GB2284292A - Detection of counterfeit articles - Google Patents

Detection of counterfeit articles Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2284292A
GB2284292A GB9324214A GB9324214A GB2284292A GB 2284292 A GB2284292 A GB 2284292A GB 9324214 A GB9324214 A GB 9324214A GB 9324214 A GB9324214 A GB 9324214A GB 2284292 A GB2284292 A GB 2284292A
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GB
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Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
apparatus
infrared radiation
optical filter
visible
infrared
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB9324214A
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GB9324214D0 (en )
Inventor
Marc Ivor John Beale
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
SECR DEFENCE
United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence
Original Assignee
SECR DEFENCE
United Kingdom Secretary of State for Defence
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G07CHECKING-DEVICES
    • G07DHANDLING OF COINS OR OF PAPER CURRENCY OR SIMILAR VALUABLE PAPERS, e.g. TESTING, SORTING BY DENOMINATIONS, COUNTING, DISPENSING, CHANGING OR DEPOSITING
    • G07D7/00Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of paper currency or similar valuable papers or for segregating those which are alien to a currency or otherwise unacceptable
    • G07D7/06Testing specially adapted to determine the identity or genuineness of paper currency or similar valuable papers or for segregating those which are alien to a currency or otherwise unacceptable using wave or particle radiation
    • G07D7/12Visible light, infra-red or ultraviolet radiation

Abstract

For identification and authentication purposes, especially in the retail trade, articles 1 or their packaging, are labelled with a mark 2 which is only discernible as such with the aid of suitable infrared imaging equipment. As described the mark 2 comprises a combination of carbon black ink visible under normal and infrared illumination, and dye based black ink which is transparent to infrared. The mark is illuminated by a tungsten lamp 6 with a filter 7 blocking visible light, and is read by a CCD television camera 3 with an optical filter 5. <IMAGE>

Description

DETECTION OF COUNTERFEIT ARTICLeS.

This invention relates to a means of invisibly marking articles for identification and authentication purposes, particularly (but not exclusively) in the retail trade.

The counterfeiting of retail goods is a long standing problem for the persons whose goods are being copied. Lost revenue, legal liability for claims and guarantees, and damage to goodwill can seriously affect a company.

The need for an effective means of combating counterfeiting has been the subject of considerable effort in the past. Perhaps the simplest and most common way of indicating the origin of goods is by the use of trade marks.

Such marks, which are directed primarily at the customer, are obvious to the counterfeiter and readily lend themselves to copying. As a countermeasure some marks have become increasingly complex in design, sometimes incorporating sophisticated optical effects such as holograms, diffraction effects etc (see for example "Principles of Optics" by M Bonn and E Wolf, Pergamon press) but the determined counterfeiter has proved equal to the task of copying even the most sophisticated mark.

The use of infrared technology in the retail trade is also known. For example EP 90203489 describes the marking of an object with a code which can be scanned with infrared radiation. The code is applied using a printing ink which is colourless in the visible spectrum but absorbing in the infrared spectrum.

The above patent is primarily concerned with use on decorative packs, where a visible code would be undesirable, and with the prevention of counterfeiting of banknotes. The need for infrared scanning equipment renders the technique unsuitable for many of the circumstances which arise in the ongoing campaign against counterfeiters: often it is necessary to enter premises and inspect the suspect goods and this is a potentially dangerous situation for the inspector concerned. The need for a means of covertly inspecting suspect goods is well recognised.

Under the present invention an authentication mark, which is not visible under normal viewing conditions, is applied to genuine articles and means of visually checking suspect articles for the presence of such labels is provided. Unlike the invention described in the above referenced patent, the current invention forms a visible two dimensional image of the authentication mark. The images produced can be viewed on a suitable television monitor or recorded using standard video recording equipment for future reference. Moreover, with the benefit of current technology, the imaging equipment used can be small enough to be used covertly.

The invention utilises optical filters which are opaque to visible radiation (light) but at least partially transmitting to infrared radiation within the sensitivity range of the imaging system used. Numerous ways of constructing such a device are known to those skilled in the art: for example, three gelatin filters eg Wratten (TM) filters - No. 25 (red), No.

58 (green) and No 47B (blue) may be placed one on top of the other.

Alternatively crossed polaroid filters may be used (eg sample HN38).

A preferred embodiment of the invention involves the use of a liquid crystal (LC) cell as a switchable optical filter which can be selectively rendered transmitting or opaque to visible radiation. The construction of such a device is well documented (for example in Appl. Phys. Lettr. 18, 1971, p127.) and it's usefulness in the present invention depends on the fact that whether in the opaque or transmitting state with regard to visible radiation, it remains at least partially transparent to infrared radiation of suitable wavelength. The switchable filter, used in conjunction with a camera sensitive to both infrared and visible radiation allows the investigator to reference the infrared images to the more familiar visible image of the article under scrutiny.

