Anti-counterfeit patent news in brief

patentOur round-up of anti-counterfeiting patents includes awards for Silverbrook, the University of Pittsburgh, OptoTrace, HP and SICPA.

Silverbrook Research has been granted US patent No. 8,111,431 covering a printer for packaging associated with a pharmaceutical product. The printer determines visible information to be provided on the packaging and an identity associated with the product. The printer uses this to generate coded data including a number of coded data portions, each coded data portion being indicative of the identity. The printer then prints the packaging by printing the coded data and the visible information.

The University of Pittsburgh has been awarded a US patent (No. 8,091,790) for various types of pharmaceutical blister pack which incorporate radiofrequency identification (RFID) features to detect and prevent counterfeiting and tampering, and/or to track the blisters' chain of custody through the supply chain.

OptoTrace Technologies has been granted US patent No. 8,081,308, covering a nanostructure-based spectrographic method for detecting chemical and biological impurities in manufactured materials, and also to detect counterfeit merchandise, including foods, beverages and drugs. The method includes obtaining a manufacturing material from the industrial process, allowing the manufacturing material to contact with a nano-scale surface, which allows the harmful substance to adsorb to the nano-scale surface.

Hewlett-Packard has patented a system and method for creating edible, optically-invisible images onto pharmaceuticals and other ingestible products or their packaging. The system involves jetting invisible, non-fluorescing ink onto an area previously covered with an ultraviolet-fluorescing substrate using an inkjet printer, according to the patent (No. 8,080,097).

SICPA has been awarded a US patent (No. 8,071,386) for a method of identifying the authenticity of a solid or liquid bulk material - including pharmaceuticals, alcoholic beverages or cosmetics for example - using a marking composition containing "at least one trace ion." The ionic compounds can be detected in the field using electrochemical sensors and in the lab using methods such as atomic absorption spectroscopy, ion chromatography or mass spectrometry, according to the patent. The technique could be used to identify both counterfeiting and dilution of bulk materials.

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