WO2014060797A1 - Method and system for verifying the correspondence of a declaration and/or the authenticity of a good put on the market - Google Patents

Method and system for verifying the correspondence of a declaration and/or the authenticity of a good put on the market Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2014060797A1
WO2014060797A1 PCT/IB2012/055691 IB2012055691W WO2014060797A1 WO 2014060797 A1 WO2014060797 A1 WO 2014060797A1 IB 2012055691 W IB2012055691 W IB 2012055691W WO 2014060797 A1 WO2014060797 A1 WO 2014060797A1
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WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
good
verifying
state
authenticity
codes
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PCT/IB2012/055691
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French (fr)
Inventor
Fabio GUGLIETTA
Carlo GAIBISSO
Daniele MONESI
Chiara FANCO
Debora MARIANELLI
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Cook Innovation Solutions Ltd.
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Priority to PCT/IB2012/055691 priority Critical patent/WO2014060797A1/en
Publication of WO2014060797A1 publication Critical patent/WO2014060797A1/en

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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/08Logistics, e.g. warehousing, loading, distribution or shipping; Inventory or stock management, e.g. order filling, procurement or balancing against orders
    • G06Q10/083Shipping
    • G06Q10/0833Tracking

Abstract

The present invention refers to a method and a system for verifying the correspondence and/or the authenticity of a good put on the market, which sets itself as an innovative, effective, flexible and inexpensive instrument of deterrence and fight against counterfeiting.

Description

METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR VERIFYING THE CORRESPONDENCE OF A DECLARATION AND/OR THE AUTHENTICITY OF A GOOD PUT ON THE MARKET

DESCRIPTION

The present invention refers to a method and a system for verifying the authenticity of a good put on the market and/or the correspondence of what declared by the producer for the good, through a set of information specified at the production lines, and the features of the good itself.

In what follows, such information will be referred to as 'metadata'; moreover, the terms query and interrogation(s) will be used interchangeably.

As is known, the counterfeiting phenomenon has experienced worldwide an exponential increase, not corroborated by worst-case estimates of the last years.

The most significant spreading element offered to the phenomenon, as stated by the official literature, is the globalization process of these years and the consequent expanding of common market areas. The reduction of borders on the one hand and the high rate of transport on the other hand facilitate transit and sale of counterfeit or imitation products, or of products infringing intellectual and industrial property rights.

Published statistics highlight phenomena of illegal acts carried out in percentages that by now overall have exceeded 10%, with more or less serious effects in some sensitive fields like the pharmaceutical, children games, mechanical and electronic spare parts, clothing field, just to mention a few.

Yet, even more impressive, and not sufficiently highlighted by the media, is the fact that low-value consumption goods of high commercial speed, oft-times referable to the agricultural and food industry, are by now systematically targeted by illegal attacks. To date, the search for anti-counterfeiting solutions, i.e., against any illegal practice towards consumption goods, did not bring about the desired effects.

Consumer and producer lose control of products in the distribution chain and cannot actually verify their authenticity once on sale.

Over time, several solutions have been proposed. All however retain drawbacks. E.g., some do not allow to verify the authenticity of the good before purchase.

Several of these solutions envisage the use of specific physical code-storing media, thereby limiting the fields of application of the proposed solution, or making their adoption impractical from an economic standpoint in case of media excessively costly with respect to the value of the goods on which they should be applied.

Therefore, object of the present invention is to solve the problems still left open by the known art, and this is obtained through a method and a system for verifying the authenticity of goods as defined in claim number 1 and 13, respectively.

Further features of the device of the invention at issue are defined in the corresponding dependent claims.

The present invention, by overcoming the problems of the known art, entails several evident advantages.

In particular, the present invention sets itself as an innovative, effective, flexible and inexpensive instrument for deterrence and fight against counterfeiting.

In fact, the present invention constitutes an effective and low-cost answer, strongly aimed at prevention and deterrence, to the solution of the problem of the fight against counterfeiting. In particular, the present invention allows the identification of goods through codes, which assures the impracticability from an economic standpoint of any counterfeiting practice, in other terms the impossibility of economically benefiting from the same counterfeiting practice.

The main reason for the inexpensiveness of the solution offered is that it can be implemented as a service provided to producers. Therefore, the producer of the good does not purchase a system, but a service. As a result, the producer does not necessarily have to bear, among others, expenses due to purchase and maintenance of the software and hardware required for the system, the adoption of solutions apt to assure service continuity, data backup and recovery from catastrophic events.