According to this invention apparatus for distinguishing between genuine and counterfeit articles comprises: i) a television camera sensitive to both visible and infrared radiation and ii) an optical filter which is transparent to infrared radiation within the sensitivity range of the camera but is opaque to visible radiation.

In a preferred embodiment the television camera is sensitive to radiation within the wavelength ranges 0.4 - 0.7 micrometre and 0.7 to 1.1 micrometre.

In a further preferred embodiment the television camera is of the silicon charge coupled device (CCD) type.

In a further preferred embodiment the optical filter may be switched in and out of operation.

In a further preferred embodiment the optical filter is formed from liquid crystal material and polaroids.

In a further preferred embodiment the switching of the optical filter is dependant on the camera frame advance.

In a further preferred embodiment, additional infrared illumination of the articles under scrutiny is provided. This could be from for example a tungsten lamp or an infrared radiating diode. For covert use, any visible radiation from this source could be blocked using a suitable optical filter.

The invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the following figures in which: Figure 1 is a schematic representation of an embodiment of the invention.

Figures 2a and 2b illustrate some examples of how an authentication mark may be constructed in this embodiment.

Figure 3 is a schematic cross-section of a liquid crystal cell which might typically be used as a switchable optical filter in this embodiment.

Referring to figure 1, articles or their packaging 1 are labelled with a distinctive authentication mark 2. This mark is derived from a combination of a carbon black ink and a dye based black ink. The former is absorbing both in the visible and the near infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, that is absorbing in the wavelength ranges 0.4 - 0.7 micrometre and 0.7 - 1.1 micrometre, whereas the later is absorbing in the visible region but transparent in the near infrared. The label may if required contain coded information about, for example, the origin of the goods, date of manufacture etc. The visible component of the mark can be incorporated into the visible features of the article or package so that it would not be obvious that a mark is present.

Other means of devising suitable marks will be apparent to those skilled in the art: for example by use of materials which are transparent in the visible spectrum but absorbing, or reflecting, in the infrared (for example copper sulphate). The fundamental requirement is that the authentication mark is not recognisable as such to the unassisted human eye but is recognisable if irradiated with infrared radiation and viewed with the aid of suitable equipment, - in this case a modified CCD TV camera. Other embodiments may include some of the optical effects currently seen in the visible spectrum.

Suspect goods are checked using a Pulnix model TM6 silicon CCD TV camera 3 available from Pulnix house, Aviary court, Wade Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 OLP, UK. The sensitivity of this device extends from the lower end of the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum (wavelength of 0.4 micrometre) into the near infrared region (up to a wavelength of 1.1 micrometer) where it is limited by the bandgap of silicon. Other imaging devices can be used if their sensitivity extends into the infrared spectrum.

The lens 4 used with this camera was an 8.5mm f1 .3 item available from RS components, (stock no 625-132) PO Box 99, Corby, Northants., NN17 9RS, UK.

Any standard CCTV lens which is transparent to infrared within the wavelength range being used would be acceptable.

An optical filter 5, which is placed in the path of radiation entering the camera (most conveniently over the lens), is used to filter out visible radiation. In this embodiment an electronically switchable filter derived from polaroids and liquid crystal material is used. The LC material and polaroids must be transmissive to infrared radiation within the sensitivity range of the camera. In this example twisted nematic liquid crystal material E7 available from Merck chemical co. (formerly BDH).

The infrared radiation which is present in the ambient lighting is supplemented by means of tungsten lamp 6. Covert illumination is achieved by including a filter 7 to block out the visible component from the output of the lamp 6. In this embodiment, filter 7 was constructed using the three gelatin filters previously referred to.

Figure 2a shows a detailed cross-section of an authentication mark 2. The mark comprises two layers of ink. The first layer 8 is printed in ink which is opaque to infrared radiation. It is covered by the second layer 9 which is printed in ink which is opaque to visible radiation but transparent to infrared radiation within the sensitivity range of the camera being used. Thus under normal viewing conditions only the top layer may be seen, but with the aid of the CCD TV camera the bottom layer, which may be patterned or coded, can be imaged.

Figure 2b shows in cross-section a second example of an authentication mark comprising a plurality of elements arranged in a single layer. One or more element 10 is formed in ink which is opaque to both visible and infrared radiation and one or more element 11 is formed in ink which is opaque to visible radiation but transparent to infrared. Thus the mark blends in with the other visible features of its environment under normal viewing conditions but appears quite different when imaged using the CCD TV camera.

