How serious is the counterfeiting problem?
According to the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, counterfeiting is "a $600 billion a year problem" and a "problem that has grown 10,000 per cent in 20 years". It is estimated that counterfeit goods currently account for 5-7% of world trade. In the US, the FBI has called counterfeiting “the crime of the century”. Counterfeiting results in lost tax revenue for the government and also fuels black market trade. Counterfeits are not only a serious threat to the commercial world but also to consumer safety and public health.
What are the anti-counterfeiting technologies available? What is their effectiveness?
Current anti-counterfeiting technology options comprise a range of overt and covert measures which encompass product identification and security. These technology options include Barcodes, Data-matrix, RFID, Security Holograms, Biometric solutions, and taggants among several others. However, these technologies are merely resistant to counterfeiting and not foolproof. Counterfeiters are becoming increasingly sophisticated as security weaknesses in these technologies become open to exploitation.
What strategies can companies implement for a more comprehensive anti-counterfeiting solution?
For companies that are serious about finding a solution to counterfeiting, top management involvement with periodic review is necessary. Prohibition of counterfeit goods is essential either at the points of origin or within the channels of distribution. For this, companies need to deploy anti-counterfeiting strategies that set up various layers of security. To challenge the counterfeiters, it is important to use a combination of overt and covert methods including such methods which reduce the dependence on human elements. Companies need to constantly look at new technologies to increase supply chain security for secure Track-n-Trace of products from point of origin to point of sale.
How is nonClonableID™ different? Does it provide a comprehensive solution?
nonClonableID™ offers a bundled technological solution that enables authentication as well as secure Track-n-Trace and e-Pedigree. The solution deploys unique materials-based fingerprints which are prohibitively difficult to replicate even by Bilcare. This technology offers online authentication by comparing the object or ID in the field with the equivalent digital image stored in the secure central server.
How does nonClonableID™ work?
The technology is based on a unique materials-based fingerprint constructed from a composite of micro and nano particles. These fingerprints form part of a label or tag. The tag, along with any amount of product or other object data, is stored on a central and secure server platform, to be accessed for authentication and secure Track-n-Trace. The authentication happens by using the Bilcare reader and sending the data to the central server for confirmation.
What makes nonClonableID™ so secure?
Each of the unique materials-based fingerprints is made up of very fine particles of different shapes and sizes besides the fact that a large volume of these particles are being used. These are produced randomly each time, so that no set pattern or template or algorithm is followed or is in existence. Moreover, these features are only machine-readable so the authentication process is objective and reliable. Most importantly, even Bilcare cannot duplicate a particular fingerprint.
Can these unique tags be coupled with universal identification features such as barcodes etc.?
Yes, Absolutely. Coupling of the fingerprint element with a universal identification feature helps to accomplish the desired capability of Track-n-Trace, along with a rapid authentication process. For example, we provide the labels with unique serial numbers, usually in the form of a linear or 2D barcode.
How is the tag authentication information communicated?
Bilcare has developed a robust reader that connects to a standard communication device, like a mobile phone or computer, along with the entire back-end information technology support platform for authenticating the tags and associated products. Tags are authenticated by swiping the tag and barcode in the reader. The information is communicated through a GPRS enabled mobile phone or internet network to the back end signature server, which is already pre-loaded with information regarding the tags.
At the server end, the incoming fingerprint is compared and authenticated. A message confirming the authenticity or otherwise is subsequently sent from the server back to the user.
Can the system work with RFID tags and scanning systems?
Yes. RFID tags are a serialisation format on which our nonClonableID™ fingerprints can be applied to create a secure RFID enabled tag, just like linear or 2D barcodes
Can this solution be integrated with existing systems?
Yes. This solution can be seamlessly integrated with most existing identity and supply chain management systems to achieve the targeted levels of security.
Can I implement this solution in my industry segment? Will it increase my cost significantly?
Yes. The solution is adaptable to a diverse range of industry segments. This includes high value, low volume products to that of high volume, fast moving consumer goods. Our approach is to work with clients to understand various aspects and demography of the product that needs protection. Furthermore, the solution is affordable.
How will the end-customer know that they should verify the product and how?
Companies (brand owners) need to start a communication process with end-customers to gradually educate and make them aware of authenticity and purchase safety. We will be able to assist in this process by advising on public awareness programmes, industry forums like CII, OPPI, and through other means as appropriate. For example, we host the information portal www.notofakes.com which can be used to help disseminate information to distributors, vendors and consumers.