The European Union, through the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office), has revealed its plan to combat counterfeiting. Blockchain plays a major role here.
A Vuitton bag, Air Jordan or even Apple AirPods are victims of counterfeiting. According to economists, in 2019 the sale and purchase of “copies” were represented deficit of 121 billion euros for European companies. Well aware of this problem, which is getting worse as time goes by, the European Union has presented an action plan which puts blockchain and NFT (non-fungible token) technologies to work.
This project is the result of many hackathons organized by EUIPO aimed at defining the best technological response to this crisis which is not only economic, but also social. Therefore, after more than five studies, the EU recommends establish a tracking mechanism across the borders of material goods using blockchain. The European Union Intellectual Property Office has already defined the software architecture necessary for the development and implementation of the Blockathon Anti-Counterfeiting Infrastructure.
NFTs help in the fight against counterfeiting
Owners of intellectual property (in other words, marks authorized and recognized by EUIPO) will create digital twins (twin NFTs) of their products as soon as they come off the production line. These certificates will be theirs guarantee of authenticity and it will allow all companies to follow the path of their products.
If Blockathon is described in a broad outline, a lot of work, its implementation, is still being done. By 2023, the EU intends to create a register of companies and intellectual property owners authorized to create NFTs, actors in the supply chain and sellers. If the system is to be effective, it will also need to be integrated with existing supply chain tracking systems.
If and only if these conditions are met, then the European Union will have an effective weapon in the fight against counterfeiting. Due to its size, this project is one of the most ambitious implementations of NFTs. Its success is due to the adoption of blockchain by all stakeholders, and their goodwill. In business and logistics, the strength of a chain is defined by its weakest link.