Kim Kardashian announced the launch of her anticipated skincare venture this month. Consisting of nine products in pared-back packaging (and in collaboration with Coty, which holds a 20 percent stake in Kim’s KKW Beauty), SKKN BY KIM is already courting controversy, with consumers likening the name of the new range to existing company SKN by Lori Harvey. But look beyond social media outrage over the similarities between the SKKN BY KIM and SKN by Lori Harvey monikers and you will see that a trademark scuffle over the SKKN BY KIM name is already under way – albeit with a different company, altogether, pitting Kardashian’s corporate entity, Kimsaprincess Inc., against Beauty Concepts LLC, a 4-year-old skincare company doing business as SKKN+. 

The SKKN-centric clash got its start back in December 2021 when Brooklyn, New York-based Beauty Concepts initiated the first of two pending opposition proceedings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”)’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) in an attempt to block the registration of a handful of Kardashian’s trademark applications for “SKKN BY KIM.”

In the two since-consolidated oppositions that it filed with the TTAB in December 2021 and January 2022, respectively, Beauty Concepts argues that as a result of its continuous use of the SKKN+ mark in connection with “skin care salon services care services; beauty spa services; skin care services; beauty salon services” and the “substantial time and effort [that it has] devoted to advertising and promoting its services in connection with [that] mark,” it has developed a “valuable reputation and exceedingly valuable goodwill with respect to the SKKN+ mark.” 

Against this background, Beauty Concepts argues in its oppositions that it is likely to be damaged by a handful of trademarks at the center of four intent-to-use trademark applications for “SKKN BY KIM” – namely for use on everything from hair dryers (Class 11) and bathmats (Class 27) to various types of garments (Class 25) and hair accessories (Class 26) – that Kardashian filed on March 30, 2021. 

Specifically, Beauty Concepts asserts that Kardashian’s trademarks will be harmful because the SKKN BY KIM mark “is likely, when used on or in connection with the applied-for goods and services, to cause confusion or mistake with respect to the origin of the goods and services.” Moreover, given that its use of the SKKN+ mark in commerce predates Kardashian’s first use of the SKKN BY KIM mark, Beauty Concepts alleges that the registration of the SKKN BY KIM mark will impair its “prior, exclusive right to use [the] SKKN+ mark in connection with [its own] goods and services.” While Kardashian does not claim use in commerce in the various SKKN BY KIM applications (hence, the 1(b) filing basis), Beauty Concepts claims in the application that it filed on March 28, 2021 that it first began using the SKKN+ mark in commerce in August 2018. 

SKKN BY KIM Trademark
The specimen from Beauty Concepts’ application

Confusion is likely due to the similarity of the marks, themselves, Beauty Concepts argues, and also because its goods/services “are similar to, overlapping with, and/or identical to the goods in [Kardashian’s] applications” (and likely to be “offered in similar channels of trade and/or to identical customers”) – or at the very least, are part of the zone of natural expansion of Beauty Concepts’ services and goods. Seemingly looking to get ahead of potential pushback from counsel for Kardashian, Beauty Concepts claims in its opposition that the addition of “BY KIM” to the “SKKN” mark is unlikely to prevent confusion, as not only is the “BY KIM” wording descriptive (since the products to be sold under the mark will be associated with Kim Kardashian), but the wording “SKKN” in the mark is “the dominant portion.” 

Counsel for Kardashian responded to the consolidated oppositions in February, asserting that Beauty Concepts’ attempt to block Kardashian’s applications is based on “the misguided notion [that Beauty Concepts] owns exclusive trademark rights to the term ‘skkn’ for everything and anything beauty, cosmetic, hair, or nail-related.” Even before it waged its opposition, Kardashian’s counsel claims that Beauty Concepts knew that the USPTO had preliminarily rejected its application for the SKKN+ mark. (Kardashian’s counsel is referring to a November 2021 Office Action issued in response to Beauty Concepts’ SKKN+ application, in which a USPTO examining attorney stated that in order for the SKKN+ mark to be eligible for registration, Beauty Concepts must disclaim the word “SKIN” because it is “merely descriptive of a characteristic or feature of [its] services.”)

