Australian Intellectual Property Agency and Rugby League Test Blockchain in Fight Against Counterfeiting


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Australia’s intellectual property rights agency IP Australia partnered with the country’s top rugby team to test blockchain technology to tackle merchandise counterfeiting. 

Blockchain Technology to Curb Piracy and Counterfeiting

According to a report by ZDNet on Monday (August 10, 2020), The National Rugby League (NRL) and IP Australia will test a blockchain-based application that will verify authentic and licensed merchandise. The new app would help combat piracy and counterfeiting. 

The Australian rugby league will experiment with the blockchain-powered app on the NRL Shop and Savvy Supporter, two of the league’s online merchandise stores. These sites will carry a “Trust Badge”, indicating approval from IP Australia. In addition, customers can click on the badge to view a registered trademark. 

IP Australia’s trust badge strategy forms part of the agency’s  Smart Trade Mark initiative, which employs blockchain technology. The initiative helps to verify and trace different products and curb counterfeiting. The intellectual rights property body is an agency of the  Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science.

Speaking on the latest development was Karen Andrews, Australia’s Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. The minister further revealed that counterfeiting and piracy were capable of costing the global economy $4.2 trillion and also affecting 5.4 million jobs worldwide by 2022. 

However, Andrews believed that innovations such as Smart Trademark could protect t products made in Australia from falsification and also uphold the country’s reputation. The Australian Minister added:

“This initiative has enormous potential to help Australian businesses protect their brands online and give consumers confidence that they are purchasing the real deal[…]This app could be used across a range of Australian made products and is a great example of how new technologies can be applied in very practical ways to grow the economy and create local jobs.”

IP Australia is testing its blockchain-based initiative with government agencies such as the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

Blockchain Improving the Sports Industry

Blockchain technology has seen growing adoption in the sports industry. Different areas of the sports sector, from football to baseball employ nascent technology for different use cases.

As reported by BTCManager in June, a pair of Australian shoemakers employed blockchain project VeChain, to verify the Nike limited edition sneakers and avoid counterfeiting. Also, the Lancashire Cricket Club partnered with blockchain platform TIXnGO to distribute tickets. The use of blockchain will ensure proper tracking and prevent ticket forgery.

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