Moreover, when the present invention is provided in the form of service it does not bind the producer to the adoption of specific, and at times expensive, physical storage media of the codes.

Moreover, it is envisaged that for printing codes on the goods, or on their packaging, and for acquiring the related metadata, there may be used the reading/writing devices already available at production lines, when present.

From a security standpoint, the present invention can be effectively implemented as instrument of deterrence of and fight against counterfeiting, through a careful selection of communication modes between the bodies and/or actors concerned by the process. Secure communications in fact assure the requirements of:

Confidentiality: access to communication contents is exclusively restricted to participants to the communication itself;

Integrity: receiver detects any possible modification to communication content, with respect to what originally sent;

Authentication: communication participants are reciprocally certain of their interlocutor's identity;

Authorization: no communication can take place if not previously authorized;

Non-repudiability: there is evidence of the receiving (respectively, of the occurred sending) of the content of each successful communication by the receiver (respectively, by the sender).

Therefore, the system, according to the present invention, is capable of tracking any flow of codes among actors involved in the identification process, from when the code is generated to when it is applied to the good.

Moreover, with the aim of delaying as much as possible the associating of the code to the good or to its typology, a dynamically-occurring assigning of the codes can also be envisaged. In other words, it is not possible to foretell, e.g. at code generation, to which producer the code will be intended for.

In addition, the identification process starts at the production lines, where on each produced good a code is imprinted, to which in turn the metadata descriptive of the same good are associated; and it ends with the recording, by the system, of such information, among those maintained for the code, upon verifying the legitimacy of their source. It is only at the end of such a process that the code becomes queryable and therefore active.

Finally, the receiver of a code will be the only one enabled to make it available to the system for recovery, along with the metadata associated thereto.

Among the factors which most contribute to determine the effectiveness of the present invention, there can be highlighted the following:

· the possibility, for end consumers, of verifying the authenticity of the purchased product, via the use of devices with a very wide circulation, among which tablets, smartphones, cell phones or personal computers. • the possibility, through the same devices, of obtaining a partial description of the product from when it leaves the Production Lines, enabling any one, in particular distribution chain operators, to verify: the correspondence of code- associated metadata with the product features; and, under some conditions, the non-authenticity of the good. A capability, this, constituting a deterrent of great effectiveness to counterfeiting practices;

• the possibility of detecting the extent of the counterfeiting phenomena, their target and their geographic localization;

• the descriptive information associated to the codes, when suitably selected, can constitute an extremely valid deterrent to actuation of counterfeiting practices.

Finally, the aspect best summarizing the solution offered through the present invention, with respect to those known to date, is that it addresses and solves all issues making effective an approach to fight against counterfeiting: from the adoption of an irreproducible set of codes of a size sufficient to cover world production of goods for decades, to the definition of effective supplying policies for production lines; from the definition and adoption of secure communication protocols between the actors involved in the identifying and verifying process (confidentiality, integrity, authentication, authorization, non-repudiability), to the delivery of services of easy use and limited cost; from the implementation of functionalities for detecting counterfeiting phenomena, their extent and geographic localization, to the identification of the target of such phenomena.

These and other advantages, along with the features and the operation steps of the present invention, will be made apparent in the following detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof, given by way of example and not for limitative purposes. Reference will be made to the figures of the annexed drawings, wherein:

- Figure 1 is a block model schematizing a system according to the present invention and illustrating the information flows thereof, in accordance with the method according to the present invention;

- Figure 2 is an exemplary interaction diagram of a preferred embodiment of the present invention; - Figures 3 and 4 are state transition diagrams describing the life cycles of the codes used in the present invention; and

- Figures 5, 6 and 7 depict the decision trees related to policies for answering queries, implemented in the method according to the present invention.

The present invention will hereinafter be described in detail making reference to the above-indicated figures.

Initially referring to Figure 1 , this is a block model representative, though schematically, of a system 1 according to the present invention.

In the following description the method according to the present invention will be described, with specific reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, in which the individual stages are carried out by different subjects, linked thereamong by relationships of contractual and/or administrative type.

This because such an application of the method makes it particularly advantageous in economical terms for producers, and certainly more effective.

However, it is understood that the method according to the present invention, and therefore the system implementing it, may be carried out even integrally by each individual producer, without this modifying the innovative and functional aspects thereof.

Hence, hereinafter there will be described: the actors characterizing the scenario inside which the system operates, their interaction and the flows through which such interaction is carried out.

