the trade mark owner simply providing web addresses to IP Australia to identify where the Trust Badge will be displayed.
The Smart Trade Mark is presently undergoing industry trials such as with the NRL to tackle counterfeit merchandise. If you are interested in being involved in future trials, please let me know or contact IP Australia HERE.