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Publication numberUS20010005570 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/162,466
Publication dateJun 28, 2001
Filing dateAug 4, 1998
Priority dateMay 4, 1994
Also published asUS6280891
Publication number09162466, 162466, US 2001/0005570 A1, US 2001/005570 A1, US 20010005570 A1, US 20010005570A1, US 2001005570 A1, US 2001005570A1, US-A1-20010005570, US-A1-2001005570, US2001/0005570A1, US2001/005570A1, US20010005570 A1, US20010005570A1, US2001005570 A1, US2001005570A1
InventorsFrancoise Daniel, Hugues Souparis
Original AssigneeFrancoise Daniel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Multi-layer assembly and method for marking articles and resulting marked articles
US 20010005570 A1
Abstract
A method for marking articles or documents by placing on a substrate (1) a multi-layer optical complex consisting of an identifying portion (2, 7) such as bar codes, a photograph or characters, and an authenticating portion consisting of a diffracting optical mark, said portions being arranged one on top of the other in such a way that they cannot be separated without destroying the authenticating portion. A protected document is also disclosed which comprises an indivisible stack consisting of a printed portion (2, 7) forming an identifier read by reflection in a first wavelength band, and coated with a lacquer (5) that is opaque in the visible spectrum and has a transmission window including said first wavelength band, as well as a transparent reflective layer (4) forming a diffracting optical mark. A marking system for carrying out the method, and a device for checking said article or document, are also disclosed.
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Claims(14)
1. Procedure for marking products or documents, characterized by the fact that the said procedure consists of applying to a substrate [1] a multi-layer optical complex that includes identification means [2] [7], such as bar-codes, a photograph, or characters, and that further includes authentification means consisting of a diffracting optical marker, with the two means being superimposed in a way that does not allow them to be separated without destroying the authentification means.
2. Procedure for-marking products or documents in accordance with
claim 1
, characterized by the fact that the said identification means [2] are printed on the substrate [1], [and] by the fact that the resulting printed region is covered indissociably with a multi-layer assembly [3] that includes a lower layer with narrow passband [5] that allows the passage of at least one band with a narrow wavelength, in order to illuminate the identification means [2], and a transparent reflective layer [4] forming a diffracting optical marker.
3. Procedure for marking products or documents in accordance with
claim 1
, characterized by the fact that the said procedure consists of affixing indissociably to the substrate [1] a multi-layer assembly [3] that includes a lower layer [28] with a printed region that constitutes the identification means [7], a narrow passband [5] that allows the passage of at least one band with a narrow wavelength, in order to illuminate the identification means [7], and a transparent reflective layer [4] that forms a diffracting optical marker.
4. Marking procedure in accordance with either
claim 2
or
claim 3
, characterized by the fact that the layer with the narrow passband [5] is formed by a film overlay that is opaque in the visible [spectrum] and transparent in the infrared [range], and by the fact that the identifying means [2] [7] are determined so as to be correlated with the diffraction pattern formed by the diffracting optical marker [4].
5. Secured document including identification means and authentification means, characterized by the fact that the document includes, indissociably superimposed, a printed region [2] [7] that forms an identifier that is suitable for being read by reflection in a first wavelength band, covered by a film overlay [5] that is opaque in the visible spectrum, with the said film overlay having a transmission window that includes the said first wavelength band, and [that is also covered] by a transparent reflective layer [4] that forms a diffracting optical marker.
6. Means for marking and securing a products or a document, characterized by the fact that said means consist of a multi-layer assembly that includes a stamped transparent reflective layer [4], such as for example a stamped transparent polyester film, and a lower layer [5] that is opaque in the visible [spectrum], that allows the passage of a narrow passband in the invisible [spectrum], for example, in the infrared [range].
7. Means for marking and securing a product in accordance with
claim 6
, characterized by the fact that the said means also include a lower layer [27] that carries a printed region [7] that forms the identifier.
8. Means for marking and securing a product in accordance with
claim 6
or
claim 7
, characterized by the fact that the said means also include a lower adhesive layer [6] that allows irreversible adhesion to the product to be marked.
9. Means for marking and providing security for products or documents in accordance with any one of claims 6 through 8, characterized by the fact that the said means also include:
An upper layer formed by a transparent film substrate [25];
A detachment layer [26] allowing the separation of the film substrate [25] from the active portion of the label;
A protective film overlay [27] that is transparent over the entire spectrum covering the reflective layer [4].
10. Means for marking and securing a product in accordance with
claim 9
, characterized by the fact that the detachment layer [25] is non-homogeneous and includes regions with a high level of adhesion and also regions with a low level of adhesion.
11. Means for marking and securing a product in accordance with any one of
claims 6
to
8
, characterized by the fact that the said means are implemented in the form of a multi-layer strip [3] that is suitable for being deposited continuously by being unwound from a spool and being applied, by means of adhesion or a heat-transfer process, to the product to be marked.
12. Means for marking and securing a product in accordance with any one of
claims 6
to
8
, characterized by the fact that the said means are implemented in the form of a filament that is suitable for being inserted into the paper by means of weaving or gluing.
13. Device for the verification of a product marked in accordance with the procedure in accordance with
claims 1
to
4
, characterized by the fact that the said device consists of a series of laser diodes that illuminate the optical complex in accordance with one or several [angles of] incidence; a CCD [charge-coupled device] array for analyzing the response of the authentifier; a source of infrared light, corresponding to the spectral window of the film overlay that separates the identifier and the authentifier; means for reading the identifier; and a computer to process the signals.
14. Device for the verification of a marked product in accordance with
claim 10
, characterized by the fact that the said device includes lighting means consisting of a plurality of light
Description