The system 1 , as exemplarily illustrated in Figure 1 , comprises an identifying (ID) code generation subsystem 2.

The ID codes, according to the present invention, should match a preset format, each ID code should possibly be unique and comprise at least one first component of code.

Advantageously, the set of generated codes is non-reproducible. In other words, the algorithm used to generate the codes should have randomness features such as to assure that sets generated at different instants on the same calculation system, or on different calculation systems, have intersection of non-negligible size with very low probability.

The system 1 further provides a central data processing unit 3 which receives the codes generated by the code generation subsystem 2 and makes them available to industrial subsystems of the producers that have to use them for the identifying of produced goods.

It is preferable that some of the parameters needed for the correct interaction between the system and the industrial subsystems served thereby be the subject of a contract between the individual producer and the system manager. This allows, among other things, to limit the interaction between the system and the industrial subsystems to what is strictly necessary.

From a flow management standpoint, it is preferable that codes acquired by the central data processing unit 3, and not yet used, be transferred to the industrial subsystems on the basis of their needs.

As already indicated, the present invention may be adopted by each individual producer. This means that the method and the system according to the present invention have peculiarities and technical features independent of the specific implementation mode, above all from a commercial standpoint.

In that sense, the present invention provides first of all a step of generating a plurality of ID codes which, as specified hereto, should match a preset format.

The generated ID codes are stored in a file.

Each ID code should be preferably unique and comprise at least one first component, which hereinafter will also be identified as 'hidden component'.

Therefore, to the first hidden component of each of the ID codes, corresponding first metadata descriptive of a respective good will be associated. Preferably, also the metadata are stored in the file.

Such first metadata will be selected and specified (in form and contents) by the producer of the good itself. Therefore, they assume a notation of express declaration of the producer with respect to the features, e.g. exterior ones, of the good.

The first component of the ID code (hidden component) should be reproduced, prior to the putting on the market, on a corresponding good to which it refers, in a position not visible when the good itself is put on the market.

E.g., the hidden component may be printed directly inside the packaging itself, or on a medium that is then applied inside the packaging, however in a manner such that access to the component be possible only after having purchased the good and thereafter having opened its packaging, or through alternative methods such as, e.g., scratch-off or the like.

To each hidden component that has been reproduced on a good, a state is associated to which an 'active state' value is initially assigned; such state is stored in the file to be then subject to verifying.

In fact, according to the present invention, the correspondence and/or the authenticity of a good put on the market can be verified via a first comparison of the hidden component, reproduced on the good itself, with the set of the hidden components stored in the file.

In particular, this first comparison comprises a verifying on the state of the corresponding hidden component and a signaling depending on the state of such first state.

Moreover, if the verified state is an 'active state', the first comparison step also provides a modifying of the stored state of the hidden component, by assigning it a 'queried state' value.

Therefore, e.g., if the verified state is an 'active state' the signaling could be a signaling of authenticity of the good. On the contrary, if the verified state is a 'queried state' the signaling could be a signaling of possible non-authenticity of the good.

At the same time, the comparison stage can further comprise an action of extracting and displaying descriptive metadata associated to the hidden component. This, so that the user may verify the correspondence thereof with the good put on the market.

According to the present invention, moreover, each of the ID codes also comprises a second component that, when provided, should be reproduced on the good in a visible position when the same is put on the market. For this reason, such second component will hereinafter be identified also as 'visible component'.

Analogously to what described in connection with the hidden component, an association of second metadata descriptive of the goods may be provided also for the visible component. Such second metadata could of course be alike or different with respect to the first metadata, associated instead to the hidden component. Also the second metadata are preferably stored in the file.

The visible component should be reproduced on the good, prior to its being put on the market, in a visible position. Therefore, e.g., it may be printed directly on the exterior of the packaging, or on a medium to be applied on the exterior of the packaging itself.

Thus, the user, whoever he/she may be, could use such second visible component, reproduced on the good itself, to verify the correspondence of a good put on the market, by comparing it with the set of visible components stored, through a second comparison step.

Such verifying could be carried out also without purchasing the good, precisely since such component is visible on the exterior of the packaging.

Advantageously, the verifying may provide a stage of extracting and displaying the descriptive metadata associated to the visible component, for verifying the correspondence thereof with the features of the good put on the market.

According to a possible embodiment, the verifying the correspondence and/or the authenticity of the good comprises the carrying out in sequence of both of the above- indicated second and first comparison step.