More than that, Kardashian argued in response to the opposition that despite Beauty Concepts’ argument to the contrary, Kimsaprincess Inc. actually has a January 25, 2021 priority date for the “SKKN” trademark, which is “three months earlier than [Beauty Concepts’ March 28, 2021] trademark application filing date.” (Kardashian’s priority date is reflected in the application for registration for “SKKN” that Kimsaprincess Inc. filed with the USPTO on July 9, 2021 for use on various types of cosmetics and perfumes (in Class 3), and based on a foreign application that Kimsaprincess Inc. filed in January 2021.)

Finally, to the extent that Beauty Concepts has rights in the “SKKN” mark, counsel for Kardashian contends that those rights are “confined to the mark it is attempting to register with the USPTO, which includes stylization, a plus sign, and a logo – none of which appear in any of [Kimsaprincess Inc.’s] trademark filings—and only for its skin facial services.”

All in all, Kardashian’s counsel claims that Beauty Concepts’ opposition is an attempt by the company “to overstate its purported trademark rights and interfere with the registration of [Kardashian’s] marks across classes of goods and services for which there could be no likelihood of confusion with [its] business,” making it appropriate for the TTAB to deny the opposition with prejudice. In addition to the four trademark applications at issue in the opposition, an array of other applications for registration for “SKKN BY KIM” for use on things like “retail store services featuring skin, cosmetics, hair, nail and beauty products,” for instance, as well as Kardashian’s application for “SKKN,” have been suspended pending the outcome of the opposition and the resolution of the SKKN+ application. 

As of now, the parties are clashing over the “failure to state a claim” affirmative defense that Kimsaprincess Inc. rose in its response to Beauty Concepts’ oppositions. (Counsel for Kardashian argued that Beauty Concepts’ opposition should be barred for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted, namely, because Beauty Concepts “fails to allege sufficient facts, rather than conclusory or bare allegations, that establish its prior use in interstate commerce of its purported ‘SKKN+ & Design’ mark, including for goods and services that overlap with those in the challenged applications.” Beauty Concepts’ “allegations reference unspecific beauty and salon services provided only in Brooklyn New York, depict social media use that does not constitute use in commerce, and show beauty products identified not by [Beauty Concepts’] marks, but by marks belonging to others,” per Kardashian. “Without allegations sufficient to allege priority, [Beauty Concepts] has failed to state a claim which can afford the requested relief.”)

In a motion to strike dated March 7, 2022, Beauty Concepts argued that Kardashian’s “‘failure to state a claim’ assertion is unsupported and inappropriate as an affirmative defense statement.” Meanwhile, in a further response, counsel for Kardashian has since argued in response to that a few weeks later that it has “sufficiently plead an affirmative defense that provides [Beauty concepts] with fair notice of factual issues rendering its claim problematic, and [that Kardashian’s] affirmative defense provides sufficient notice of a plausible basis for the defense].” 

The TTAB is still in the process of deciding on Beauty Concepts’ motion to strike and more fundamentally, the future of the various SKKN-centric trademark applications for registration, but that has not stopped Kardashian from preparing to launch her much-anticipated skincare venture later this month, presumably to no shortage of fan-fare.

A new study from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (“EUIPO”) found that the rate at which young people in the 27-member bloc are intentionally buying counterfeits is on the rise. In a report documenting the findings of a survey of individuals between ages 15 and 24 years old residing in the EU that was conducted in February, the EUIPO revealed that 52 percent of surveyed consumers had purchased at least one counterfeit good online in the last 12 months – with 37 percent of them acquiring the fake product(s) on purpose. This marks “a notable increase” compared to the outcome of a similar survey conducted in 2019, when the EUIPO found that just 14 percent of young consumers had intentionally purchased at least one counterfeit good over the course of 12 months. 

In terms of the types of goods that were among the most frequently-purchased by individuals intentionally seeking out counterfeit goods in the last 12 months, the highest percentage purchased clothing and accessories (17 percent), followed by footwear (14 percent), electronic devices (13 percent) and hygiene, cosmetic, personal care and perfume products (12 percent). The EUIPO determined that the unintentional purchase of counterfeits – which was cited by 37 percent of respondents – was highest for “broadly the same product categories,” with the intellectual property office noting that the unintentional purchasers “acknowledge difficulties in distinguishing genuine goods from counterfeits.” 

(It is worth noting that the EUIPO does not explicitly define “counterfeit” in its report, although it does distinguish counterfeiting from copyright-centric piracy. U.S. law characterizes a counterfeit product as one that bears a spurious mark or one that it identical with, or substantially indistinguishable from, a mark registered on the principal register in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and that is applied to or used in connection with the goods or services for which the mark is registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.)