[0001] The present invention relates to a procedure for marking documents or products, implementing optical markers such as diffraction gratings, such as for example holograms.

[0002] The use of holograms for the authentification of documents is known in the state of the art. For example, European patent No. EP-79 100 626 describes an identification card with a hologram and also a manufacturing procedure and a method for recording the hologram on the identification card. According to this document in the prior art, the identity card carries readable information and at least one hologram containing the readable information, with the hologram being recorded adjacent to other information on a common recording layer. The other information, which is recorded on the common recording layer, is the readable information.

[0003] Because the implementation of a hologram requires a significant amount of know-how and means that usually are not available to counterfeiters, the security of documents marked in this way is improved.

[0004] Another document in the prior art, i.e., Utility Certificate No. FR-92 02 849, discloses a procedure for the marking of bodies [i.e., items] and a device for the identification of bodies marked in accordance with the said procedure.

[0005] This procedure is characterized essentially by the fact that it consists of implementing, on a substrate, a first hologram of a first object that is readable under white light, [and] of implementing on the same substrate a second hologram, known as a “Fourier hologram”, of a second object. The second object consists of a plurality of point sources of light, which sources are distributed in a random manner, and [further involves] bonding the said substrate to the body. The present invention also relates to a device that allows the identification of bodies when they have been marked in accordance with the procedure.

[0006] Another document in the prior art, i.e., French patent No. FR-2 671 032, as issued to the present applicant, relates to the protection of documents against counterfeiting. This protection relates more particularly to a non-counterfeitable layered document that includes a substrate with a marking region that has two surfaces and that carries information which forms a relief pattern on one of its surfaces and hollows or recesses on its other surface, and that also includes a hologram which carries a holographic interference pattern that covers at least part of the surface of the marking region which carries the information forming hollows or recesses. A layer of adhesive ensures the fixation of the hologram to the marking region.

[0007] Another document in the prior art, i.e., European patent No. EP-80 104 962, describes an identity card that contains information in holographic form and that includes a substrate which serves as the basic element of the card. A transparent layer is deposited on the substrate and forms a flat optical waveguide, and another layer is placed on the said waveguide and includes at least one hologram containing a piece of information. [The said patent also describes] a light-coupling device which consists of another hologram that corresponds to a particular predetermined reference light source, and by means of which only one homologous light wave, which corresponds to the particular reference light source, may be injected by coupling into the waveguide.

[0008] Overall, these procedures are satisfactory for securing documents that receive information beforehand, in printed form.

