Eastman Kodak patents anti-counterfeit fibres

US technology company Eastman Kodak has been granted a US patent on security fibres that can be used to identify and track products, including cigarettes.

The patent describes fibres that have chemical markers or taggants within them – either intrinsic or added – that are used for identification purposes and can be manipulated to provide a unique code linked to a product. The marker fibres can be mixed among standard fibres and checked using analytical techniques.

“There are many widely-used packaging and labelling taggants and anti-counterfeiting measures (AGMs) in many industries, but these more overt solutions are often susceptible to countermeasures such as destruction, modification, duplication, repackaging, or relabelling,” says the patent. “Altering the chemical properties of the raw materials of a product can provide a more covert solution that is much more difficult to evade.”

One application of the technology could be in the manufacture of traceable acetate tow, a natural product deriving from wood used in cigarette filters.

The abstract of the patent appears below:

Fibers with chemical markers used for coding

Abstract: Disclosed are fibers which contain identification fibers. The identification fibers can comprise one or more chemical markers, or taggants, which may vary among the fibers or be incorporated throughout all of the fibers. The disclosure also relates to the method for making and characterizing the fibers. Characterization of the fibers can include identifying chemical markers and correlating the chemical markers and a taggant chemical marker amounts of at least one of the chemical markers to manufacturer-specific taggants to determine supply chain information. The supply chain information can be used to track the fibers from manufacturing through intermediaries, conversion to final product, and/or the consumer.

US patent no. 9,851,341

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