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WISeKey Semiconductors U.S. Patent for a Dual-mode Anti-Counterfeiting IoT Label to be Used in Pharma to Protect Pharmaceuticals Against Counterfeiting

Press release from the issuing company

Geneva, Switzerland/New York, USA – WISeKey International Holding Ltd (“WISeKey”), a cybersecurity IoT platform company, today announced that it has develop a new IoT anti-counterfeiting TAG based on its U.S. patent. Pub No. US2019/0114522 A1 https://image-ppubs.uspto.gov/dirsearch-public/print/downloadPdf/20190114522 

The TAG is designed and strategically placed inside the pharmaceutical package including bottles and containers used to package and ship medications. When the device is intact, it can be interrogated remotely by an NFC reader to retrieve information on the product, and also to confirm the authenticity of the information. When the package is opened the NFC TAG is damaged, so that the package cannot be reused to authenticate a fake pharmaceutical product. The technologically wireless communication capabilities for connecting with computing devices such as smartphones or wearables and an artificial memory that helps provide alerts through display or sound system. With applications presently spanning across pharmaceutical products anti-counterfeiting tags are increasingly gaining traction and are observing vast developments in terms of innovation and technological advances.

Carlos Moreira, WISeKey’s CEO, noted, “WISeKey’s NFC tags can help protect against counterfeiting by providing a way to authenticate products and our U.S. patent provides pharmaceutical companies with a much-needed solution to put a stop to distribution of counterfeit medications, a huge threat to public health. When an NFC-enabled smartphone or device is brought close to an NFC tag, the tag can transmit information to the device, such as a unique identifier for the product. NFC tags can also be used to track the product through the supply chain, from the manufacturer to the distributor to the retailer. This can help prevent counterfeit products from entering the supply chain in the first place and can also help identify the source of any counterfeit products that are discovered.”

Overall, NFC tags provide a simple and effective way to authenticate pharmaceutical products and protect against counterfeiting, which can help ensure that consumers receive safe and effective medications.

Transparency Market Research estimates that the global smart bottle market, which was pegged at US$88.6 million in 2016, will reach US$258.8 million by 2024, registering a CAGR of 14.3% between 2016 and 2024.

Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is a wireless communication technology that enables two devices to communicate with each other when they are in close proximity. An NFC tag is a small electronic device that can be embedded in a product or attached to its packaging to store information.
Pharmaceutical products are often the target of counterfeiting, where fake drugs are sold to consumers under the guise of genuine products. This can have serious health consequences, as counterfeit drugs may not contain the correct ingredients, or may be contaminated with harmful substances.

This unique identifier can then be used to verify the authenticity of the product by checking it against a database of valid identifiers maintained by the manufacturer or a third-party authentication service. If the identifier is not found in the database or is found to be invalid, it is likely that the product is a counterfeit.

WISeKey IoT Tags offers the only solution that is based upon Common Criteria (EAL4+) for object identification and FIPS 140-2, meaning the solution provides the same level of digital security trusted by banks, the U.S. Department of Defense and l’ANSSI in France. WISekey has also filed a new patent in Switzerland and U.S. that ensures the provenance, authenticity, persistence, and long-term value of NFTs that are minted on Blockchains using this method. During the minting process, this method allows to ensure that the NFT is not corrupted, incomplete, or ambiguous.

In general, there is a high confidence in the ability of a Blockchain to preserve and store the public key and digital signature information of the NFT along with any subsequent transaction data over long and very long periods of time. However, a Blockchain cannot preserve information that the NFT does not itself include. Such as disclosed in the patent application, it is the information in a persistent off-chain storage that establishes the value and that needs to be authenticated and secured.

NFTs that are not created by this method will not contain enough information to ensure that the minter of the NFT was the originator or possessor of the object at the time of minting or had authority to mint the NFT. Without identifying and establishing the rights of the minter, the long-term value of the NFT is diminished.

The information associated with an NFT can easily degrade over long periods of time. For example, over several decades or even over centuries the owner of an NFT, their descendants, and others may find it difficult to discern whether an NFT is authentic or what object the NFT is associated with, or the location where the object itself is located. There is no assurance that the NFT itself will preserve its ability to authenticate the associated object or that its association with the object will be preserved.

In order to solve these technical problems, the methods protected by the patent application define the structure, composition and minting process of an authenticatable and persistent NFT to establish and maintain long-term value as well as corresponding systems implementing these methods.

WISeKey has aggregated over 46 IoT patent families (more than 200 patents in total) to its portfolio (https://www.wisekey.com/patents/) required to power the WISeKey IoT Platform. For WISeKey, adding to its patent portfolio and intellectual property is key to ensuring that the company will remain a major player in the IoT Industry for years to come as company focuses on integrating unique technology that is differentiated, protected and hard to reproduce based on tangible scientific discoveries or engineering innovations.

The IoT Industry is a game changer new business segment for WISeKey. An estimated 50 billion IoT devices are expected to be connected by 2020, while world’s population is estimated to grow to 6.8 billion; thus, there will be more than 7 IoT devices per person connected to the internet by 2020. As a result, it is anticipated that this year already the number of IoT devices will surpass the number of mobile devices. By 2021, it is expected 1.8 billion PCs, 8.6 billion mobile devices, and 15.7 billion IoT devices; by 2035, the amount of data usage is expected to grow more than 2,400 times, from 1 exabyte to 2.3 zettabytes.

A huge and increasing amount of sensitive data that will need to be protected by the IoT chips produced by WISeKey will be interchanged between connected devices and back-end servers, allowing companies to provide users with new type of applications. These applications will be designed to offer increased control over the use of resources, improve efficiency in power grids, optimize processing of information in industrial environments, secure autonomous vehicles, provide better and higher quality healthcare services and personalized experience for shopping or leisure, among others.

For more information, visit www.wisekey.com


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