[0009] However, the information function and the authentification function are completely independent, and are implemented in two different regions of the document. The result is the possibility of fraud through the modification of the information present on a document that also carries an authentic marked region.

[0010] The purpose of the present invention is to remedy this disadvantage by proposing a more certain [i.e. robust] security marking procedure.

[0011] For this purpose, the invention relates first of all to a procedure for marking documents, characterized by the fact that the said procedure consists of applying to a substrate a multi-layer optical complex that consists of identification means such as bar-codes, a photograph, or characters, and that further consists of authentification means, with the two means being superimposed in a way that does not allow them to be separated without destroying the optical complex, and at least without destroying the authentification means.

[0012] The authentification means preferably consist of a diffracting optical marker. As used within the context of the present invention, the term “diffracting optical marker” should be understood as referring to diffracting means whose optical behavior, when illuminated by a monochromatic beam [of light], is specific. In particular, a diffraction grating or a hologram is considered to -constitute a diffracting “optical marker” which, depending on the degree of complexity, will-form, in response to monochromatic illumination, a set of luminous points, luminous lines, or, in the case of the hologram, an image.

[0013] The identification means are implemented, for example, by printing with an ink, and particularly by printing with an ink that is transparent in the visible [spectrum] and opaque in the infrared [range].

[0014] The identification means are masked from sight [i.e., not visible], and therefore do not admit of reproduction by means available to the general public, such as photocopiers. Thus the security of the product or of the document is reinforced.

[0015] In accordance with a first variant, the identification means are printed on the object to be marked and authenticated. The resulting printed region is then covered with an optical complex formed by a film overlay that allows passage of at least one wavelength band that reads the identification means, and onto which is applied, in an indissociable manner, authentification means formed by a diffracting optical marker.

[0016] In accordance with a second variant, an element is prepared that is suitable for being applied indissociably to the object to be marked and authenticated, for example, in the form of a label, a strip prepared on a spool and glued to the substrate, or a filament inserted into the document. This element consists of an optical complex that includes a lower layer on which the identification means are printed. The resulting printed region is then covered by a film overlay that allows passage of at least one wavelength band that reads the identification means, and by authentification means formed by a diffracting optical marker.

[0017] The film overlay is preferably opaque in the visible spectrum and has a narrow passband in the infrared.

[0018] In accordance with a preferred variant, the film overlay covering the printed region has a spectral window in the infrared range [and] the diffraction grating is recorded in such a way as to form at least one diffraction pattern, with the printed image under the film overlay being correlated with the diffraction pattern.

[0019] The product marked in accordance with the procedure in accordance with the invention does not allow the information to be changed without altering the means for checking the authenticity of the document.

[0020] Several optical markers may also be juxtaposed.

[0021] The invention also relates to a secured document that includes identification means and authentification means, such as a diffracting optical marker, characterized by the fact that the said document has a printed region that is suitable for being read by reflection in a first wavelength band, [and that is] covered by a film overlay that is opaque in the visible spectrum, with the film overlay having a transmission window that includes the said first wavelength band, and by a transparent reflective layer, with the film overlay covering the printed region in an indissociable manner.

[0022] The invention also relates to means for marking and securing a product, with the said means consisting of a substrate that has a printed region that is suitable for being read by reflection in a first wavelength band, [and that is] covered by a film overlay that is opaque in the visible spectrum, with the film overlay having a transmission window that includes the said first wavelength band, and by a transparent reflective layer that incorporates the diffracting optical marker, for example, by means of surface stamping, with the film overlay covering the printed region in an indissociable manner.

[0023] In accordance with a variant, the means for marking and securing a product consist of a substrate intended to be applied to a printed region, with the substrate being covered by a film overlay that is opaque in the visible spectrum, with the film overlay having a transmission window that includes the said first wavelength band and by a transparent reflective layer that contains the diffracting optical marker.

[0024] In accordance with a first variant, the substrate consists of a self-adhesive or heat-transferable reflective layer.

[0025] In accordance with a second variant, the substrate consists of a narrow band that is suitable for being deposited continuously by being unwound from a spool and being applied, by means of adhesion or a heat-transfer process, to the product to be marked.

