New Solution for Wine & Spirits Industry to Fight Counterfeiting

Portland-based BrandWatch Technologies and France-based, Prooftag, announced a partnership that creates a sophisticated set of protection and marketing tools for the wine and spirits industry to help domestic wineries and distilleries overcome the problems of counterfeit product and authentication in overseas markets, such as China, which is recognized as both a huge market for potential growth and a hotbed for counterfeiting problems.

BrandWatch Technologies is now offering Prooftag’s Bubble Seal™ technology as an integrated component to its multi-layered protection solution. This innovative new brand protection solution includes overt, covert, track & trace, and forensic technologies.

The partnership also provides the brand owners with an iPhone app that enables distributors and consumers to verify the product they are holding is authentic. The iProof app uses the phone’s camera to take a picture of the Bubble Seal™, which then cross-references an online database of products to confirm authenticity. Instant offline authenticity can be achieved with the BrandWatch Reveal detector.

“Our partnership with Prooftag enables North American wineries and distilleries to more confidently sell into new markets,” said Steve Delepine, vice president of business development at BrandWatch Technologies. “The technology we are providing with our partner, Prooftag, can be deployed as efficiently on a $10 bottle of red table wine, as on a $10,000 bottle of French Bordeaux.”

“BrandWatch Technologies’ reach in North America and multi-layer protection solutions, takes our Bubble Tag™ product and creates a unique fraud protection system,” said Franck Bourrières, co-founder of Prooftag.

The mobile app also opens marketing possibilities for manufacturers, as customers can use their phone to sign up for promotional deals, receive news or special offers.

The problem of counterfeit wine in China
has been reported over the last few years.

Examples include:

“Chinese Vintners Accused of Selling Fake Wines” as seen in December 30, 2010 on

“China has fake wine, tofu… and now eggs” as seen in The Straits Times January 5, 2011.

“Château Faux” as seen on, “In recent years authorities in China have uncovered bottles of fake everything, from a $4,000 bottle of Château Lafite Rothschild to 12,000 bottles of $10 Mouton Cadet.” Originally published June 6, 2006.

What Is Multi-Layered Brand Protection?

Multi-layered brand protection includes a combination of elements such as industry and regulatory compliance, information technology systems, and enforcement mechanisms. Layers include overt, covert and tracking measures for authentication.

– Overt technologies can be seen and include bar codes, specialty inks and labels, holograms, watermarks, and tamper-evident film.

– Covert technologies are solutions that are not visible to the human eye. These may include taggants, specialty inks, and forensic markers that are integrated into the packaging or product, and can only be read with proprietary readers or detectors.

– Track and trace systems are unique product identification solutions that can be applied overtly and/or covertly to individual products, cases, pallets or shipping containers. The unique markers can be scanned at any point in the supply chain. Information is then uploaded to secure data management systems. Brand owners, enforcement teams and consumers can access this information to track and authenticate their products at any point in the supply chain.

About Prooftag

Founded in 2004 by the research firm Novatec, Prooftag develops simple, efficient and durable security and traceability solutions for use in brand protection and document certification around the Bubble Tag™. Initially adapted to wine and spirits then for watches and jewelry, Prooftag supplies its technology for brand protection in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, electronics and food industries but also to several governments for document security. For more information, visit the company’s website at

About BrandWatch Technologies

Established in 2001, BrandWatch Technologies is a global leader in brand security and product authentication solutions. The company’s brand security programs protect critical infrastructures such as agriculture, government, banking, defense, law enforcement, consumer products, transportation, and public health. BrandWatch Technologies focuses on securing supply chains, reducing liability, detecting counterfeits, implementing track and trace, identifying grey market diversion, and verifying product recycle chains. For more information, call Steve Delepine 503-285-3890 or visit the company’s website at

Source: BrandWatch Technologies

About the Author

Guy-Jacques Langevin

Co-founder of Vinivino. His passion for wine started for over a decade. Guy-Jacques followed wine teaching courses from sommelier François Chartier and from the Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ) in addition to attending various wine tasting events. He founded Vinivino with the goal of bringing the wine accessible to everyone.

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