Many of us have come home with a new designer bag, watch or other merchandise only to suspect or discover that it was a fake. More ominously, people die from counterfeit drugs on a daily basis. Globally, consumer counterfeit imports are worth just short of a half-a-trillion-dollars annually. The trade is growing, has spread to most industries and counterfeiters always seem to be at least one step ahead of manufacturers. As such, it is tough for consumers to feel entirely secure about their purchases.

In response, two researchers from the University of Copenhagen’s Nano-Science Center have developed a 100% pirate-safe labelling system, where individual items receive a label, a so-called ‘tag’, that corresponds with a unique fingerprint. After nearly 10,000 tests, the researchers have proved that their method works.

“You can put it on a wine bottle, a gold watch, a painting — whatever. The label needn’t be larger than a comma. And, it is impossible to copy because the probability that two items share the same fingerprint is nil,” says UCPH researcher and associate professor Thomas Just Sørensen, who along with fellow researcher Riikka Arppe-Tabbara has developed the anti-counterfeiting system that they are able to confidently refer to as “the world’s safest.”

Read more at University of Copenhagen