[0026] In accordance with a third variant, the substrate consists of a filament that is suitable for being inserted into the paper by means of weaving or gluing.

[0027] The invention also relates to a device for the verification of a marked product, characterized by the fact that the said device includes illumination means consisting of a plurality of sources that are located in the visible wavelengths and that are inclined along at least two different angles of incidence in relation to the [angle that is] normal to the substrate.

[0028] In accordance with a first variant of the device, the identification information is read by analysis of the light reflected in the wavelength band corresponding to the spectral window of the filter, which is generally the infrared [range]. The authenticity of the document is verified by a reading of the diffraction pattern formed in the optical complex, and by comparison, by a computer, with a set of reference diffraction patterns.

[0029] In accordance with another variant, the device verifies the correlation between the information obtained through a reading of the reflected light and the information that corresponds to the image read under diffracted light.

[0030] The invention will be better understood through a reading of the following description, with reference to the accompanying drawings relating to non-limitative examples of embodiments, on which drawings:

[0031]FIG. 1 represents a diagrammatic view of a first variant of an embodiment of a document marked in accordance with the invention;

[0032]FIG. 2 represents a cross-sectional view of the optical complex in accordance with this first variant;

[0033]FIG. 3 represents a diagrammatic view of a second variant of an embodiment of a document marked in accordance with the invention;

[0034]FIG. 4 represents a cross-sectional view of the optical complex in accordance with this second variant;

[0035]FIGS. 5 through 8 represent diagrammatic views of the reading of the authentifier in accordance with two different configurations; and

[0036]FIG. 9 represents a diagrammatic view of a device for reading the authentifier.

[0037] The procedure in accordance with the invention consists of definitively associating, by means of various embodiments, means that will be referred to hereinbelow as “the identifier” and means referred to hereinbelow as “the authentifier”, to form an optical complex that cannot be dissociated without being destroyed.

[0038] The identifier is, for example, a bar-code or a series of characters, preferably characters that can be interpreted by an optical character-reading (OCR) system, or even a photograph. The identifier makes it possible to implement a number of combinations determined by the type of marking required. The combinations can be determined in such a way as to allow automatic identification by a reader whose general operation is [the same as] that of the bar-code readers or optical character recognition [systems] in the prior art, or an infrared camera in the case of a photograph.

[0039] The authentifier consists of an interference pattern commonly referred to as a “hologram” that forms an indissociable part of the optical complex, which is read by the diffraction of incident light. It can reproduce a non-significant image, or can even include a portion of the information necessary for the identification of the product.

[0040] Depending on the variants of the embodiments, the diffraction patterns consist of:

[0041] A set of distinct points whose geometric characteristics are defined in relation to the position of the source and in relation to the theoretical position of the document;

[0042] A set of distinct lines or bars; or

[0043] A set of points that delineate a contour or an image.

[0044] The separation of the identifier and the authentifier is ensured by a wavelength-selective film overlay, and by the use of two different wavelength to read each of the two elements. Depending on the variant of the embodiment, the film overlay may be transparent in the visible spectrum or, alternatively, opaque in the visible spectrum and transparent in the infrared.

[0045] As an option, each of the elements may carry a portion of the information. In such a case, full identification is achieved by reading the information that is invisible under reflected light and [by] reading the information that is visible under diffracted light in a second wavelength band, and/or [through] verification of the correlation of the information coded by the identifier and the information coded by the authentifier.

[0046]FIG. 1 represents a view of a first example of an embodiment.

[0047] The product to be marked [1] has a printed region [2] carrying identification bar-odes. This region is covered by a multi-layer assembly [3] consisting of a label that can be affixed in such a way as to form an integral part of a product, by means of gluing or by heat-transfer, for which FIG. 2 represents an enlarged cross-sectional view.

