Anticounterfeiting technology patent round-up

patentOur round-up of anti-counterfeiting patents includes awards for Microsoft, AlpVision, Axsun, AuthentiForm, and CSEM.

- Microsoft has been awarded a US patent (No. 7,878,398) on techniques to create counterfeit- and tamper-resistant labels using randomly-occurring features. These may be inherent to the label itself or added to it, for example by applying fibre optic strands. "This pattern is unique to each label and may not be exactly duplicated at a reasonable cost," says the patent.

- AlpVision has been granted patents in India (No. 243454) and Indonesia (ID P0025514B) for its Cryptoglyph invisible marking technology which can be applied to carton boxes, blister packs, labels and other pharmaceutical packaging materials. The process prevents counterfeiting through incorporation of a signature in form of an invisible mark in parts of or over the entire packaging or label. The company said it now has Cryptoglyph patents in force in all major countries around the world.

- US company Axsun Technologies has been granted a US patent (No. 7,875,457) for a product authentication system based on machine-readable taggants that can be detected using Raman spectroscopy. The taggant information is used to "identify, validate, and distinguish the origin of the source" of an item and after scanning is rendered unreadable by chemical modification, "thereby controlling the taggants' lifecycle," says the patent. Axsun is best known in pharma circles for its near infrared (NIR) spectrometer range.

- AuthentiForm Technologies (now CertiRx Corp) has been awarded a US patent (No. 7,874,489) for its product authentication technology. The new patent which claims priority over an earlier dossier (No. 692,225), covers methods, reagents and apparatus for authenticating product using a 'signature array' of microparticles, printed symbols or other entities. "Methods of the invention are easy to implement and can be covert, but are difficult to replicate, simulate, alter, or transpose, and resist tampering and inadvertent or intentional alteration," it claims.

- Swiss firm CSEM SA (Centre Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique) has been granted a US patent (No. 7,864,424) covering the use of so-called zero-order diffractive pigments (ZOPs) which can be used to add "very pronounced" colour effects on products which thanks to their material properties are difficult to copy and cost-effective to mass produce. The iridescent optical effect varies as the image is tilted or rotated, says the patent.

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