SAP, Nokia join forces against counterfeiting

The tech giants are teaming up with a banknote specialist to provide a system that will track a product from factory to shop to guarantee its authenticity

SAP has formed a new company with Nokia and German banknote and smartcard specialists Giesecke & Devrient to develop services and solutions designed to help companies protect themselves from counterfeiting and product piracy.

Announced on Thursday at SAP's TechEd event in Vienna, the new company is to be called Original1 and will be headed by SAP research vice president Claudia Alsdorf and based in Frankfurt. It is expected to start operations before the end of this year.

"Original1 will provide a one-stop shop for companies seeking secure services that protect them from counterfeiting, safeguard the value of their brands, and help them develop a more transparent way of working to become more sustainable," said Antti-Jussi Suominen, Nokia general manager for commerce and corporate development, in a statement.

Counterfeiting is a worldwide problem that is on the rise and affecting more and more companies in different industries, according to Suominen. According to the Washington-based International Anticounterfeiting Coalition, counterfeiting and piracy has grown more than 10,000 percent over the past 20 years, affecting businesses in the apparel, pharmaceutical and auto sectors, among others.

Original1's product-assurance services will be based on the SAP platform, with Nokia providing mobile authentication software. The services will add a tag to a physical item with a tamper-proof product code so it can be tracked from production to purchase using a mobile device. G&D will deliver security solutions including authentication, end-to-end encryption of the information flow and database encryption.