Category: Blockchain

Trust Badge – A Trial of IP Australia’s Smart Trade Mark

Just over a year ago, I posted about the award winning Smart Trade Mark initiative being developed by IP Australia, and its application in protecting supply chains as well as combating counterfeiting activities, both nationally and globally.  The system is now at the trial stage with IP Australia working with the National Rugby League (NRL) to test Trust Badge – IP Australia’s implementation of their smart trade mark.

 

What is Smart IP?

The Smart Trade Mark concept is the first in a series of Smart Intellectual Property (IP) Rights being developed by IP Australia, to support and protect inventors, entrepreneurs and businesses operating on the global stage.

Smart IP Rights are a digital representation or “fingerprint” of an owner’s IP.  They create a connection and a thread of online information between the IP right on the official IP register and relevant digital services, thereby supporting owners in enforcing their IP rights.

 

How Does Smart IP Work?

The concept behind the system is that goods are scanned and tracked as they move through a supply chain using:

  • A series of APIs (application programming interfaces) for connecting digital and online services;
  • Mobile apps, and;
  • Blockchain technology – an open and distributed internet-based record of transactions that cannot be altered without the entire network being made aware and providing their consent

Essentially it is a “track and trace” solution that includes IP and government authenticity stamps, as well as clear information as to the origin of goods.

The system also provides further protection through its use of notifications.  All events and locations are recorded within the blockchain as the goods pass through the supply chain.  Any suspicious activity is notified to the legitimate parties concerned.

Using this information, the Smart IP system also serves to provide greater insight and intelligence around counterfeiting activity within global supply chains.

 

Trust Badge

The Trust Badge is the digital connection between the registered trade mark and the consumer.  During online shopping, it provides a visual link to the registered trade mark, thereby increasing trust in the brand, as well as helping consumers identify authentic products and instil confidence that they are purchasing genuine goods and services.

 

Current Trials and Future Applications

The Trust Badge is currently being trialled with the National Rugby League (NRL) on the NRL Shop and Savvy Supporter websites, with the aim of tackling the problem of counterfeit merchandise.  Initial findings and feedback indicate that consumers have an understanding of the purpose of the Trust Badge, as well as a feeling that it serves its purpose of increasing their confidence when shopping online.

With the success of these preliminary findings, IP Australia is increasing public availability of the system through further trials, which will also ensure the system develops appropriately to meet the needs of businesses.

Alistair Curson

 

References

Clark B. (2018, February). “Blockchain and IP Law: A Match made in Crypto Heaven?”. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from: https://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2018/01/article_0005.html

Curson A. (2018, October 05). “Blockchain and the New Zealand Agtech Industry”. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from: http://www.adcpatentsearch.co.nz/Blockchain%20and%20the%20New%20Zealand%20Agtech%20Industry%2005Oct18.pdf

Curson AD. (2019, June 11). “Smart IP Rights – The Future of IP Enforcement?”. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from: http://adcpatentsearch.co.nz/IP_Analytics_NZ/?p=168

IP Australia. (2019, May 23). “IP Australia’s Smart Trade Mark sweeps the Canberra iAwards”. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from: https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/about-us/news-and-community/news/ip-australias-smart-trade-mark-sweeps-canberra-iawards-0

IP Australia. (2020). “As your business moves online, so should your trade marks”. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from: https://smarttrademark.search.ipaustralia.gov.au/

IP Australia. (2020, August 10). “Tackling counterfeit footy fan gear”. Retrieved August 14, 2020, from: https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/about-us/news-and-community/news/tackling-counterfeit-footy-fan-gear

Research and Markets. (2018). “Global Brand Counterfeiting Report, 2018”. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from: https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/4438394/global-brand-counterfeiting-report-2018

Rossow A. (2018, July 24). “How Can We Make Intellectual Property Rights ‘Smarter’ With the Blockchain?”. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewrossow/2018/07/24/how-can-we-make-intellectual-property-rights-smarter-with-the-blockchain/#6ea8f43185ec

Wang B. (2018, March 31). “Moving towards blockchain registration control of Patents and Intellectual Property”. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from: https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/03/moving-towards-blockchain-registration-control-of-patents-and-intellectual-property.html

Wikipedia. (2020, August 19) “Blockchain.” Retrieved August 20, 2020, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain

Smart IP Rights – The Future of IP Enforcement?

Last month, IP Australia and its partner Agile Digital won three awards at the Digital Canberra iAwards for their Smart Trade Mark.

