Zortag: Next Generation of Anti-Counterfeiting and Authentication Solutions

Satya Sharma, President & CEO

1.82trillion dollars.

That’ll be the approximate amount of global counterfeiting by 2020, according to Research and Markets’ recent report. Worst hit by the scourge of counterfeit products, the U.S. brands have accounted for a majority of the world’s infringed intellectual property.

Counterfeiting has more to it than knock-off Louis Vuitton handbags sold on the sidewalk. It also includes theft, forgery, and illicit trade of valuable art, artifacts, high-value collectibles, enterprise products, everyday consumer goods, and government and legal documents like corporate checks and other negotiable instruments, passports, visas, ID cards, event tickets, etc. Evidently, the ability of an enterprise to manage and monitor their products and assets in real time to authenticate their ownership is critical.

In an ambitious bid to put an end to counterfeiting, Dr. Satya Sharma founded Zortag to bring in the next generation of automatic identification and authentication of products and people. The company has devised a unique technology by combining the two-dimensional barcode or RFID chip with randomly distributed two-dimensional particles in the form of an optical fingerprint that can be applied to any product or item.

We ensure both information security as well as the integrity of the physical product

The number of possible combinations of randomly distributed 3D particles within the optical fingerprint exceeds 1060, putting it in the same class as human DNA combinations. These unique combinations make duplication almost impossible by anyone, even Zortag itself. Such 3D elements also have characteristic colors for subsequent image processing and analysis, which further enhance the randomness of the fingerprint structure. This information is stored in the database at the time of manufacturing.

Zortag’s solutions comprise the ZorID label, ZorSecure, the cloud server, and the user dashboard. Other embodiments of this technology allow for the creation of a Unique Identity and Authentication Key (UIAK) in the form of a physical item such as a card or key fob that cannot be cloned. This UIAK is configured to work only with an authorized mobile device in possession of the user. The unique key and the authorized mobile device constitute the necessary pair required to access digital assets securely, making it almost impossible to breach the cybersecurity. This unique pair can identify and authenticate a user and allow access to a website, server, or digital asset without requiring a password or username. The One Card thus created serves as a National ID card, corporate ID card, credit card, health card, passport, driver’s license, etc., alleviating the need to carry multiple cards or documents.

There are numerous embodiments of this unique technology in multiple areas. For example, it can prevent fraud in credit card transactions, especially Card Not Present (CNP) transactions for online purchases. It combines the power of the digital security of the Blockchain and the physical security of the products during movement in the supply chain.

The anti-counterfeiting technology created by Zortag is also applicable in blockchain supply chain and storing of cryptocurrency. Digital documents in blockchains are time-stamped to convey the order in which they were created. As products pass through a network of suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, transporters, distributors, storage facilities, and retailers before reaching consumers, the blockchain enables their traceability through its documents. However, as the blockchain provides only a digital record, the physical product could be diverted from the supply chain and replaced with unauthorized articles without affecting the information in blockchains. “Our blockchain technology covers this loophole and allows the secure movement of products from place to place; we ensure both information security as well as the integrity of the physical product,” explains Sharma.

Besides the U.S., the optical fingerprint technology is in use across India, China, and the European Union. Zortag plans to continue expanding across the globe so that more people can benefit from it. As a team, Zortag executives hold more than 200 patents in various disciplines with more than a dozen patents related to Zortag technology in multiple countries.