Figure 3 shows a representation of a liquid crystal cell 5, typical of the type used in this embodiment. Two glass plates 12, held apart by spacers 13, sandwich a five micrometre thick layer of twisted nematic liquid crystal material 14. The glass plates 12 are clad on their outer sides by polarisers 15a and 15b arranged so that their respective axes of polarisation are mutually perpendicular, the directions of these axes being represented bSrf--(in (in the plane of the page) and 0 (normal to the plane of the page).

The inner surfaces of the glass plates 12 are clad with electrodes which take the form of thin layers of InSnO 16. Prior to assembly these surfaces are treated so as to effect alignment of the liquid crystal molecules.

This could be achieved by, for example, unidirectional rubbing. The direction of rubbing on each plate should be substantially parallel with the polarisation axis of the polariser associated with that plate.

Light entering the cell substantially along the direction indicated by the arrow 16 is polarised on passing through polariser 15a. As the light then pases through the liquid crystal material 14, in the absence of an electric field, the axis of polarisation is rotated by 90" thus allowing the light to exit the cell through polariser 15b.

The presence of an electric field, applied via electrodes 16, removes this 90" rotation thus allowing no light to pass through polariser 15b.

Claims (14)

CLAIMS.
1. Apparatus for distinguishing between genuine and counterfeit articles comprising: i) a television camera sensitive to both visible and infrared radiation and ii) an optical filter which is transparent to infrared radiation within the sensitivity range of the camera but is opaque to visible radiation.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 where the television camera is sensitive to radiation within the wavelength ranges 0.4 - 0.7 micrometer and 0.7 - 1.1 micrometer.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 or 2 where the television camera is of the silicon charge coupled device (CCD) type.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, 2 or 3 where the optical filter comprises a combination of gelatin filters.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, 2 or 3 where the optical filter comprises crossed polaroids.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, 2 or 3 the optical filter may be switched in and out of operation.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 where the optical filter is formed from liquid crystal material and polaroids.
8. The apparatus of claim 6 where the switching of the optical filter is dependant on the camera frame advance.
9. The apparatus of any of claims 1 - 8 with the addition of means for illuminating the articles under scrutiny with infrared radiation.
10. The apparatus of claim 9 where the source of infrared radiation comprises a tungsten lamp.
11. The apparatus of claim 9 where the output from the source of infrared radiation is not visible under normal viewing conditions.
12. The apparatus of claim 9 where the source of infrared radiation comprises tungsten lamp used in conjunction with an optical filter which blocks visible radiation but is transparent to infrared radiation.
13. The apparatus of claim 9 where the source of infrared radiation comprises an infrared radiation emitting diode.
14. A method of distinguishing between counterfeit and genuine articles comprising the steps of: i) marking genuine articles with authentication marks which are not visible under normal viewing conditions but are visible with the aid of infrared imaging equipment and ii) checking for the presence of said labels on suspect goods with the aid of suitable infrared imaging equipment.
GB9324214A 1993-11-25 1993-11-25 Detection of counterfeit articles Withdrawn GB2284292A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9324214A GB2284292A (en) 1993-11-25 1993-11-25 Detection of counterfeit articles

Applications Claiming Priority (9)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB9324214A GB2284292A (en) 1993-11-25 1993-11-25 Detection of counterfeit articles
JP51491694A JPH09505666A (en) 1993-11-25 1994-11-24 Detection of forgery
EP19950901541 EP0730745A1 (en) 1993-11-25 1994-11-24 Detection of counterfeit articles
CA 2177368 CA2177368A1 (en) 1993-11-25 1994-11-24 Detection of counterfeit articles
BR9408159A BR9408159A (en) 1993-11-25 1994-11-24 Process of identifying articles
PCT/GB1994/002577 WO1995014944A1 (en) 1993-11-25 1994-11-24 Detection of counterfeit articles
AU1073895A AU1073895A (en) 1993-11-25 1994-11-24 Detection of counterfeit articles
CN 94194789 CN1141079A (en) 1993-11-25 1994-11-24 Detection of counterfeit articles
GB9610538A GB2298988A (en) 1993-11-25 1994-11-24 Detection of counterfeit articles

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB9324214D0 true GB9324214D0 (en) 1994-01-12
GB2284292A true true GB2284292A (en) 1995-05-31