As the global marketplace becomes more and more complex so too do the supply chains operating within it.  In parallel, there is increasing attraction and potential for counterfeiting activities, as well as opportunities for those wishing to profit from gaps and inaccurate information within these supply chains.  Global sales of counterfeit goods were determined at USD$1.2 trillion in 2017, projected to reach USD$1.82 trillion by 2020, and are currently estimated to already exceed USD$1.5 trillion per year.

 

What is Smart IP?

The Smart Trade Mark concept is the first in a series of Smart Intellectual Property (IP) Rights being developed by IP Australia, to support and protect inventors, entrepreneurs and businesses operating on the global stage.

Smart IP Rights are a digital representation or “fingerprint” of an owner’s IP.  They create a connection and a thread of online information between the IP right on the official IP register and relevant digital services, thereby supporting owners in enforcing their IP rights.

 

How Does Smart IP Work?

The concept behind the system is that goods are scanned and tracked as they move through a supply chain using:

  • A series of APIs (application programming interfaces) for connecting digital and online services;
  • Mobile apps, and;
  • Blockchain technology – an open and distributed internet-based record of transactions that cannot be altered without the entire network being made aware and providing their consent

Essentially it is a “track and trace” solution that includes IP and government authenticity stamps, as well as clear information as to the origin of goods.

The system also provides further protection through its use of notifications.  All events and locations are recorded within the blockchain as the goods pass through the supply chain.  Any suspicious activity is notified to the legitimate parties concerned.

Using this information, the Smart IP system also serves to provide greater insight and intelligence around counterfeiting activity within global supply chains.

 

Current State of the Technology

The project is still in its early days, but has already completed two proof-of-concept pilots where products were successfully tracked between supplier and consumer across borders.

The findings of the trials are helping to formulate the Smart IP Rights strategy as well as guiding the next stages of the project, which are likely to include a pilot application using the available APIs and blockchain systems.

 

Potential Future Applications

There is growing interest around the world, including active projects at, for example, the European Patent Office, concerning the application of blockchain technology for the management and enforcement of IP Rights across their entire life cycle.

Potential areas of application include:

  • Managing the ownership of IP and the transfer of assignments
  • Smart contracts for licensing
  • IP audits and due diligence
  • IP transactions, including mergers and acquisitions
  • Evidence of genuine and/or first use in trade and commerce

The Smart Trade Mark could be applied to a wide range of products and goods, and the broader concept of Smart IP has the potential to speed up and improve the efficiencies of multiple processes necessary for effective IP portfolio management in the 21st century.

Although the Smart Trade Mark is currently only available for Australian rights, it is exciting to see tangible projects being conducted that bring the concept closer to real-world applications.

I would encourage New Zealand, with its strong high-tech sector, to participate as a leading party to making the whole concept of Smart IP a global reality.

Alistair Curson

 

References

Clark B. (2018, February). “Blockchain and IP Law: A Match made in Crypto Heaven?”. Retrieved June 02, 2019, from: https://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2018/01/article_0005.html

CSO. (2019, May 24). “IP Australia wins three iAwards for innovative blockchain trade mark technology”. Retrieved June 01, 2019, from: https://www.cso.com.au/mediareleases/34535/ip-australia-wins-three-iawards-for-innovative/

Curson A. (2018, October 05). “Blockchain and the New Zealand Agtech Industry”. Retrieved June 02, 2019, from: http://www.adcpatentsearch.co.nz/Blockchain%20and%20the%20New%20Zealand%20Agtech%20Industry%2005Oct18.pdf

IP Australia. (2019, May 23). “IP Australia’s Smart Trade Mark sweeps the Canberra iAwards”. Retrieved June 01, 2019, from: https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/about-us/news-and-community/news/ip-australias-smart-trade-mark-sweeps-canberra-iawards-0

IP Australia. (2019, May 24). “Smart Trade Mark”. Retrieved June 01, 2019, from: https://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/beta/smart-trade-mark

Research and Markets. (2018). “Global Brand Counterfeiting Report, 2018”. Retrieved June 01, 2019, from: https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/4438394/global-brand-counterfeiting-report-2018

Rossow A. (2018, July 24). “How Can We Make Intellectual Property Rights ‘Smarter’ With the Blockchain?”. Retrieved June 02, 2019, from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/andrewrossow/2018/07/24/how-can-we-make-intellectual-property-rights-smarter-with-the-blockchain/#6ea8f43185ec

Wang B. (2018, March 31). “Moving towards blockchain registration control of Patents and Intellectual Property”. Retrieved June 02, 2019, from: https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/03/moving-towards-blockchain-registration-control-of-patents-and-intellectual-property.html

Wikipedia. (2019, May 31) “Blockchain.” Retrieved June 02, 2019, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain