Fighting Fakes with Tech

By: Bank of Baroda
Mon Nov 9, 2020
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Thanks to exponential growth in internet connections, shopping online has become the trend. As per Statista, the market value of the e-commerce industry in India is estimated to grow from 50 billion USD in 2018 to 200 billion USD by 2027. However, as e-commerce grows, there comes the problem of counterfeit products.

Counterfeits not only affect designers of the original product, but they're also hazardous for the environment and health as most of these counterfeits do not go through any safety checks or certification for conformity to regulations such as CE and FCC. In worst case scenarios, counterfeiting can result into deaths as well. Fake pharmaceutical drugs and counterfeit booze kill thousands of people every year. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 10% of all pharmaceutical drugs sold in low- and middle-income countries are either substandard or fake. From economics point of view, the value displaced by counterfeits could reach $2.3 trillion by 2022, as per The International Trademark Association (INTA) and the International Chamber of Commerce.

Identifying counterfeits can be done by using multiple techniques including image comparison, microscopic inspection, secret markings such as invisible ink etc. However, counterfeiters are becoming increasingly difficult to identify, thanks to modern manufacturing

techniques with traditional methods no longer able to differentiate fakes from the authentic items.

In order to tackle this menace, organizations are stepping up their efforts by leveraging advanced technologies. For example, Red Points is doing “active monitoring with keywords” in order to look for counterfeit assets, piracy and other forms of intellectual property (IP) violations in both digital formats (music, films, etc.) and physical formats (cosmetics, sunglasses, watches, etc.) The company doesn’t stop here. After spotting counterfeit items, they then go about trying to get such objects removed from online platforms by obtaining legal rights to work on behalf of their clients. Instead of approaching courts, the company has an automated complaint process such as filling out forms, filing initial cease and desist letters, or even sending caution emails.

On the other hand, companies like Cypheme are using other techniques like GPU-accelerated computing to identify counterfeit products. One particular form of technology that is proving to be more effective in tackling counterfeits: Artificial Intelligence! Stay tuned for our next article on how organizations are leveraging AI to tackle counterfeits.

Credits : Akhil Handa

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