A member of the Australian cabinet has said a new government-backed initiative, which uses blockchain, can help grow the national economy and create new jobs.
- This comes as Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) announced Monday it was piloting a blockchain-based app developed by the country's patent and intellectual property office.
- Called Smart Trademark, the platform allows the legal owners of a trademark to link online stores and their supply chains to a government registry, so they can distinguish themselves from counterfeit websites.
- Registered companies can also add a "Trust Badge" to their website so consumers can verify they are buying authentic brands. The NRL said two of its official merchandise stores would begin featuring the Trust Badge.
- The trademark is secured using blockchain, making counterfeiting difficult. Owners can also be made aware of any illicit attempts to copy the trademark.
- Karen Andrews, Australia's minister for industry, science and technology, said initiatives like Smart Trademark, as well as the underlying blockchain technologies, helped protect businesses as well as the country's international reputation.
- “This app could be used across a range of Australian-made products and is a great example of how new technologies can be applied in very practical ways to grow the economy and create local jobs,” Andrews said in a statement.
- Last year, the OECD estimated counterfeited and pirated goods were worth $509 billion in 2016 – around 3% of the global economy.
- Andrews said as many as 5.4 million jobs could be lost globally by 2022 unless more was done to stop counterfeit goods.