IP Australia and NRL partner in a blockchain trial to fight counterfeits

IP Australia and NRL partner in a blockchain trial to fight counterfeits
Written by:
Jinia Shawdagor
11th August, 10:58
  • The blockchain trial involves the issuance of a trust badge, which helps prove authenticity.
  • This partnership will see IP Australia mark two NRL merchandise stores with the trust badge.
  • The project will offer trademark owners a link to the government’s registry to prove ownership.

IP Australia has joined hands with Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) to run a pilot study on a new blockchain-based app that aims to combat counterfeiting. A report unveiled this news on August 10, noting that the trial will see IP Australia mark two of NRL’s official merchandise stores, NRL Shop and Savvy Supporter with a trust badge. Reportedly, this trust badge would serve as visual proof that IP Australia has verified the website and that it is authentic. On top of this, the badge offers a link to a registered trademark.

Commenting on this initiative, Karen Andrews, Australia’s Minister for Industry, Science, and Technology said,

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“Australian products are in demand around the world thanks to our reputation for quality and the Morrison Government will do everything we can to help our businesses protect themselves. 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.”

Revolutionizing trademarking

According to the report, the trust badge is part of IP Australia’s Smart Trade Mark platform. Its trialing aims to let trademark holders verify the authenticity of their products or services, the shops in which they are sold, and their supply chains.

By leveraging blockchain technology, the platform will grant trademark owners a digital link to the government register. As a result, they will be able to prove they are the real owners of their trademarks. Apart from this, they will be able to prove the origin of their products and manage the use of their marks.

Per Shaun McMartin, general manager consumer business at NRL,

“NRL members and fans are the lifeblood of our sport who want to buy the genuine article when supporting their club – the Trust Badge helps NRL fans identify authentic and licensed products online. Counterfeiting damages legitimate wholesalers and retailers who invest in genuine products and robs the NRL Clubs of much needed revenue.”

Increasing blockchain adoption in Australia

This news comes as the Australian government continues incorporating the blockchain in various sectors as part of its National Blockchain Roadmap. For instance, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) intends to replace its current Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) with the blockchain. In so doing, the exchange aims to remove intermediaries from its transactions to make them cheaper, quicker, and easier.

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