Focusing on the impetus behind such intentional purchases, the EUIPO found that “product affordability” was the primary motivating factor, with 48 percent of respondents who had intentionally bought counterfeits in the last 12 months saying that they had done so because of the cheaper price of the counterfeit. Other factors cited by at least one in five intentional purchasers of counterfeit goods were “simply not caring whether the product was a fake” (27 percent), a belief that there was “no difference between genuine and counterfeit goods” (24 percent), and “the ease of finding or ordering fake products online” (18 percent). 

Additionally, compared to the 2019 survey, the EUIPO noted an increase of 6 percentage points in the proportion citing “another reason, namely the influence of people they knew” in driving the intentional purchase of counterfeit goods.

In this same vein, the EUIPO found that almost a third of respondents who had intentionally bought counterfeits in the last 12 months (31 percent) said they would “stop doing so if more affordable original products were available.” An equal proportion (31 percent) said they would stop purchasing counterfeits “if they were to experience a poor-quality counterfeit.” Beyond that, almost a quarter of respondents (23 percent) said they would do so if they were to experience cyberfraud or a cyberthreat, or if they were to experience an unsafe or dangerous product (22 percent). And still yet, 19 percent and 17 percent of respondents respectively revealed that that “a better understanding of negative effects on the environment or society would stop them.” 

As for what is driving the rise in intentional counterfeit purchases, the EUIPO states that it is likely a result of “the widely documented increase in online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic (and potentially a shortage of products in some physical stores).” 

Steve Madden has landed on the receiving end of a new lawsuit, with New Balance claiming that its fellow footwear brand has “deliberately copied [its] patent-protected 327 model sneaker and traded off of [its] design, goodwill, and reputation” in an attempt to piggyback on the “commercial and critical success of the 327 design.”  According to the complaint that it filed with U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on Tuesday, New Balance alleges that “in late 2020 or early 2021, Madden launched its ‘Chasen’ model sneaker, a deliberate knock-off intended to free-ride off of the popularity of New Balance’s 327.” 

Seeing the “instant success” of the 327 sneaker, including the “several million pairs” that it has sold since the sneaker first hit the market back in 2020, New Balance asserts that Steve Madden launched its Chasen model “specifically to capitalize on and free-ride off of the success that New Balance had achieved.” New Balance claims in the newly-filed lawsuit that the original “Chasen” model that Steve Madden began selling in 2021 “not only slavishly copied the design of the 327 model shoe, including the distinctive outer sole design, but it also utilized two diagonal downward stripes that copied the placement and mimicked the appearance of the two sides of New Balance’s famous ‘N’ mark.” 

New Balance claims that New Balance has also offered up a variation of the Chasen sneaker that replaces the two stripes on the side with “SM NY90,” but that shoes is still not above-board, as it infringes New Balance’s design patents (D932,755 and D939,813) for the sole of the 327 sneaker. 

Setting the stage for its argument that Madden has a pattern of “free-riding off of other designers’ shoe designs,” New Balance asserts that “it appears to be a common business strategy for Madden to identify popular innovative designs and copy them to capitalize on the creativity of other shoe manufacturers.” In terms of litigation, Boston-based New Balance asserts that Madden “has been involved in more than a dozen lawsuits” since 2006, in which it was accused of “knocking off popular designs created by other shoe designers.” Converse, Ugg-owner Deckers Outdoor Corp, and Rothy’s were among some of the plaintiffs in these cases, per New Balance. 

New Balance’s 327 sneaker (left) & Steve Madden’s Chasen sneaker (right)

In terms of its individual infringement claims, New Balance contends that Steve Madden’s original Chasen and its second, stripe-less iteration infringe its design patents for sole and outsole of the 327 sneaker, arguing that “there is no question that an ordinary observer of either model of the Chasen shoe in comparison to the New Balance 327 shoe design, giving such attention that a shoe purchaser usually gives, would find the two designs to be substantially the same.” 

Reflecting on the newly-filed design patent claims, “Due to all the dotted lines [in New Balance’s patent drawings], these design patent claims are pretty broad, and the visual similarity looks pretty high,” Suffolk University Law School professor Sarah Burstein stated in a tweet on Tuesday. As such, she stated that New Balance looks like it has “a strong design patent infringement claim.” 

