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Can Science Help Solve the Counterfeit Problem?

In the following intriguing video and article published in the Mirror on July 5, 2017, titled, “No More Cheap Knock-Offs: Here’s How Scientists May Have Solved the Problem of Counterfeit Goods,” written by Jeff Parsons, it details how some scientists are seriously trying to develop ways to combat counterfeiting.

According to the article, scientists have explored inserting a ONE-ATOM size identity tag into products that would make it possible for consumers, brand owners, and investigators to read by using their smartphones, and thereby determine its authenticity. It reminds me a bit of how medications delivered to some African countries have codes on their labels that a consumer can use to verify its authenticity through the Internet.

This capability to embed a ONE-ATOM sized tag would make it painfully difficult (if not impossible) for criminals to duplicate. (Of course, this will greatly depend on the “trade secrets protection program” the research institutions have in place. Because, as we all know, if the criminals cannot reverse engineer it, they will surely try to steal it.)

Having said that, this technology does genuinely bring the creative ways of fighting product counterfeiting to another level.

How about this quote from the article, “The tag is made out of graphene – the world’s thinnest material – and can be used on any kind of product; from a pair of trainers to a new set of headphones. In this case, each tag is only one atom thick, making it impossible to duplicate by fraudsters peddling fake goods. However, it could be picked up by the sensors in a smartphone configured through a simple app.”

This article and video are very encouraging. It means that a segment of the scientific community recognizes the exponential growth of the global counterfeit problem, and are devoting R & D resources to finding innovative ways to fight it.

Good Work!

Link to Mirror article and video:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/no-more-cheap-knock-offs-10738075

 

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Ron Alvarez is an IP Investigations / Protection writer and licensed private investigator in New York City. He is a former NYPD lieutenant where he investigated robbery, narcotics, internal affairs, and fine art theft cases. Ron is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and earned a B.A. in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. He has published a number of articles on various investigative topics for PI Magazine. Ron is certified by the Interpol-International IP Crime Investigators College (IIPCIC.) as a "Transnational and Organized Crime Intellectual Property (IP) Investigator."

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