Counterfeits are unauthorized reproductions of a trademarked brand which are identical to genuine products. Counterfeit goods include clothing, jewelry, medications, cigarettes, electronic equipment and parts among others. Secure packaging is necessary to avoid counterfeit products. Anti-counterfeiting packaging is defined as the process of assigning secure packaging to the product in order to minimize infringement and counterfeiting. The market for counterfeit goods is growing worldwide and companies have to work harder than ever to combat this threat.
Counterfeiting is a major problem in many market sectors, with the pharmaceutical industry most at risk due to illegal and dangerous substance used in counterfeit drugs. Today food and pharmaceutical companies are adopting anti counterfeiting packaging measures to prevent imitation and confirm safety of the goods. In addition, counterfeiting leads to reduced profitability and loss in brand value for the affected company.
Anti-counterfeiting technologies followed by companies can be classified as follows: overt, covert, forensic or sterilization. Overt anti-counterfeiting features enable the end users to verify the authenticity of a product. These features are prominently visible and expensive to reproduce. Holograms, optically variable device, color-shifting security inks and films, security graphics, sequential product numbering and on product marking are some of the overt features used by packaging companies.
Covert anti-counterfeiting packaging features enable brand owners to identify counterfeited products. Covert features cannot be detected easily or copied without specialist knowledge. Covert anti-counterfeiting packaging features include Invisible printing, embedded image, digital watermarks, hidden marks and printing, anti-scan design, laser coding, substrates and distinctive odors. Forensic markers are superior technology solutions which require dedicated test kits or laboratory testing to scientifically prove authenticity. These include chemical taggants, DNA taggants, biological taggants, isotope ratios and micro taggants among others.
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Counterfeiting is a prevalent practice in majority of consumer industries. Hence, anti counterfeiting packaging technologies have applications in wide range of industries including food and beverage, entertainment, automotive, pharmaceutical, cosmetics, electronics and apparel among others. Food and beverage industry accounted for majority of the anti-counterfeiting packaging market. However, the pharmaceutical sector is expected to grow fastest among application segment due to high adoption rates of anti-counterfeiting packaging technologies by pharmaceutical industry.