On the trademark front, New Balance asserts claims of infringement and dilution of its “N” marks, which consist of a stylized letter “N” for use on footwear and the specific placement of the letter “N” on the side of shoe. According to New Balance, its “ownership and exclusive use in commerce of [such] marks” – which it has made use of since the 1970s – “predates the use by Madden of the downward sloping stripes on the original Chasen copy of the 327 design of footwear.” New Balance also asserts that while “the designs may vary slightly, an N has appeared on the side of nearly all New Balance footwear sold for more than forty years,” resulting in the sale of “more than one billion products sold in the United States” that bear its trademark.

As for the potential for consumer confusion over the source of Madden’s Chasen sneakers that bear the two diagonal lines on the side, New Balance claims that “Madden’s use of the two diagonal stripe design in connection with the nearly identical shoe design would cause confusion for consumers, or cause consumers to assume that the shoe is associated with or otherwise sponsored by or affiliated with New Balance.” The likelihood of confusion is heightened, per New Balance, by the fact that it and Madden sell their wares through overlapping sales channels, “as they both sell their goods through the same retail stores (e.g., Nordstrom and Macy’s) and through the Internet.” Beyond that, they advertise through overlapping marketing channels, using “the same social media platforms,” among other mediums, “to advertise the relevant goods,” New Balance asserts. 

And still yet, “like New Balance, Madden is also well-known for its collaborations with others,” New Balance states, arguing that “Madden’s participation in collaborations significantly increases the likelihood of consumer confusion concerning an affiliation, connection, or association between New Balance and Madden because consumers are likely to believe that New Balance authorized or licensed Madden to use the novel 327 shoe design and its famous N marks on its shoes.” 

New Balance goes on to claim that Steve Madden has engaged in dilution by way of its copycat footwear, pointing to the decision in the New Balance Athletics, Inc. v. USA New Bunren Int’l Co. case, in which the Federal District Court for the District of Delaware “found the N marks [to be] famous.”

With the foregoing in mind, New Balance sets out claims of design patent infringement, trademark infringement and dilution, and false designation of origin, and is seeking injunctive relief to bar Madden from “using any design, or any derivative(s) thereof” that infringe the patents at issue or that bear marks that are confusingly similar to its “N” marks, as well as monetary damages. 

New Balance’s lawsuit comes just days after Steve Madden was named in a trade dress infringement lawsuit by Teva-owner Deckers for allegedly infringing its “Original Universal 90’s Multi Colorway Trade Dress.” 

A rep for Steve Madden was not immediately available for comment.

The case is New Balance Athletics, Inc. v. Steven Madden, Ltd., 1:22-cv-10879 (D. Mass.)

The closely-watched lawsuit that Nike filed against StockX over its sale of non-fungible tokens (“NFTs”) has seemingly spawned a separate but related lawsuit that accuses the fashion and footwear marketplace of misleading consumers about the nature of its offerings. On the heels of Nike first alerting a New York federal court that it was looking to amend the initial complaint that it filed against StockX to include claims of counterfeiting and false advertising on the basis that StockX guarantees its offerings “as ‘100% Verified Authentic’ based on its ‘proprietary’ authentication process when they are not,” an individual plaintiff lodged a proposed class action complaint – that piggybacks on such allegations – against StockX. 

According to the complaint that he filed with a federal court in Miami on May 13, Heriberto Valiente claims that while he “believed and expected that the products bought and sold on the [StockX] platform were 100% authentic … credible reports indicate that a significant percentage of the items sold through StockX are not ‘100% Verified Authentic,’ but counterfeit.” In addition to its “sale of allegedly non-authentic items” (which StockX denied in response to Nike’s amended complaint), Valiente claims that StockX “recently began selling Vault NFTs, linked to corresponding physical pairs of collectible sneakers held in its facilities.” 

Taking issue with the NFTs, Valiente points to a “recent” – but otherwise unspecified – “story by Input Magazine [that] detailed several reasons why the Vault NFTs are of limited to no value.” Among other things, Valiente contends that “despite promises [from StockX] that the purchaser may redeem the NFTs at any time, the ‘redemption process is not currently available;’” “many of the products corresponding to the NFTs do not presently exist;” the “NFTs are sold at several times the value of the physical products they are linked to;” and StockX “retains the right to ‘redeem’ the NFTs for an undefined ‘Experiential Component,’ consisting of vaguely defined ‘experiences’ in place of tangible goods.” 

