Title: Enforcers and brand owners’ empowerment in the fight against counterfeiting
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC104204
ISBN: 978-92-79-64953-0 (print)
978-92-79-64952-3 (pdf)
ISSN: 1018-5593 (print)
1831-9424 (online)
Other Identifiers: EUR 28400 EN
OP KJ-NA-28400-EN-C (print)
OP KJ-NA-28400-EN-N (online)
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC104204
DOI: 10.2760/022485
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: The objective of this report is to provide an analysis of techniques to empower law enforcers and brand owners in the fight against counterfeiting through the use of tools and devices that can help detecting fake goods. The report focuses on tools and devices which are easily available in the market, and divides them into two main categories. The first category is represented by modern smartphones (or similar devices like a tablet). The second category is represented by a wide range of portable devices different from smartphones (e.g., portable spectrometers). Most of these tools have already appeared on the market, though some of them may only be available in forensic labs. Although the analysis of techniques has been conducted with a wide perspective based on experts’ opinions and updated literature, the authors’ view privileged a combined approach, which is scientific and practical at the same time. Therefore, the report contains a practical description of the examined tools, while a comprehensive survey on technicalities is provided in the Appendix. Each technique falling in the two categories is described in its application and use and its features compared in a grid built upon a number of metrics (e.g. requested resources, accuracy, adaptability to organizations, costs, etc.). From an overall evaluation it turned out that, among techniques usable through a smartphone, those based on barcode and on QR code are the most cost-effective and with a good level of accuracy. Among tools of the second category (portable devices different from smartphones), the use of simple devices such as the polarized light is the most suitable particularly in terms of accuracy, adaptability to organization, level of training required and costs From the analysis, the concept of empowering turned out as an important element also to support Due Diligence practices and Supply Chain Integrity for manufactures, which can authenticate the goods in different parts of the supply chain and identify the presence of counterfeit products. Privacy aspects are also taken into consideration. Data collected by smartphones or portable equipment may disclose personal information of the user. Privacy risks and countermeasures in the specific area of fight against counterfeiting are described. Finally, the report suggests the following initiatives to be taken to foster a better use of available technologies within the EU: 1) A common standard to empower the user for goods authentication through the smartphone should be developed. In particular, the standard should define the generation of unique secured identifiers and the protocols between the smartphone and the remote reference library. 2) Create within the European Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual property rights operating within EUIPO a specialised expert group to (a) monitor empowerment techniques appearing in the market; and (b) advise EUIPO on the integration in its Enforcement Database of the most efficient techniques thus sharpening EU enforcers’ capacity to fight against counterfeiting. 3) Create a standard query in the JRC’s Technology Innovation Monitoring tool (TIM) specifically to enable the Observatory and possibly its stakeholders, to monitor the evolution of anti-counterfeiting applicable technologies. 4) Implementation of an awareness knowledge management repository at European level in collaboration with retailers and manufacturers to be used and accessed by consumers through smartphones
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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