The European Union, through the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office), has unveiled its plan to combat counterfeiting of physical goods. Blockchain plays a central role here.
A Vuitton handbag, an Air Jordan, or even an Apple AirPods are being counterfeited. In 2019, the sale and purchase of “copies” would mean a deficit of 121 billion euros for European companies, according to economists. Well aware of this problem, which is only getting worse with time, the European Union has presented an action plan that will make blockchain and NFT (non-fungible token) technologies work.
This project is the result of numerous hackathons organized by the EUIPO to determine the best technological response to this scourge, not only of an economic but also a social nature. Thus, after more than five studies, the EU proposes to systematize cross-border monitoring of wealth using blockchain. The European Union Intellectual Property Office has already defined the software architecture required for the development and implementation of Blockathon’s anti-counterfeiting infrastructure.
NFT to help fight counterfeiting
Intellectual property owners (in other words, EUIPO approved and recognized brands) will create digital twins (Twin NFTs) of their products as soon as they leave the production line. These certificates will be their guarantee of authenticity and allow all companies to follow the progress of their goods.
If we define the Blockathon in general terms, the bulk of the work on its implementation is still to be done. By 2023, the EU intends to create a registry of companies and intellectual property owners authorized to create NFTs, supply chain participants and sellers. For a system to be effective, it must also interact with existing supply chain tracking systems.
If and only if these conditions are met, then the European Union will be armed with a truly effective weapon in the fight against counterfeiting. Due to its scale, this project is one of the most ambitious NFT implementations. Its success is due to the massive adoption of blockchain by all stakeholders and their goodwill. In trade and logistics, the strength of a chain is determined by its weakest link.