Beyond that, Valiente alleges that “consumers purchasing the Vault NFTs believe incorrectly that it is partnering with global sneaker brands such as Nike and Adidas for NFTs relating to their sneakers.” He claims that such alleged confusion about the nature of the NFTs is “evident through discussion on the internet and in social media,” including a comment from “one Twitter user [who] was curious if the StockX Vault NFTs were ‘endorsed/approved by Nike/Adidas etc. [and] wondered whether Nike had granted StockX a license’ to use the branding of those companies. Another commenter, according to Valiente “incorrectly believed that ‘Nike gets a small commission every time an NFT is purchased [from StockX’s Vault].’” (Both of these comments were highlighted by Nike in its complaint in February.)

While StockX’s “association with market leading sneaker companies” by way of the Vault NFTs “assured consumers that what they were purchasing had value, backed by large established companies,” per Valiente, he claims that the marketplace’s “false and misleading representations and omissions” have resulted in the value of the products that he “purchased or sold [being] materially less than its value as represented by StockX.” (If nothing else, this has to be a weak claim with regard to the NFTs, which have been routinely characterized as a highly speculative asset with questionable value – if any.) 

Specifically, Valiente claims that the “price [of StockX offerings] was inflated by the false expectation that all items sold through the platform were authentic and that the StockX Vault NFTs had value.” 

More than merely “inflating the prices” of offerings on the StockX site, Valiente argues that “the fees charged by [StockX] were higher than they would have been” – and StockX “sold more of the products and at higher prices than it would have” – had consumers known “that a significant number and/or percentage of items on its site were not 100% authentic.” Not only are StockX’s products “sold for a price premium compared to other similar products,” Valiente claims that its prices are “higher they would otherwise be sold for, absent the misleading representations and omissions prices than about the platform’s ability to independently verify the items it sold and the value of the NFTs.” As a result, he asserts that StockX generated “additional profits at the expense of consumers.” 

With the foregoing in mind, Valiente sets out claims under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and other state consumer fraud statutes, arguing that StockX’s “misrepresented the products and platform through statements, omissions, ambiguities, half-truths and/or actions” and that such “false, misleading and deceptive representations and omissions are material in that they are likely to influence consumer purchasing decisions.” He also alleges that StockX is also on the hook for breach of express warranty for “expressly and impliedly warrant[ing] that the items bought and sold on the platform were 100% authentic without any counterfeits,” as well as fraud and negligent misrepresentation.

In addition to seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief aimed at “directing [StockX] to correct the challenged practices to comply with the law” and monetary damages in an amount that exceeds $5 million, Valiente wants the court to certify the proposed class action lawsuit to enable other individuals to join in the lawsuit against StockX. 

A rep for StockX was not immediately available for comment on the Valiente complaint, but stated recently in response to counterfeiting allegations that “StockX was built to make the secondary market safer and more efficient for consumers. We have invested millions of dollars to fight the proliferation of counterfeit goods and today have one of the most rigorous authentication processes among marketplaces.”

The case is Valiente v. StockX, Inc., 1:22-cv-21489 (S.D. Fla.)

A new alliance between two tech-focused industry initiatives is slated to bring some of the biggest names in fashion and luxury together in what is being likened to a “United Nations” of fashion industry occupants. In a statement on Monday, the Aura Blockchain Consortium revealed that it will join His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales’ Sustainable Markets Initiative Fashion Task Force, aligning the blockchain solution entity launched last year by LVMH, Prada Group and Richemont-owned Cartier with the Fashion Task Force, whose members consist of executives from companies like Burberry, Chloé, Stella McCartney, Giorgio Armani, Brunello Cucinelli, Vestiaire Collective, Zalando, Noon.com, and Moda Operandi, among others. 

In addition to putting some of the most notable names in fashion and luxury in the same camp on a specific sustainability agenda, the announcement about Aura’s decision to join the Fashion Task Force is significant, as the LVMH, Prada, and Cartier-led consortium brings blockchain technology to the table that can enable members of the Task Force to “achieve their sustainability goals and enhance traceability.” This makes for the last piece of the Digital ID puzzle, Task Force chairman Federico Marchetti told TFL on Monday, rounding out the tech component for future users, who can now implement the Digital ID with the help of cloud-based and/or blockchain-based providers. (Aura – which boasts a global blockchain solution that is open to all luxury brands to capture and track “important and desired events in products’ lifecycles” in furtherance of a larger “transition to a circular business model, trust and transparency for customers, innovation and sustainability” – falls into the latter group, along with other blockchain-based providers like Arianee.)

