Current Anti-Counterfeiting Technologies in use

We recently conducted a market survey to figure out the measures manufacturers are using to prevent counterfeiting. We took some popular products (Original) hallmarked with anti-counterfeiting measures on them, out on the streets to ask few questions from consumers. Here are the results:

1. Holograms (a great puzzle)

We all have seen colorful holograms on products. These holograms have particular patterns that ideally should exist only for Original products. More than 90% people have never checked holograms on the products while purchasing. Less than 1% people remembered unique pattern (s) on these holograms.
We asked companies how much they spend on holograms. To our surprise, Cost of holograms is in the range of INR 0.1 to 5. For a mid-size FMCG, about 10 million (Indian Rupees) is spent on hologram technology annually.
What we think? Counterfeit who’s able to replicate a product wouldn’t find it too difficult to replicate a hologram.

2. Seal (it can’t be broken if it already looks broken)

Isn’t it one thing we love doing the most — opening seal of a new mobile phone? You’d have notice a small piece of writing on it — “don’t buy if the seal is tampered”. More than 30% people have bought products with a tampered seal. Almost all of them were assured at the point of sale that tampered seal has nothing to do with the product’s originality.
What we think? There’s no-one stopping a counterfeit to replicate an original seal.

3. Looks

In age group of 15–25 years, people belonging to middle income families in Delhi & Mumbai about 50% have been fooled atleast once to purchase fake deodorants, apparels or shoes at the original price.
Counterfeits are investing heavily in printing and packaging technologies to come up with counterfeit products having more than 90% similarity with the Original product.

4. Barcodes

Most of the products carry barcodes on their packaging. These barcodes are not unique to a product, rather same for the entire batch of products manufactures at a time. Hence, it should never be used as a measure to verify for product’s originality.
Although some products like Laptops and Mobile Phones carry serial numbers that can be used to verify product’s originality. But the means to verify for product’s originality are not convenient enough to be used at Point of Sale.
Less than 1% electronics products carry unique serial numbers and none of FMCG products in India are uniquely serialized.
Less than 10% people check for product’s originality at the point of sale by using product’s unique serial number.

5. Last one — The corner shop a.k.a. “The Trusted Shop”

Last few anti-counterfeiting investigations revealed in most cases owners are themselves not aware if the procured batch is original or fake. Leakage occurs somewhere in the middle of product’s supply chain, wherein retailers are unaware about such a development.
If we’re fooled to purchase a fake sports T-Shirt, it wouldn’t be grave threat compared to a consuming a fake medicine or water. A lot of new-age technologies are available these days that are overt and hack-proof and can be used by consumers at the point of sale to verify for product’s originality.
O4S is a smart Anti-Counterfeiting & Consumer Engagement Technology Platform. We’re working with some of the most prominent companies globally to help them prevent counterfeiting. Also, helping consumer authenticate products at the point of sale by providing them with easy means using smartphones.
O4S is meeting some prominent companies who face counterfeiting and are willing to solve it. If you’re a brand owner, and want to understand about new-age anti-counterfeiting technologies, you can get in touch with us on
Know more on