Post Date: December 20, 2021

Thwarting Counterfeit Products

Counterfeiting of consumer goods – including electronics, apparel and pharmaceuticals – now accounts for 3.3% of worldwide trade, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The increased rate since COVID is largely due to a shift toward e-commerce purchasing.

But what is the real threat of counterfeit goods? First, counterfeit products typically equate to low-quality product, which can be health & safety issues for consumers. Next, counterfeit products have a negative impact on a brand’s reputation, which can erode consumer trust. Lastly, counterfeit products result in a loss of revenue for the brand that is being copied.

Technology for the fight against counterfeiting
While technology can sometimes add to the problem, it also provides tools that help manufacturers keep one step ahead in combating counterfeiters, as noted by WIPO Magazine.

Tamper Evidence Packaging – Maintaining the integrity of the original manufacturer’s packaging throughout the entire supply chain is critical. It provides a guarantee that the packaging code applied by the original manufacturer is unchanged, making it easier to spot if the packaging has been tampered with. Using tamper-evidence technologies to secure secondary packaging also helps uphold the integrity of the contents. For example, product packages can be fitted with security seals or glued with perforated cartons. Another option is to design carton folding boxes in such a way that they break when the package is first opened.

Special Markings – Overt or visible markings allow authentication of products at every stage along the supply chain (e.g., wholesalers, pharmacies, hospitals, etc.). Several security features are available on the market – among which are holograms, color-shifting inks, and guilloches. Covert or hidden markings are used by manufacturers to authenticate genuine products and detect counterfeits. Examples are chemical tags, such as ink, which constitute a chemical signature that can be embedded in different elements of the packaging.

AT Information Products offers a solvent-based invisible ink that emits a red or blue color when placed under ultraviolet light. The ink is intended to be jetted from a Markoprint industrial coder using HP INKJET TECHNOLOGY. The combination of Markoprint with invisible ink is a straightforward way for manufacturers to safeguard their products and is especially effective when used with another anti-counterfeiting tactic.

Standardized and Serialized Coding – In addition to sophisticated inner and outer packaging, and overt and covert markings, manufacturers can implement a third step: a standardized coding and identification system. Traceability and security of medicines can be controlled using specific codes imprinted on internal packaging, especially if pharmacies are equipped to interpret the codes. While this technology already exists and is used to identify batches, or large quantities, of products, it can be deployed at the pharmacy level. For example, pharmacies could use a barcode reader to verify a product’s authenticity – including other information in the barcode on the product such as the batch number and expiry date. Scanning each pack at the dispensing point and linking it to e-prescription systems guarantees that each patient receives the right product, and expired products, as well as counterfeits, are automatically detected.

To test your substrates using Markoprint visible or invisible inks, call us at (201) 529-0202 x125 or send a message to here.