Australian businesses and consumers could soon have access to new technology to help protect their products from the risks of counterfeiting, thanks to a new initiative from the Liberal National Government.
The Smart Trade Mark is designed to help Australian businesses protect their goods from imitation products in overseas markets and improves consumer confidence by ensuring overseas customers purchase quality Australian-made products.
IP Australia and start-up Agile Digital successfully piloted the Smart Trade Mark, collaborating with Australian businesses Pialligo Estate gourmet smallgoods and Shaw Vineyard Estate winery, to support their supply chain into South East Asia.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the pilot showed improvements in brand security for Australian trade mark holders, and increased consumer confidence when purchasing Australian products.
“Projects like Smart Trade Mark are important ways to stop fake products eroding the integrity of Australian brands,” Minister Andrews said.
“By applying a Smart Trade Mark to Australian products, consumers and business could be able to instantly check it’s a registered Australian trade mark, and ensure it’s not counterfeit. Access to this information overseas is currently limited, so the potential is very exciting.”
“The Liberal National Government is committed to supporting Australian innovation, through its National Innovation and Science Agenda, and this is a great example of how we are supporting cutting-edge innovation.”
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said Australia had some of the world’s most recognised brands, but this meant they were increasingly susceptible to counterfeiting.
“We know that by 2022 worldwide trade in counterfeited and pirated goods is tipped to reach $1.4 trillion,” Minister Birmingham said.
“That’s why we need to look at new ways to protect Australian brands and help our businesses keep track of their products overseas and better maintain the integrity of their supply chains.
”We want Australian businesses to continue to export their high-quality products and brands to the world with confidence that their intellectual property will be protected and that’s why the development of new initiatives such as the Smart Trade Mark are so important.”
Earlier this year, Grand Hyatt Singapore received gourmet smallgoods from Pialligo Estate tagged with Smart Trade Marks, as part of the pilot project.
Grand Hyatt Singapore’s Executive Sous Chef Mr Martin Satow said they were excited to see the level of transparency this technology provides.
“The hotel recently experienced holdups in the supply of products without the ability to quickly know where and why, resulting in large stock write-offs,” Mr Satow said.
“We see this type of technology giving us increased supply chain transparency thus reducing our overheads by reducing waste and increasing efficiency.”
IP Australia developed the Smart Trade Mark using blockchain and its Australian Trade Mark Register. Following the pilot, IP Australia will now look to make the Smart Trade Mark available to more Australian businesses to add to their own branding and labelling.