Australian National Rugby League Taps Blockchain to Combat Counterfeits & Piracy

ZDNet reports today that IP Australia has partnered with National Rugby League (NRL), the country’s top-level domestic men’s rugby league club competition, to trial the Smart Trade Mark initiative in the league to combat counterfeit and piracy in the league. 

The initiative would see the league’s merchandise stores, NRL Shop and Savvy Supporter marked with a blockchain-based trust badge to verify the authenticity of the NRL products and services.  

Commenting on the development, Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews said that the move would help to shield businesses and fans from malefactors who tend to produce counterfeit goods.  

“The Smart Trade Mark could be used across a range of Australian made products. It can be applied in ways to grow the economy and create local jobs,” Andrews said. 

Shaun McMartin, NRL general manager consumer business, noted that the act of counterfeiting causes damages to the reputation of legitimate business owners who dedicate massive resources in developing these products. 

McMartin added that the move would also help NFL fans to identify and buy genuine quality products of their clubs, as they are the lifeblood of the organization.  

“Counterfeiting robs the NFL clubs of much-needed revenue,” McMartin added. 

Shielding businesses & consumers from counterfeits

IP Australia is an agency of Australia’s Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science, which issues intellectual property rights in the form of “trust badge” to authenticate products or services and provide information about where they are sold and their supply chains. 

The agency has deployed the blockchain tech to link trademark owners to a government register that helps verify ownership of the trademark and its products or services. 

Since its launch, it has been deployed in various industries to provide better counterfeit protection to Australian businesses and consumers. 

The impact of counterfeits on businesses cannot be overemphasized as nations are gradually making significant efforts to eliminate the practice. 

Meanwhile, Coinfomania reported that the Italian professional football club, ACF Fiorentina, tapped the blockchain tech to curb counterfeits of the club’s jersey.