Monthly Archive: August 2020

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

Key Global Shifts – Opportunities for New Zealand Innovation

New Zealand’s annual festival of innovation, Techweek, concluded its 2020 programme just over a week ago.  As part of the programme, Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand’s innovation agency, presented research discussing four global shifts they had identified, as well as the potential opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurialism by Kiwis and Kiwi businesses, that these presented.

 

Callaghan Innovation

Callaghan Innovation is New Zealand’s innovation agency.  It supports innovation and growth for businesses of all sizes through a variety of programmes.  These include R&D services for technology and product development; funding; programmes for business development and to build innovation skills; and enabling people and businesses to connect with experts, opportunities and networks.

The research presented during Techweek 2020 looked at a three to five-year time horizon and identified four key global shifts (as outlined below).  These represent potential opportunities for businesses to adopt a leading role, and to position themselves competitively, to innovate in response to these emerging trends and needs, both within New Zealand and around the world.

 

Key Global Shift: Unpredictable Waters

Uncertainties with respect to water are predicted to increase in the future.  Climate change is causing increases in sea level, as well as extreme weather events.  Combined with the continuing trend within human society towards urbanisation and urban development (two-thirds of the projected world population are expected to live in urban centres by 2050), issues such as river flooding and water security are also likely to be a challenge.

 

Key Global Shift: Beyond Urban and Rural

Despite many societies around the world becoming more urbanised, an increased desire for people to return to nature within these societies was identified by the research.  To accommodate these needs, we may need to redefine how we think about “urban” and “rural”.  Innovative technology could give access to the best of both environments.  This might include virtual rural experiences for an increasingly urbanised population, or an emphasis and prioritisation of rural aspects of products and services including how these are presented to the consumer.

 

Key Global Shift: More Fluid Life-Shapes

A generation or two ago (particularly within Western societies) many people’s lives had a predictable structure beginning with education, followed by work, followed by retirement.  For many, this is no longer the case.  The structures of a lot of people’s lives now follow different patterns with much more fluid changes being experienced.  People may change careers, or re-enter education, later in life, whether by necessity or choice.  Longer life-spans also mean retirement may not look like it once did.  This is likely to be even more apparent in the future, and therefore creates opportunities for technology innovation to support society.

 

Key Global Shift: Distance Redefined

Globalisation has seen the world get “smaller”, whether through readily accessible international travel, or via instant communication around the globe.  The Covid-19 pandemic has changed how we travel and interact, and it may take many years to return to what we once knew, if that happens at all.  There will be opportunities to innovate in how we interact at a distance, whether locally, nationally or internationally, for business, entertainment and social reasons.  This might include the use of robots and avatars to attend events remotely, the use of haptics to facilitate sensory interactions, as well as addressing the challenges of building rapport and trust when people can’t meet face-to-face.

 

The New Future

It’s time to start thinking and innovating, to position New Zealand businesses for the new future.

Alistair Curson

 

References

Callaghan Innovation. (2020, March 27). “About Us”. Retrieved August 05, 2020, from: https://www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz/about-us

Miller J, Edgar K. (2020, July 28). “Key Global Shifts: What They Could Offer to NZ Innovators”. Retrieved August 05, 2020, from: https://techweek.co.nz/whats-on/2020/key-global-shifts-what-they-could-offer-to-nz-innovators-by-callaghan-801/ and: https://play.stuff.co.nz/details/_6176061334001

Murali M, Cummings C, Feyertag J, Gelb S, Hart T, Khan A, Langdown I, Lucci P. (2018, October 2018). “10 things to know about the impacts of urbanisation”. Retrieved August 05, 2020, from: https://www.odi.org/publications/11218-10-things-know-about-impacts-urbanisation

Techweek. “About Techweek”. Retrieved August 05, 2020, from: https://techweek.co.nz/about/

Wikipedia. (2020, July 27). “Haptic technology”. Retrieved August 06, 2020, from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haptic_technology