First announced at the Group of Twenty (G20) Leaders’ Summit in October 2021 in Rome and aimed at enabling “key participants in the fashion value chain, including manufacturers, brands, retailers, resellers and recyclers, to provide unprecedented transparency and traceability of the products they sell,” the Fashion Task Force’s Digital ID system is “a transformational technology that uses data to inform customers of the sustainability credentials of their purchases and facilitate the delivery of circularity at scale.” 

The Digital ID tech dates back further than 2021, seemingly foreshadowing a growing number of efforts by big players – ranging from venture capital firms like Natalie Massenet’s Imaginary Ventures, which led a $10 million round for connected product cloud firm EON in February, to the European Commission, which proposed the introduction of Digital Product Passports this spring to help cut down on rampant greenwashing and “make it easier [for consumers] to repair or recycle products” – that have since begun to place their bets on product tracing as a key to circularity (and thus, sustainability) in the apparel space.

The first iteration of what is now the Task Force’s Digital ID came in the form of the “Modern Artisan” collaboration that Yoox Net-a-Porter and the Prince’s Foundation introduced in 2020. Consisting of a sustainable luxury capsule collection of menswear and womenswear, the “Modern Artisan” wares were equipped with digital IDs that were accessible via QR codes. At the time, the then-Marchetti-led YNAP and the Prince’s Foundation revealed that the tracking tech would grant consumers access to the story behind each product, including the materials at play and the artisans who designed and made it, as well as care and repair recommendations. 

The notion of traceability as a way to facilitate a broad embrace of circularity has also become a core tenet of the Task Force’s Digital ID, which is “completely technology agnostic,” according to Marchetti, meaning that brands that want to implement the Digital ID can do so in a cloud-based capacity or using blockchain thanks to an array of different providers. Regardless of the tech they choose, by bringing Digital ID technology into their stores by the end of 2022, Marchetti says that the Task Force’s members will be “ahead of probably anybody else” in the fashion industry when it comes to large-scale product lifecycle tracing efforts.

As for the extent of the impact that the Digital ID will have once it is implemented by the Task Force member brands this year and any other companies that opt to utilize the system, Marchetti expects that it will be a game-changer. “It is about the power of information,” he says, noting that the fashion industry, which is rampant with vague and often-unsubstantiated sustainability marketing, and its occupants are still lagging in terms of providing customers with information about the sustainability credentials and the lifecycle of garments and accessories. 

However, where the Digital ID system could potentially have the biggest impact is in the secondary market.

The luxury resale segment was valued at $37.45 billion at the end of 2021, and has the potential to continue to outpace the market for new garments and accessories, according to Bain & Co. Enduring growth of resale, which has been touted as part of a larger remedy for the escalating consumption of new products, is not without hurdles, though, including issues of authenticity that have been highlighted in a number of ongoing lawsuits. The implementation of the Digital ID system could prove particularly useful in tracking products and helping to show authenticity, which could, in turn, bolster consumer confidence and prompt greater engagement in the cycle of buying and selling pre-owned fashion and luxury goods. (Not only could valuable, resale-specific insight be garnered from Vestiaire Collective, whose CEO Maximillian Bittner is a member of the Task Force, but new member Aura is focused in large part on both upstream and downstream traceability and authentication of luxury goods.)

While it is too soon to quantify the effect of the Task Force’s impending Digital ID on the resale space, it is not difficult to envision an increase in consumer trust that could be garnered from the use of authenticity-centric elements of the product tracing system. There is also the potential for an increase in repair/refurbishment of authentic, pre-owned goods to improve their quality (and thus, their resale value) following years of wear. This has already proven to be a recurring practice in connection with products offered up in the secondary market, and corresponding tracking of any major repairs or product modifications could help resale platforms to avoid conflicts with brands.

Ultimately, “By making customers aware of what is – and is not sustainable” when it comes to what they are buying, including by delivering information on provenance and product authenticity, Marchetti says that the Digital ID “could be the best antidote to greenwashing” that we have seen to date.