Anti-counterfeit technologies play a vitally important role in tackling the trillion dollar global problem of counterfeit and diverted goods. The problem effects markets including pharmaceuticals, electronics, industrial parts, consumer goods, and food & beverages.

Traditional anti-counterfeit technologies have drawbacks including usability issues and high cost, so there is a great demand for improved solutions. We track dozens of companies developing new anti-counterfeit technologies, so have picked out our top ranked young companies.

TruTag Technologies / Founded 2010 / Edible microtags and proprietary reader

trutag-bottle-w-pills-QRcode-1000[1]TruTag Technologies has developed an edible microtag, branded TruTag®, for identification, authentication, brand protection and quality assurance of individual medicines, electronic components, industrial parts, food items, and a range of consumer goods. Each tag contains a unique code that can only be scanned using the company’s proprietary instruments. With such a vast array of unique signatures, these codes can be associated with a wide variety of fields of information, similar to a traditional printed bar code, allowing TruTag microtags to serve as covert, heat-resistant, “edible bar codes.”

RealTAG / Founded 2014 / Mobile phone readable tags

SmartphoneMed[1]RealTag’s technology encompasses the development of an innovative means of creating a tag that the company says is both practically impossible to copy and easy to read by a smart phone. RealTag has a patent pending with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). This will enable brand owners to itemise each product individually, in turn enabling the brand owners to send product-specific information directly to the customers. Brand owners and customers will then be able to enjoy a one to one relationship, with product launches, upgrades and news all available directly to the customer through their smart phone.

Scrona / Founded 2014 / High resolution printing to create unforgeable patterns

Scrona’s platform advances ink-jet printing “from art to nanotechnology”

Scrona develops print heads based on its proprietary NanoDrip printing, an ink-jet technology that achieves a printing resolution, which is up to 1000 fold finer than the width of human hair. Equipped with 3D printing capabilities, this is a technology enabler; not only for electronics, but also in security printing, life sciences, and smart surfaces. In security printing the company says that NanoDrip printing can flexibly produce essentially unforgeable patterns that allow easy access to the consumer; and at the same time protect them from counterfeits.

ScanTrust / Founded 2014 / Copy proof QR codes, read with a mobile phone

scantrust[1]The company says it has developed the world’s first and only copy proof QR code in the market, used to protect physical goods from counterfeiting. ScanTrust Secure Codes contain a unique fingerprint, which the company says even the best counterfeiters are not able to reproduce. The Codes can be easily verified with smartphones through mobile consumer and B2B apps. Each scan generates immediate data visualized on ScanTrust’s online portal. Users and the brand owner learn instantly when a counterfeit is detected.

BlockVerify / Founded 2015 / Blockchain-based verification

COJy4QiWwAA2ctT[1]BlockVerify is creating a blockchain-based solution to improve anti-counterfeiting measures. The company’s strategy is to assign each product as an asset and add them to the blockchain. Each item, for example a Gucci bag, malaria medicine, iPad, or a diamond ring, will be given a unique number (hash) that will be verified through the company’s blockchain technology.

Alise Devices / Founded 2011 / Flexible films, read using smartphone, LCD-TV, or computer screen

5-LILIAC_telefono_8[1]Alice Devices manufactures a flexible and extremely thin film which is transparent under daylight. When the film is exposed to a polarized light source (for example a smartphone screen, LCD-TV, or laptop screen) a set of images is revealed on one side and by flipping it over different images appear without interference between sides. The company says the physical and chemical properties of the film (totally flexible, resistant to extreme temperature and pressure conditions, resistant to UV radiation and washable…) make it suitable for being inserted in any product. The company provides security and brand protection to clients through the solution, which is also a very powerful communication and marketing tool.

DiamLite / Founded 2014 / Fluorescent diamonds as markers

diamondsDiamLite develops and manufactures innovative fluorescent diamonds as permanent markers; for marking objects (tracking and anti-counterfeiting authentication) and fluids (tracing), and for health & life science industries (biological analyses, in vitro diagnosis, bio-imaging). Fluorescent diamonds are an innovative technology for permanent marking, which can be overt or invisible but easy-to-detect with a portable device. They enable unforgeable marking of every kind of goods and valuable items, for their traceability and authentication, as well as customization of the encryption level of the resulting security tag.