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ID=10745661

Family Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB9324214A Withdrawn GB2284292A (en) 1993-11-25 1993-11-25 Detection of counterfeit articles
GB9610538A Withdrawn GB2298988A (en) 1993-11-25 1994-11-24 Detection of counterfeit articles

Family Applications After (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB9610538A Withdrawn GB2298988A (en) 1993-11-25 1994-11-24 Detection of counterfeit articles

Country Status (6)

Country Link
EP (1) EP0730745A1 (en)
JP (1) JPH09505666A (en)
CN (1) CN1141079A (en)
CA (1) CA2177368A1 (en)
GB (2) GB2284292A (en)
WO (1) WO1995014944A1 (en)

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP1926056B1 (en) * 2006-11-21 2014-09-03 La Francaise Des Jeux Game ticket including validation data, securitisation method and optical reader for such a game ticket
GB2526506A (en) * 1994-05-03 2015-12-02 Qinetiq Ltd Covert marking apparatus

Families Citing this family (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6655579B1 (en) 2000-04-26 2003-12-02 Eastman Kodak Company Machine readable coded frame for personal postage

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB1593783A (en) * 1976-10-28 1981-07-22 Sodeco Compteurs De Geneve Valuebearing carriers
EP0209612A1 (en) * 1985-07-20 1987-01-28 GRUNDIG E.M.V. Elektro-Mechanische Versuchsanstalt Max Grundig holländ. Stiftung &amp; Co. KG. Television camera
US4650319A (en) * 1979-08-14 1987-03-17 Gao Gesellschaft Fur Automation Und Organisation Mbh Examining method for the wear-condition of data carriers
EP0263446A2 (en) * 1986-10-07 1988-04-13 DAINICHISEIKA COLOR &amp; CHEMICALS MFG. CO. LTD. Prints and production method thereof
EP0467067A2 (en) * 1990-07-18 1992-01-22 Heinrich Bauer Verlag Printing support and printing process with such support

Family Cites Families (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
JPH01305484A (en) * 1988-06-03 1989-12-08 Pioneer Electron Corp Bar code system
CA2039711A1 (en) * 1989-08-23 1991-02-24 Miyuki Hakamatsuka Id card issuing system
EP0444331A1 (en) * 1990-02-08 1991-09-04 B.V. Speciaaldrukkerij, Europrint Wildervank Method for marking objects, and printing ink for use with this method
US5050990A (en) * 1990-08-24 1991-09-24 Xerox Corporation Variable detector geometry for resolving and sensing apparatus for filtering and other applications
JPH05193291A (en) * 1992-01-16 1993-08-03 Hitachi Maxell Ltd Infrared light absorption mark printed matter
JPH05274462A (en) * 1992-03-27 1993-10-22 Fuji Electric Co Ltd Bar code device
DE4300544A1 (en) * 1993-01-12 1994-07-14 Unipress Olaf Kierchner Adhesive security label for machine-readable appts. in supermarket

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB1593783A (en) * 1976-10-28 1981-07-22 Sodeco Compteurs De Geneve Valuebearing carriers
US4650319A (en) * 1979-08-14 1987-03-17 Gao Gesellschaft Fur Automation Und Organisation Mbh Examining method for the wear-condition of data carriers
EP0209612A1 (en) * 1985-07-20 1987-01-28 GRUNDIG E.M.V. Elektro-Mechanische Versuchsanstalt Max Grundig holländ. Stiftung &amp; Co. KG. Television camera
EP0263446A2 (en) * 1986-10-07 1988-04-13 DAINICHISEIKA COLOR &amp; CHEMICALS MFG. CO. LTD. Prints and production method thereof
EP0467067A2 (en) * 1990-07-18 1992-01-22 Heinrich Bauer Verlag Printing support and printing process with such support

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB2526506A (en) * 1994-05-03 2015-12-02 Qinetiq Ltd Covert marking apparatus
GB2526506B (en) * 1994-05-03 2017-08-30 Qinetiq Ltd Covert marking apparatus
EP1926056B1 (en) * 2006-11-21 2014-09-03 La Francaise Des Jeux Game ticket including validation data, securitisation method and optical reader for such a game ticket

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
WO1995014944A1 (en) 1995-06-01 application
GB2298988A (en) 1996-09-18 application
GB9324214D0 (en) 1994-01-12 application
CA2177368A1 (en) 1995-06-01 application
CN1141079A (en) 1997-01-22 application
EP0730745A1 (en) 1996-09-11 application
JPH09505666A (en) 1997-06-03 application
GB9610538D0 (en) 1996-07-31 application

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WAP Application withdrawn, taken to be withdrawn or refused ** after publication under section 16(1)