[0048] This multi-layer assembly consists of:

[0049] A film substrate [25], such as for example a transparent polyester film. This film substrate [25] makes it possible to transfer the optical complex to the document or to the product to be marked and authenticated;

[0050] A detachment layer [26] allowing the separation of the film substrate [25] from the active portion of the label;

[0051] A protective film overlay [27] that is transparent over the entire spectrum;

[0052] A stamped transparent reflective layer [4]. This layer is rendered reflective by metallization or by the vaporization of an additional layer formed by a dielectric material or even by a film overlay whose index of refraction is different from that of the protective film overlay [27], with this layer carrying the authentification image by deformation of its surface;

[0053] A layer of film overlay [sic] [51 that is tinted in the visible [spectrum], allowing the passage of a narrow pass-band in the invisible [spectrum], for example, in the infrared range, with this layer of tinted film overlay [5] being opaque in the visible spectrum;

[0054] A layer of adhesive [6] whose characteristics are suited to the substrate, consisting for example of an adhesive that is reactive when heated.

[0055] The reflective layer [4] is deformed by stamping, with the aid of a matrix that includes optical information in the form of micro-relief elements.

[0056] A variant consists of providing an irregular detachment layer [26] that has regions with a high level of adhesion and regions with a low level of adhesion. When tractive force is applied to the film substrate [25], the active portions located under the strong adhesive are torn away from the substrate [1], while the active portions located under the weak adhesive remain affixed to the substrate [1] and form a set of spots or a significant assembly that allows the detect ion of an attempt at counterfeiting by tearing off the authentification label.

[0057]FIGS. 3 and 4 represent a variant of the embodiment of the multi-layer assembly [3].

[0058] In accordance with this variant, the multi-layer assembly forms a label incorporating the printed region [7] so as to form, for example, a bar-code. The printing is done with a conventional printing ink, or with an ink that is transparent in the visible [spectrum] and opaque only in the infrared [range]. The identifier [7] and the authentifier [4] are separated by the layer of film overlay [5] that is opaque in the visible [spectrum] and transparent in the infrared [range].

[0059] In both cases, the optical assembly [3] is deposited on the substrate [I] either cold, or by heat-lamination, or by a thermal-transfer process.

[0060]FIG. 5 represents a diagrammatic view of a device for reading the authentifier, in a variant of an embodiment in accordance with which the diffraction grating recreates an image that corresponds to a set of dots. The techniques for the implementation of a stamped diffraction grating or of a stamped holographic image are known to those skilled in the art, and will not be discussed in detail within the context of the present invention.

[0061] The reading device includes a light source, such as for example an electroluminescent [i.e., light-emitting] diode [10], that illuminates the optical complex [3] at a determined angle, with the angle of incidence being defined in relation to the [angle that is] normal to the plane of the diffraction grating. An aperture or pupil [14] and a focusing lens [15] are located along the optical path in order to form a light beam that illuminates the diffraction grating in a point-based manner.

[0062] A set of sensors [11] through [13] detects the light diffracted by the optical-complex grating [3]. The correspondence between the detected points of light and the diffraction pattern stored in a computer makes it possible to verify the authenticity of the marked-document. As an option, the identifier may be coded in accordance with the information derived from the diffraction pattern, and thus may vary from one document to another depending on a secret coding function stored in the verification equipment in the form of an algorithm for the comparison of the signals from the photo-detectors against the image calculated as a function of the information derived from the identifier and from the said algorithmn.

[0063]FIGS. 6 and 7 represent diagrammatic views of the reading of the authentifier in accordance with two different configurations, in accordance with a variant in which the diffracted pattern corresponds to bar-codes.

[0064]FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 represent a diagrammatic view of the result of the illumination of the optical complex [3] by a light source [10] along two different angles of incidence. The particular feature of certain diffraction gratings is that they produce a diffracted pattern that depends on the angle of incidence. Depending on the angle of incidence represented in FIG. 6, or in FIG. 7, the result will correspond to a first bar-code [16] or to a second barcode [17].

[0065] The reading device shown in FIG. 8 includes a bank of electroluminescent [sic] diodes [17] that includes a first series of electroluminescent diodes oriented along a first angle of incidence in relation to the [angle that is] normal to the substrate, for example, +45 degrees in relation to the normal [angle], and a second series of electroluminescent diodes oriented along a second, different angle of 45 degrees in relation to the normal [angle].

