The objective of this report is provide a survey on the techniques (i.e., technologies and procedures) that can be used in the fight against the distribution of counterfeit goods in various domains. Different techniques can be used to identify and control the distribution of counterfeit goods at different levels. The list of surveyed techniques and approaches in this report includes: a) technologies for goods authentication, which can be used to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit goods, b) track and trace technologies, which can be used to control the supply and distribution chains to make it easier to detect counterfeit goods in the supply chain entering through a legitimate distribution channel, c) technologies and procedures for container tracking and sealing c) technologies for the analysis of ecommerce web sites, which can be used to identify sellers of counterfeit products and d) set-up of organizational structure and processes.
Each technique may not be the only valid solution for the problem of production and distribution of counterfeit products. The problem of counterfeiting is related to many different domains and goods (e.g., agricultural products, electronic circuits, medicines) and each technique can be applied with different degrees of success to different domains. In addition, each technique has a different level of market maturity: some techniques are still in the research stages while others have been already deployed in the market for years. The survey evaluates and compares the techniques against the different domains using different metrics, which include the design and deployment costs, the complexity of the technology, the usability and so on. The comparison of the techniques is based on collected evidence both from literature and from direct feedback from law enforcers and stakeholders.
The report also links the design and deployment of the identified techniques with organization and processes aspects. The feasibility and operational success of some techniques is only possible if an organization framework (e.g., supply chain management) is in place. On the other side, specific technologies (e.g., authentication technologies) can greatly improve organizational-based approach to limit the risk of distribution of counterfeit products