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Louis Vuitton launches Blockchain

Written by Mark Reed on 28 March 2019

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PYD has a blockchain vision and now a breakthrough for Louis Vuitton owner LVMH. 

The preparation of blockchain and its ability to authenticate some of its high-priced goods is being launched by LVMH who own the brands Luis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

The development of www.protectyourdesign.com came from a business development meeting in our Lawdit Solicitors office. We considered how we can control, log and protect the unregistered rights of our clients work. This ended up with a focus on blockchain like many other businesses.

We were asked to sum up why Lawdit Solicitors considered blockchain technology as the best method of protecting our clients unregistered design rights. Our answer was put in to 3 reasons:

1. The blockchain technology offers the dual benefits of traceability security value for money and transparency. In simple terms, a blockchain can be used to effectively remove copies of your designs, provide an accurate record of when they were posted or indeed created and their quantity. Our website brings about a new level of transparency to your business it will simplify ownership but above all it will be transparent.

2. Design Assurance. If someone uploads a copy of your design an irregularity will be detected and the blockchain system will lead you all the way to its point of origin. This makes it easier for businesses to carry out investigations and execute the necessary actions. As a firm of Solicitors specialising in IP it can also be very attractive and persuading that you have guns available to you.

3. Accounting. Recording transactions through blockchain virtually eliminates human error and protects the data from possible tampering. Keep in mind that records are verified every single time they are passed on from one blockchain node to the next. In addition to the guaranteed accuracy of your records, such a process will also leave a highly traceable audit trail.

LVMH is launching their blockchain based system through the platform AURA and starting with both Christian Dior products and of course Luis Vuitton.

It is understood that an Ethereum blockchain known as Quorum which was developed by JP Morgan is being used as the base, due to its focus on data privacy, a key component for LVMH agreeing to take on a blockchain team to ensure the project’s success.

One of the team that have been involved in the project have told www.coindesk.com that:

“To begin with AURA will provide proof of authenticity of luxury items and trace their origins from raw materials to point of sale and beyond to used-goods markets. The next phase of the platform will explore protection of creative intellectual property, exclusive offers and events for each brands’ customers, as well as anti-ad fraud.”

When we looked into other companies that started using blockchain technology to support aspects of their business it turns out that it isn’t the first to track luxury goods through an authenticity tracking blockchain platform but it is ahead of its time. The big difference with AURA is that it will offer a white label type service which means that it will run behind the brands using its platform and work with other competitors. Specifically, it was explained that “if you are a customer of a luxury brand, you are not going to see AURA; you are going to see the Louis Vuitton app or the app of another luxury brand.”

Our consensus on this is that if other companies do join the platform then the scope is quite impressive. LVMH have also attempted to avoid intellectual property (IP) issues that have previously been caused with the likes of Maersk and IBM, by having the IP owned by a separate entity so will be owned by the companies who participate in this platform going forward. ‘Gucci, for example, could decide to join the platform and be a shareholder – in which case their claim to the IP would be as great as Louis Vuitton’s claim to the IP. That is the main difference between this project and the IBM Maersk project, which hopefully makes it much more comparable to Komgo, the trade finance consortium,’ is how it was explained by a team member. They also closed with a paramount statement to how this can be a positive by saying ‘They [LVMH] see down the line permissioned and public networks as needing to be interoperable if they are to put the power back to customers. It’s also a way for a global network of distributors and resellers to connect to a network without restriction.’

The legal principles of this type of transaction have been discussed in detail in previous articles. The added protection that the companies will have, for both distribution, proof of work and of course data privacy makes this a positive move for LVMH to make.

 

If you'd like to know more about this article please send an email to Michael Coyle quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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