Hereinafter in the description a specific implementation of the present invention will be detailed, of course exemplary, but anyhow complying with the above-indicated general provisions.

According to such embodiment example, the stages of: ID codes generation, provision of codes to producers applying for them, codes and metadata filing, and management of queries by end users, are operated via a third independent subject providing such service to all subscribing producers, with modes standardized for all producers, and therefore with greater guarantees of efficiency, reliability and security.

Therefore, some of the steps of the method according to the present invention are operated by such third subject, through a system that, of course, comprises means for their implementation.

Therefore, with reference to Figure 2, a specific operative scenario will be described.

Hereinafter, the following definitions will be used:

- Code generation subsystem: The code generation subsystem is in charge of generating the set of identifying (ID) codes through which to identify the goods produced at production lines of the Industrial subsystems.

- Central Data Processing Unit: hereinafter referred to as Central Unit, it stores the set of ID codes generated by the Code Generation Subsystem, waiting to deliver them to receiver Industrial subsystems; supplies Industrial Subsystems with codes on the basis of their needs; recovers and keeps track of metadata associated to the codes used by Industrial Subsystems for goods identification, making said metadata available to the End Consumer for querying; answers to queries submitted by end consumers. Moreover, it requests to Industrial Subsystems, at preset time intervals established by the related contract for the supply of codes, information related to number of codes not yet sent to Printing Subsystems and presence of codes and related metadata to be recovered. Producers: a Producer intending to use the present invention at its own production line signs a contract for the supply of codes. The aspects of such a contract, apart from those purely administrative or related to accounting, functional to the correct operation and effectiveness of the system are:

a) supply start date and end date;

b) URLs to which codes are to be delivered and from which metadata, associated to the same codes at the Production Lines, are to be collected;

c) name and size of each such metadata;

d) model of the messages and notices returned to the End Consumer in response to its enquiries. Such messages are generally composed from metadata and information kept by the system for the interrogated code;

e) number of codes available to the Industrial Subsystem, and not yet delivered to the Printing Subsystems, below which the System should supply the same Industrial Subsystem over times as short as possible;

f) number of codes available to the Industrial Subsystem and not yet delivered to the Printing Subsystems, to be restored at each supply of codes by the System.

Industrial Subsystems: representing the production units at which the identifying of each produced good occurs through association, to the good itself, of a code and the related metadata. They comprise:

o Production Lines: i.e., the component of an Industrial Subsystem appointed to the production of goods,

o Interface Component: stores codes received by the central data processing unit, waiting to deliver them to Printing Subsystems. The scheduling policy adopted in this respect must be such as to guarantee the requirements of codes, or of physical media on which the codes are imprinted, of the Production Lines; recovers, from Production Lines, codes used for the identifying, and the related metadata, making them available for recovery by the Central Unit; moreover, the same component, upon request of the same Central Unit, provides thereto information related to the number of codes not yet sent to Printing

Subsystems and to the presence of codes and related metadata available for recovery,

o Printing Subsystems: each Printing Subsystem processes printing requests received from the Industrial subsystems. A printing request consists of a set of codes, each of which must be imprinted in a physical medium whose features are set by the customer and vary depending on those of the good on which it should be applied. The subsystem returns the produced physical media to the Production Lines of the customer Industrial subsystems.

The ID codes generated by the Code Generation Subsystem are transferred to the Central Unit, made available to Industrial Subsystems for product identification. All parameters needed for a correct interaction between the Central Unit and the Industrial subsystems served thereby are transferred to the Central Unit and the Industrial subsystems served thereby. Some of these parameters, endorsed by Producers at the signing of the contract for the supply of codes, enable, among other things, to limit to what is strictly necessary the interaction between the Central Unit and the Industrial subsystems. Interactions, these, aimed at:

- meeting the requirements of Industrial Subsystems in terms of codes;

- an effective recovery, by the System, of information descriptive of the identified products, referred to as metadata in the following, associated to codes at

Production Lines;

ID codes acquired by the Central Unit and still unused are transferred to Industrial Subsystems (in particular to their Interface Component) on the basis of their requirements. The codes available at the Industrial Subsystems and yet unused are transferred to the Printing Subsystems in order to be reproduced, e.g., on physical media to be applied to the products. The physical media manufactured by the Printing Subsystems are transferred to Production Lines to be applied to the produced goods. Inside the Industrial Subsystem, the codes and metadata associated thereto at the Production Lines are transferred to their Interface Component, and the same codes and the same metadata are transferred to the Central Unit and made available to End Consumers, to be interrogated (queried) according to different modes.

Concomitantly, again with a view to optimize communications between Central Unit and Industrial Subsystems, at time intervals preset and established by the contract for the supply of codes, each of such Subsystems receives from the Central Unit a status request, to which it replies with information related to the number of codes not yet sent to the Printing Subsystems, and to the presence of codes and related metadata to be transferred to the Central Unit.

The end consumer can interrogate the Central Unit through the codes read on a good, with the aim of verifying the correspondence between the metadata associated to the code itself at the Production Lines and the features of the good identified thereby and/or the authenticity of the good itself.

The Code Generation Subsystem, provided in different versions, should generate the ID codes so as to assure compliance with the following constraints:

a) the sets of codes generated by different versions of the Subsystem are mutually separate;

b) the generated set of codes is non-reproducible: the algorithm generating such set possesses randomness features such as to assure that sets of codes generated at different instants, even by the same calculation system, have, with a very high probability, intersection of negligible size;

c) the generated set of codes has a size such as to assure identification of a very high number of goods, such as those put on the market worldwide in decades of production;

d) each code is unequivocally referable to the version of the Subsystem that has generated it. Moreover, the information required for identifying the version is completely deducible from the code itself;

e) the generation sequence is not evident to a visual analysis of the codes, or of components thereof.

Two typologies of codes could be provided. In particular, a single ID code, or a double ID code could be provided.

The double code has two separately applicable components:

a first component, also identified as hidden component; and

- a second component, also identified as visible component;

The visible component is, e.g., a sequence of 16 printable ASCII characters.

The hidden component is, e.g., a sequence of 5 printable ASCII characters.

The single code consists of a sole hidden component. Such component, as in the case of the visible component of the double code, is, e.g., a sequence of 16 (printable) ASCII characters: the first character of the sequence is a K, whereas the next 15 are {A÷V} U {0÷9} characters.

As already widely described, to the ID codes, or better to each of their components, descriptive metadata of the good itself (e.g., of its outward appearance or the content of the packaging) are preferably associated.

Such metadata must be selected by the producer in a particularly accurate manner. In fact, a less than careful selection in that sense might considerably reduce benefits attainable by the adoption of the present invention.

Of course, metadata selection should occur depending of the requirements of the Producer of goods, but also for a correct and effective operation of the system. Specifically, in metadata selection it is necessary to take into due consideration the purpose of the messages and notices returned in response to end consumer queries and verifying.

For a correct and particularly effective implementation of the present invention, the hidden and/or visible components of the ID codes have to be reproduced on the goods by following some specific rules.

Regardless of the specific coding mode, e.g., non-coded or through a bar code, and of the physical medium used (a simple tag, rather than an RFID), the visible component of the double code has to be applied in a visible position with respect to the typical display mode of the product on sale shelves. The hidden component, of the single code or of the double code, must be positioned, even through use of specific physical media, so that the good or the packaging will need to be modified in a visually detectable way in order to access the component itself . This result may be obtained, e.g., by imprinting the code on the product packaging with a scratch-off technology, or on the interior of the same packaging, when sealed.

Each ID code, single or double, has its own life cycle, from the instant in which it is generated to that in which it is concerned by a query for verifying the authenticity or the correspondence.

The diagram of Figure 3 illustrates details related to each of the states the single codes assume during their life cycle, and to the actions determining their state transitions:

Such states are:

(1) "Generated, acquired by the Central Unit and available for assignment to one of the Industrial Subsystems served thereby";

(2) "Assigned to an Industrial Subsystem and available for transfer to the same Subsystem";

(3) "Transferred to the assignee Industrial Subsystem and available for assignment to a Printing Subsystem";

(4) "Assigned to a Printing Subsystem and available for transfer to the same Subsystem";

(5) "Delivered to the assignee Printing Subsystem and available for printing on the physical medium to be applied to the products";

(6) "Recovered by the Printing Subsystem and available to Production Lines of the assignee Industrial Subsystem for applying onto the products and associating of the related metadata";

(7) "Applied to the product and available, along with the metadata associated thereto, for recovery by the System'

(8) "Waiting for updating of information concerning it, maintained by the system, upon verifying the compliance of recovered metadata with what specified by the contract for the supply of codes, and the legitimacy of its provenance";

(9) active state, i.e., "Available for first verifying of authenticity"; (10) queried state, i.e., "Available for subsequent verifying of authenticity".

The diagram of Figure 4 illustrates details related to each of the states the double codes assume during their life cycle and to the actions determining their state transitions:

Such states are:

(1) "Generated, acquired by the System and available for assignment to one of the Industrial Subsystems served thereby";

(2) "Assigned to an Industrial Subsystem and available for transfer to the same Subsystem'

(3) "Transferred to the assignee Industrial Subsystem and available for assignment to a Printing Subsystem;

(4) "Assigned to a Printing Subsystem and available for transfer to the same Subsystem";

(5) "Delivered to the assignee Printing Subsystem and available for printing on the physical medium to be applied to the products";

(6) "Recovered by the Printing Subsystem and available to Production Lines of the assignee Industrial Subsystem for applying on the products and associating the related metadata";

(7) "Applied to the product and available, to the extent of its uncovered component, along with the metadata associated thereto, for recovery by the System"

(8) "Waiting for updating of information concerning it, maintained by the system, upon verifying the compliance of recovered metadata with what specified by contract, and the occurred assignment of the recovered code to the Industrial Subsystem of provenance";

(9) active state, i.e., "Available for verifying the correspondence and for the first verifying of the availability"

(10) queried state, i.e. "Available for subsequent verifying of the correspondence and availability"

As indicated hereto, user's queries, the user being or not being an end consumer, may be indicated as correspondence-verifying queries or authenticity-verifying queries. A correspondence-verifying query provides the specifying of the sole visible component of a double code.

Such a query enables to ascertain the correspondence of the description specified for the code at the Production Lines, through the metadata, with the features of that on which the same code is applied.

A correspondence-verifying query may be submitted any number of times for a same code subsequently to acquiring by the Central Unit of the metadata specified therefor, and consequently at any point along the distribution chain. For this reason, such a typology of query represents an extremely valid deterrence tool against counterfeiting phenomena. Hereinafter, for simplicity's sake in the exposure and without being detrimental to its generality, we will assume that queries be submitted to the Central Unit exclusively by end consumers.

An authenticity-verifying query envisages specifying the hidden component of a single code or of both components, visible and hidden ones, of a double code.

An authenticity-verifying query certifies the occurred applying of the queried code by the Industrial Subsystem which is its legitimate owner.

Therefore, such verifying in fact assures the authenticity of the good to which the code has been applied, and this also regardless of metadata associated to the same code.

Nevertheless, such metadata, if suitably selected, make any counterfeiting attempt evident and accordingly constitute a further effective deterrent against the same attempts.

An authenticity-verifying query for a same code may be submitted only once subsequently to the purchasing of the good. This is evident in terms of the fact that the query concerns the hidden component of the code, be it single or double. Therefore, such component is accessible and queryable only when the good itself has exited the distribution chain, e.g., by being purchased by the end consumer.

Since the present invention envisages that the state of the hidden code be modified in the comparison step and that a 'queried state' value be assigned thereto, for queries subsequent to the first one of authenticity a signaling of possible non-authenticity will be provided to the asker, informing him/her of the anomalous querying condition.

Advantageously, queries can be submitted to the system via any one instrument enabling connection with the apparatuses of the system itself, e.g., via the Internet, or via phone. For this purpose, the user could advantageously use a smartphone equipped with a dedicated App, or alike apparatuses.

Moreover, it may be envisaged that the response to the query be forwarded to the asker by using, beside the same means adopted for submission, also e-mail, so as to avoid that any, even temporary, connection problems may prevent its reception. A possibility, this, evidently particularly serious in the case of a query for verifying the authenticity.

It is appropriate to stress that at the Central Unit level there are provided the messages to be returned in each of the following conditions:

• in a correspondence-verifying query for a double code, the visible component proves to be not recorded by the system. Such a message will hereinafter be referred to as 'notice of non-recordation';

• for any typology of query, the code, though regularly recorded in the system, proves to be non queryable, e.g., due to a suspect fraudulent behavior at the Production Lines. Such a message, comprehensive of the causes of non- queryability of the code, will hereinafter be referred to as 'notice of non- queryability';

• in an authenticity-verifying query, the hidden component of a single code or of the double code, proves to be not correctly specified. Such a message will hereinafter be referred to as 'notice of non-verifying of authenticity'.

