As online retail becomes more and more prevalent, the costs to Australian businesses due to counterfeit products are increasing. It is therefore vital that consumers can identify genuine retailers from counterfeiters.
IP Australia has introduced and is currently testing a new pilot program entitled Smart Trade Mark™ to assist consumers in verifying the genuine use of a registered trade mark by the trade mark owner or authorised licensee.
This pilot program involves the owner/licensee featuring a Trust Badge on their website, which links consumers to the IP Australia Trade Mark Register, providing the consumer with confidence that the vendor and products offered for sale are not counterfeit or sold by illegitimate means (such as via an unauthorised vendor).
The Trust Badge is underpinned by Blockchain technology to link genuine products and services to details of the relevant trade mark registration (as found on the Trade Marks Register).
Smart Trade Mark has commenced with two partners, being the National Rugby League (NRL) and the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). The Trust Badge appears as follows on the NRL Shop website:
If the program goes ahead, other trade mark owners will be able to obtain a Trust Badge for their website by submitting a product reference or domain address to IP Australia. IP Australia will then link the details to the Trade Mark Register and provide the owner with the Trust Badge for featuring on their website.
The trial appears a promising step toward assuring consumer confidence in receiving genuine products in the Australian Market, and another reason to obtain trade mark registration as a means to defeat counterfeiting.
More information and updates can be found on the Smart Trade Mark website below: