A new platform allows companies to determine where along the supply chain their products may be vulnerable to counterfeiting.
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According to a 2016 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, counterfeit and pirated goods make up nearly 2.5 percent of all global trade, with fake products affecting small and medium sized businesses as well as multi-national brands. As supply chains become ever-more globalized, it can be increasingly difficult to prevent loss from counterfeiting, or from having legitimate products siphoned off the supply chain and into grey markets. In the past we have seen applications that allow artists to protect their work through digital registration and tracking or that allow entrepreneurs to crowdsource information about similar products. Until now, however, it was difficult to gather the comprehensive evidence and information needed for enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights. AllVirtuous steps into this gap with a mobile application that enables a network of specially-trained field investigators to collect evidence of counterfeiting among suppliers and distributors.
Based in San Jose, California, AllVirtuous provides real-time information about potential suspicious activity in the supply chain. Intelligence, including images, prices and geolocation is available in real-time on a secure dashboard, where brand owners can monitor trends over time. The platform also provides a vulnerability rating, and tools to track investigations, seizures, and complaints filed by IP rights holders. Because the field investigations target specific data, the site should allow law enforcement supervisors to more quickly gather evidence of intellectual property violations, and determine the scale to which the brand has been compromised. Will this innovation open a new front in the war against fake and counterfeit products?