Using digital certificates to fight "genuine fakes"

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Information about Using digital certificates to fight "genuine fakes"
Business & Mgmt

Published on March 23, 2009

Author: fabio_annovazzi


Using digital certificates to fight “genuine fakes” of luxury goods October 2008

“Genuine fakes” are fake luxury items sold as authentic - they are bad and rapidly multiplying This is not the real problem! 2

Genuine fakes are extremely profitable. They will “force entire industries to rethink luxury or face rapid deflation” 30% ≈ genuine fake 9X potential margin “discount” of “genuine fakes” 3 Illustrative example: luxury bags

The aura of authentic luxury items is also tied to their high 2nd hand value - but how do you prove that your bag is real? ≠ 4

A digital certificate connects one entity with its specific data •Me  My  My name •Me  My  My digital signature 5

So… ...this particular bag… …is connected (1 in the world) through… …this particular certificate… (1 in the world) …to this particular code/number (attached to the bag)… 6

…and… …this particular …has four customer… bags, each with a code… …and an account on a website… …in which each code/bag is associated to its certificate 7

Two bags might be identical, but the one with the certificate is certainly real and the other is certainly fake 1.For each product put on the market, a specific certificate is activated on the website 2.When a customer buys the product she logs in the website, (creates an account and) associates the code on the product to her account, either by typing it in or by reading it with her mobile phone 3.If the website confirms that the certificate with that code exists and it is indeed associated with that specific kind of product, then the product is real 8

The “remote certificate” solution links the product/digital-certificate to the holder of the account on the web Advantages Issues Unique code on the •Code easy to spot •Code can be copied product •Code difficult to check Holograms, •Difficult to copy by a •Difficult to spot and watermarks, rfid,.. faker check by customer Unique code + remote •Code easy to spot and •Code can be copied on validation server check by customer “repeated” on fakes Unique code + digital •Certificate impossible •Difficult to check certificate on card to duplicate •Card easy to loose Unique code + digital •Certificate impossible •Link between customer certificate on server to duplicate & loose, account and certificate easy to check /product code 9

•Service paid by luxury brands Business •Cost of “producing” certificates is 0 model •Leverages on critical mass •Secure by design & simple to use Advantages •No hardware, smartcards, readers •Brand & customer do all the work •Resell on eBay (only?) benefit Issues •Needs impulse from luxury brands •Will customers bother? 10

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