The German equivalent of the British MOT (TÜV) has allegedly developed an effective technology for the protection against product piracy. Core piece of the new service package for the protection of intellectual property is the Brand Protection System which generates a fake-proof 13-digits code which is individual for each product. The codification can be combined with all conventional protective markings ranging from bar codes to 3-D holograms and laser engravings which makes the new technology applicable to products of mass production as well as to expensive luxury goods.
For years the volume of counterfeit brand name products has been strongly increasing. On a global scale counterfeiting causes an annual damage of up to 400 billion Euros to national economies. The German customs offices alone seized counterfeit goods worth 213 million Euros in 2005. Most of them came from China (35.8 percent) followed by the United States (11.2 percent).
Quite often counterfeits are reloaded from one vessel to another on the high seas and then shipped to Europe. The problem is not single products being faked, but immense flows of counterfeit goods reaching the shores of Europe. This is one aspect made use of by the new protective technology. Through the protective code of the Brand Protection System each individual product can be checked and verified at any one time anywhere in the world by internet or sms. Thus, special locations along the trade route at which a product has to turn up can be determined in advance in order to ensure that a product’s journey can be completely retraced. Thus, goods turning up at locations different from those precedingly fixed can be no originals and therefore seized.