The Law firm Hoffman, intellectual property specialist, is now adopting a blockchain system to enable its clients, particularly luxury brands, to protect their creations. The law firm has joined forces with court Bailiff’s office account to ensure that know-how, innovation and creation are recorded on a digital platform as evidence.
By Claire Domergue and Anaïs Mampuya
The online sales of counterfeits in 2017 cost luxury brands € 25.6 billion
According to the Global Brand Counterfeiting Report 2018, counterfeiting represented in 2017 a loss of revenue for luxury brands of USD 98 billion, while online sales of counterfeits cost companies involved in the sector USD 30.3 billion (€25.6 billion).
Regarding the luxury market, the report focuses on the counterfeiting of textiles, shoes, cosmetics, handbags and watches. This real scourge for luxury brands is a very serious threat in markets with very high purchasing power, such as France, Germany, Hong Kong, China, Italy, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“Taking all the sectors together, total losses in 2017 from counterfeiting are estimated at around USD 1,200 billion and are expected to reach USD 1,800 billion by 2020.”
On the other hand, online sales of counterfeit products are estimated to have generated about USD 323 billion in losses last year, representing nearly 31% of the loss of revenue from trade in imitation products in 2017.
It should be recalled that counterfeiting undermines the development of companies in all the sectors of the economy and encourages illegal activities, such as violations of labour laws or product manufacturing standards. Especially since this phenomenon also represents a threat to the luxury brands’ image and reputation.
Using blockchain to drive transparency across creative process
Blockchain technology enables the transmission of data and information storage without intermediaries, allowing the creation of a transparent and secure database. Originally used for the exchange of crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin, the blockchain has become a very legal tool for intellectual property.
As legal director for Ladurée, Gwendoline Cattier, said to Carrière-juridiques.com magazine: “The blockchain guarantees a first transparent proof of the existence of intangible know-how, based on a specific date. For example, if a recipe was coded on 10 November 2017, a competing pastry chef will not be able to use it retrospectively. In the case of the macaroons company, the blockchain protects culinary creations during their development phase until they are officially registered.”
Pierre Hoffman (associated): “Beyond the blockchain timestamping, the probative value isprovided by the report of the bailiff requested in one clic on our platform, it makes all the difference to other platforms”.
Several companies have specialized in the use of this technology, which seems to be starting a small revolution in the legal world. However, according to Pierre Hoffman, partner of the firm, “Since this technology works without the intervention of a trusted third party who could engage his professional liability, the recourse to a court bailiff sometimes remained necessary to prove the existence of a document recorded on the blockchain, a contract for example. He specifies: Beyond the blockchain timestamping, the probative value is provided by the report of the bailiff requested in one clic on our platform, it makes all the difference to other platforms”.
HOFFMAN law firm, counting among its clients, big names in the luxury industry, has therefore joined forces with a Bailiff’s study to ensure that the violation of intellectual property is regulated by law.
Their technology makes it possible to timestamp large volumes (image, sound, video, presentation, workbook, source code, Excel and zip…)24 hours a day, irrevocably and on a non-manipulable way. “Today, the probative value of the report is the only one recognized by the law and the courts. Our platform, combining blockchain technology and bailiff’s report, is the combination of digital evidence and trusted third parties,” emphasizes Pierre Hoffman. It is therefore the entire creative process that can now be safely recorded, starting with the dates of each steps in the creation, up to the distribution of rights in the event of plurality of authors, according to the creative contribution of each.
By Claire and Anaïs
Emmanuelle Hoffman : email@example.com
Pierre Hoffman : firstname.lastname@example.org
Picture: Pierre Hoffman, Associate
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