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The pharmaceutical giant Merck is looking to use blockchain technology to monitor the freight transport process.


The patent was published on 21 June by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and submitted in December 2016. According to it, one of the ten largest pharmaceutical companies plans to create a blockchain-based network that will be able to store information about a product. Thus, when the item is on the way to the next destination, the ones who have access to the network can easily check where the product is. Collated information will be used then to verify the identity of a product.

In simpler words, the main objective is to fight against counterfeiting. Merck has already engaged in the internal product verification, and the patent submitted seems to be what the pharmaceutical giant is looking for to eliminate the counterfeit products.

Blockchain technology “enables a secure, reliable storage of the reading results”

Merck describes in its patent that blockchain technology “enables a secure, reliable storage of the reading results with very high data integrity, such that it is essentially impossible to manipulate or erase or otherwise taper [sic] with or lose such data, e.g. due to unintended or deliberate deletion or due to data corruption.”

Furthermore, the stored information can be accessed wherever access to the blockchain is available. This allows for a safe and distributed storage and access to the stored reading results, e.g. for integrity verification purposes such as checking whether a supplier of a product being marked with a composite security marking, as described herein, was in fact the originator of the product, or not,” the company explained.

Whether the pharmaceutical company’s proposal will be approved or not, Merck has already demonstrated its interest in blockchain space by engaging in several initiatives and will continue to fight for product monitoring.

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