Preferably, at subscription to the contract for the supply, the producer sets, for each Industrial Subsystem receiver of its codes, the models of message to be returned in response to queries submitted by the end consumer, and more specifically:

• to a correspondence-verifying query, for verifying the correspondence of a visible component of a double code regularly recorded in the system. Such a message will hereinafter be referred to as 'correspondence-verifying message';

• to the first submitting of an authenticity-verifying query, for verifying the authenticity of a single or double code regularly recorded in the system. Such a message will hereinafter be referred to as 'authenticity-verifying message';

• to each query, be it correspondence-verifying or authenticity-verifying, subsequent to the first one of authenticity for a code regularly recorded in the system. Such a message will hereinafter be referred to as 'notice of repeated verifying of authenticity'.

The selection of the model of correspondence-verifying message surely represents the most critical aspect relative to the risk of reducing the benefits obtainable by an adoption of the system.

Such a message should enable the end consumer to ascertain the correspondence of the message itself with the features of the purchased product.

At the same time, the message should not provide information suitable for a certain identification of the product itself, an information this that should be delivered to the end consumer with the authenticity-verifying message.

Instead, as to the authenticity-verifying message, it is appropriate to stress the fact that a lack of metadata identifying the product is not per se binding with respect to the achievement of the results envisaged with the adoption of the invention.

In principle, in fact, the authenticity-confirming message might be independent of metadata associated to the queried code. Nonetheless, such metadata, as already stated in the foregoing, make evident any counterfeiting practice.

Therefore, it is always appropriate to use them, when present, in composing the authenticity-verifying message.

Even when such metadata were not available, for composing the authenticity- verifying message it is recommended to use the metadata which most precisely describe the product , and the others for the correspondence-verifying message.

The answering policy to correspondence-verifying queries adopted by the System, and illustrated by the decision tree of Figure 5, is the following:

in case the visible component of the double code proves to be not recorded, in response to his/her query the asker receives a notice of non-recordation of the code; if instead, in spite of the component being recorded, the code proves to be not queryable, the same asker receives a notice of non-queryability of the same code; finally, if the component proves to be recorded and the code queryable and not yet concerned by an authenticity-verifying query, the response to the query consists in the correspondence-verifying message envisaged by the contract for the supply of codes signed for the Industrial Subsystem assignee of the queried code; otherwise, in the notice of repeated verifying of authenticity of the code.

The answering policy to authenticity-verifying queries for single codes adopted by the System, and illustrated by the decision tree of Figure 6, is the following:

in case the code proves to be not recorded, the asker, in response to his/her query, receives a notice of non-recordation of the code;

if instead the code, though recorded, proves to be not queryable, the same asker receives a notice of non-queryability of the same code;

otherwise, if the code proves to be recorded, queryable and concerned for the first time by an authenticity-verifying query, the response to the query consists in the authenticity-verifying message envisaged by the contract for the supply of codes signed for the Industrial Subsystem assignee of the queried code;

finally, if instead the code proves to have already been concerned by an authenticity-verifying query, the asker receives a notice of repeated verifying of authenticity of the queried code.

The answering policy to authenticity-verifying queries for double codes adopted by the System, and illustrated by the decision tree of Figure 7, is the following:

In case the visible component proves to be not recorded, the asker, in response to his/her query, receives a notice of non-recordation for the code;

if instead the code, though recorded, proves to be non-queryable, the same asker receives a notice of non-queryability of the same code;

alternatively, if the visible component proves to be recorded and queryable, but the hidden component is not correctly specified, the response to the query consists in a notice of non-verifying the authenticity of the code;

finally, if the code proves instead to have already been concerned by an authenticity-verifying query, the asker receives a notice of repeated verifying of authenticity of the queried code; otherwise, an authenticity-verifying message.

The present invention has hereto been described with reference to preferred embodiments thereof. It is understood that other embodiments might exist, all falling within the concept of the same invention, and all comprised within the protective scope of the claims hereinafter.

