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Blockchain: a solution also in the IP World?

29 Sep 2022 FinTech


In 2018, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) created a forum to promote the research and discussion of the use of blockchain in the fight against trademark fraud and counterfeiting.

This forum was a result of the EU Blockathon 2018 -  a worldwide competition co-organised by the European Commission and the European Union Intellectual Property Office - that brought together teams of coders, blockchain experts and stakeholders that competed with and against each other to win a EUR 100 000 prize. The point of the competition was to seek ideas for tools that could help (i) enforcement authorities to rapidly identify fakes and criminal activity; (ii) legitimate companies to protect their business assets; and (iii) consumers to make informed choices.

In particular, the aim of the forum is to explore and use the blockchain as a tool to ensure product authenticity.

According to the EUIPO, this dynamic is intended to ‘’define, pilot and implement the next level of anti-counterfeiting infrastructure’’ that will ‘’interconnect organisations, enforcement authorities and citizens to help the transport and proof of authentic goods and address the challenges of counterfeiting’’[1].

Overall, by facilitating the collaboration between a wide community of experts, this initiative – which is open to all, including common citizens – enables the exchange of information on the topic, the development of anti-counterfeiting techniques and the study of the potential of blockchain to create solutions and build an anti-counterfeiting infrastructure.

Therefore, it fulfils the need of achieving ‘’synchronisation, collaboration and decentralisation to connect all the relevant players’’.

The desired method to reach this goal is by connecting the existing tracking solutions available in the market, as well as public databases of intellectual property (TMview, DesignView, IPEP and IP Register) through a blockchain system that allows the keeping of a reliable record of the origin of goods and their progress through international supply chains.

The end solution is therefore aimed at enabling IP authenticity management synchronisation between all the relevant players in the supply chain: EU intellectual property offices, governments, customs authorities, manufacturers, transport and logistics operators, intermediaries, and retailers.

To this end, it is expected that in the future:

a)     Consumers will be able to detect or be informed about the authenticity of the goods they buy online;

b)     Customs Authority will be allowed to use different databases (such as the EUIPO’s Enforcemente Database) to identify and further notify the rights holder of potential infringements and suspicious cases, and even to take the necessary actions to stop such infringements, for example by proceeding with a seizure of the goods;

c)     Logistics Operators willbe given the opportunity to trace every step of the journey in the supply chain, guaranteeing a safe handover between the operators involved and avoiding the inconvenience or risk of handling illegal goods.

The EUIPO expects to release a first version of the solution by the end of 2023, meaning that we will not have to wait much longer before the results of the realisation of this forum can be seen.


Verónica Fernández (

Maria Almeida Garrett (






[1] Information available at