Document Security Systems, Inc., a leader in anti-counterfeit, authentication, product diversion and brand protection technologies, announced today the availability of their blockchain-based tracking and authentication solution “Sentinel”, uniquely developed to assist small-to-medium size online store owners protect their revenue and reputation from the growing number of grey goods sold within e-commerce marketplaces such as, Alibaba and Walmart.  The Sentinel application will be supported by the Company’s blockchain-as-a-service technology AuthentiChain™, which was developed by DSS and the Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre in Hong Kong.

Most manufacturer distribution agreements require the distributor to resell the products strictly to end users.  “Grey market goods” are goods sold outside the authorized distribution channels by entities which may have no relationship with the producer of the goods.  While grey market merchandise is not necessarily counterfeit, it is also not considered legitimate, and can do severe damage to a brand owner’s reputation and drive authorized sellers out of business.

DSS’ Sentinel technology will allow anyone in a brand owner’s supply chain, from production facilities, to distributors to consumers, to immediately authenticate product using their smartphone.  In addition, Sentinel will help protect and monitor a brand owner’s supply chain with real-time, global track and trace technology utilizing the DSS blockchain platform.  Sentinel's product authentication and track and trace capabilities are enabled via an undefeatable, encrypted code on every package. 

Market Defense, LLC, an online brand protection specialist with whom DSS executed a strategic partnership agreement in April 2019, will be the first company to license Sentinel technology as part of its solution to protect online store owners against the influx of grey market products. 

“DSS already has an extremely powerful solution to combat counterfeiting within complex supply channels,” stated Chad Annis, Market Defense, LLC CEO.  “The introduction of Sentinel allows us to protect the legitimate small-to-medium size brand owner from revenue loss and reputation damage as a result of unauthorized sellers, retail arbitrage, product diversion and MAP violations on and other online marketplaces,” added Annis.

“The DSS Sentinel product, along with the Market Defense product portfolio, provides a powerful one-two punch for small to mid-size store owners to protect their brand while selling in an online environment.  The onboarding process is simple and efficient, allowing your brand instant protection,” states Vincent Lum, President of DSS Digital.

Sentinel’s authentication and blockchain “marker” is applied to products at the brand owner’s manufacturing or origination site.  During this process, each product is assigned a unique identifier within the DSS blockchain platform allowing for smartphone authentication and enabling track and trace capabilities utilizing a secure, cloud-based web portal assigned to the brand owner.  Brand owners are then able to monitor their product throughout the distribution channel and identify any abnormalities, diversions or breakdowns.  In addition, end users will not only be able to verify that the product is authentic, but also if the product has been previously sold to another individual, and if so, when it was sold and at what location. 

The marker can be visible or covertly embedded most anywhere on the packaging and is fully customizable.  Additionally, and unlike most existing printed authentication technology, Sentinel’s marker cannot be reproduced with sophisticated copiers, scanners or hi-resolution photography, thereby ensuring product authenticity throughout the distribution channel. 

“DSS brand protection technology, by nature, is a non-disruptive system.  We work with your existing platforms, vendors and processes to implement our systems,” said Mike Buell, DSS VP of Business Development.  “DSS is very excited to show brand owners the amount of valuable information now accessible regarding their market and supply chain activity, as well as the tools available to provide an online shopping experience for customers that builds long-term loyalty and trust,” added Buell.

According to e-commerce intelligent firm Marketplace Pulse, “1,029,528 new sellers have joined Amazon this year, that’s the equivalent of 2,975 new sellers every day.  Most of the two million brands on Amazon are random creations.  In the context of Amazon, they are different brands because they are spelled differently, even though that includes misspelled, mistyped, and otherwise erroneous names. The quality of that list is the result of infinite shelf space with zero marginal cost.”