Claims

1. A method for verifying the correspondence and/or the authenticity of goods, comprising the steps of:
- generating a plurality of identifying (ID) codes according to a preset format, each ID code being unique and comprising at least one first component;
- storing in a file said ID codes;
- associating, for each of said ID codes, first metadata descriptive of the goods to said first component;
- reproducing, prior to a putting on the market, each of said first components on a corresponding good, in a position not visible when the good itself is put on the market;
- storing in said file said first associated metadata,
the correspondence and/or the authenticity of a good put on the market being verifiable via a first comparison step of comparing said first code reproduced on the good itself with the set of the first codes stored.
2. The method according to claim 1 , further comprising a step of associating a state to each of the first components reproduced on respective goods, by assigning thereto an initial value of 'active state' and storing said state value in the file.
3. The method according to claim 2, wherein said first comparison step comprises a verifying on the state of the corresponding first component, the comparison producing a signaling depending on said state.
4. The method according to claim 3, wherein, if the verified state is an active state, said first comparison step further comprises a step of modifying the stored state of said first component, by assigning it a 'queried state' value.
5. The method according to claim 4, wherein, if the verified state is an 'active state' said signaling is a signaling of authenticity of the good, if the verified state is a 'queried state' said signaling is a signaling of possible non-authenticity of the good.
6. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said first comparison step comprises a step of extracting and displaying said descriptive metadata associated to said first component, for verifying the correspondence thereof with the good put on the market.
7. The method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each of said ID codes also comprises a second component, to be reproduced on said good in a position visible when the good itself is put on the market.
8. The method according to claim 7, further comprising the steps of:
- associating, for each of said ID codes, second metadata descriptive of the goods to said second component;
- reproducing, prior to a putting on the market, each of said second codes on a corresponding good in a position visible when the good itself is put on the market;
- storing in a file said second metadata,
the correspondence of a good put on the market being verifiable via a second comparison step of comparing said second code reproduced on the good itself with the set of the stored second codes.
9. The method according to claim 8, wherein said second comparison step comprises a verifying on the state of the first component, the comparison producing a signaling depending on the value of said state.
10. The method according to claim 9, wherein, when the verified state is a 'queried state' said signaling is a signaling of possible non-authenticity of the good.
11. The method according to any one of the claims 7 to 9, wherein said second comparison step comprises a step of extracting and displaying said second descriptive metadata associated to said second component, for verifying the correspondence thereof with the good put on the market.
12. The method according to any one of the claims 7 to 10, wherein said step of verifying the correspondence and/or the authenticity of the good comprises the carrying out in sequence of said second and first comparison steps.
13. A system for verifying the correspondence and/or the authenticity of goods, comprising means for implementing a method according to any one of the preceding claims.
PCT/IB2012/055691 2012-10-18 2012-10-18 Method and system for verifying the correspondence of a declaration and/or the authenticity of a good put on the market WO2014060797A1 (en)

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Applications Claiming Priority (3)

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PCT/IB2012/055691 WO2014060797A1 (en) 2012-10-18 2012-10-18 Method and system for verifying the correspondence of a declaration and/or the authenticity of a good put on the market
TW102108611A TW201417012A (en) 2012-10-18 2013-03-12 Method and system for verifying the correspondence of a declaration and/or the authenticity of a good put on the market
ARP130101694 AR091064A1 (en) 2012-10-18 2013-05-16 Method and system for verifying the correspondence of a statement and / or the authenticity of a product placed on the market

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US5768384A (en) * 1996-03-28 1998-06-16 Pitney Bowes Inc. System for identifying authenticating and tracking manufactured articles
EP1645992A1 (en) * 2004-10-08 2006-04-12 Philip Morris Products S.A. Methods and systems for marking, tracking and authentication of products
WO2010140892A1 (en) * 2009-06-05 2010-12-09 Kezzler As Method and system for storage and retrieval of track and trace information
EP2290620A1 (en) * 2009-09-01 2011-03-02 OpSec Security Group, Inc. Optically variable security device, and article employing same and method for verifying the authenticity of an article
EP2306377A1 (en) * 2009-09-24 2011-04-06 Kezzler AS Method and system for providing secure codes for marking on items
WO2011158253A1 (en) * 2010-06-17 2011-12-22 Rajender Kumar Nangia Method for verification of the authenticity of commodities and documents and the device thereof

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US5768384A (en) * 1996-03-28 1998-06-16 Pitney Bowes Inc. System for identifying authenticating and tracking manufactured articles
EP1645992A1 (en) * 2004-10-08 2006-04-12 Philip Morris Products S.A. Methods and systems for marking, tracking and authentication of products
WO2010140892A1 (en) * 2009-06-05 2010-12-09 Kezzler As Method and system for storage and retrieval of track and trace information
EP2290620A1 (en) * 2009-09-01 2011-03-02 OpSec Security Group, Inc. Optically variable security device, and article employing same and method for verifying the authenticity of an article
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TW201417012A (en) 2014-05-01

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