[0066] The reading device includes a CCD [charge-coupled device] sensor [18] that detects the diffracted pattern and that generates a signal that can be processed by a microcomputer in order to verify the correspondence between the diffracted pattern and the stored reference pattern or the identifier.

[0067] In the example described with reference to FIGS. 6 through 8, the diffracted image corresponds to a bar-code. Of course, any type of grating may be recorded in the optical complex, in order to diffract images that correspond to texts, characters, or graphic information that can be recognized automatically by an optronic [i.e., opio-electronic] device, or by means of visual verification by an operator.

[0068]FIG. 9 represents an example of an embodiment of a reader, in the form of a portable device having a housing [20] in the form of a “shower-head”, whose rear portion encloses a CCD sensor array [21], and whose forward portion encloses an array [23] consisting of a set of electroluminescent [sic] diodes oriented along angles forming angles of +45 and −45 degrees in relation to the normal [angle] of a window that is open in the lower portion of the housing.

[0069] Optical focusing means [24] are provided in order to form, on the CCD transfer bar [sic; i.e., the CCD sensor array—Tr.] [21], the image diffracted by the diffraction grating placed against the window provided on the lower portion of the housing, after being reflected by a mirror [22].

[0070] Another method of implementing a reader for the reading and verification of a document marked with [sic] an optical complex of the type described above consists of combining, in a housing, means for recognizing information from the identifier, on the one hand, and means for the verification of the authentifier.

[0071] Such a reading device includes:

[0072] A series of laser diodes that illuminate the optical complex along one or more [angles of] incidence;

[0073] a CCD matrix or array, or june [sic; “une” (“one” or “a”) is most probably the intended word here—tr.] series of point receivers to analyze the response of the authentifier;

[0074] A specific reader for the identifier, functioning in the wavelength band suitable for the identifier, such as for example the infrared;

[0075] a computer for the processing of signals,

[0076] and output interfaces, such as for example a display or an RS-232 output for connection with a peripheral device:

[0077] The description of the invention in the foregoing text has been provided as a non-limitative example. It should be clearly understood that those skilled in the art will be capable of implementing different variants without departing from the scope of the invention in so doing.

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US7204419 *Jul 18, 2003Apr 17, 2007Identifcation Dynamics, LlcMethod and apparatus for reading firearm microstamping
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US7267280Mar 1, 2005Sep 11, 2007International Barcode CoporationDiffractive optical variable image including barcode
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US8181884 *Aug 29, 2007May 22, 2012Digimarc CorporationMachine-readable features for objects
US20110110104 *Jun 24, 2010May 12, 2011Samsung Electronics Co., LtdOptical plate and method of manufacturing the same
US20110291399 *Mar 5, 2010Dec 1, 2011Marco MayrhoferSecurity foil or security label comprising a manipulation detection system
US20120222982 *Nov 15, 2010Sep 6, 2012Kao Germany GmbhLabel, packaging, use of an adhesive label and method of providing a test sample
WO2006085341A1 *Feb 11, 2005Aug 17, 2006Elcomind S R LMarker for surgical products, as well as apparatus and method for its detection
WO2009114721A2 *Mar 12, 2009Sep 17, 2009Lasercard CorporationDiffractive data storage
WO2010023243A1Aug 27, 2009Mar 4, 2010U-Nica Technology AgIdentification feature
Classifications
U.S. Classification430/321, 156/231, 359/2, 430/2, 283/88, 430/1, 283/94, 283/86, 156/238, 283/87
International ClassificationG06K19/16, G06K19/18, G06K7/10
Cooperative ClassificationY10S283/901, G03H2250/34, G06K7/10861, G03H2001/0016, G06K7/10732, G06K19/18, G03H2250/40, G03H2250/36, G06K19/16, G03H1/0244
European ClassificationG06K7/10S9E, G06K19/16, G06K7/10S4D2, G06K19/18
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 20, 2009FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20090828
Aug 28, 2009LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Mar 9, 2009REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Feb 21, 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Mar 17, 1999ASAssignment
Owner name: HOLOGRAM INDUSTRIES S.A., FRANCE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:DANIEL, FRANCOISE;SOUPARIS, HUGUES;REEL/FRAME:009841/0656
Effective date: 19990309