US 3594933 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent-  Inventor Bernard William Cooper Syosset, N.Y.
 Appl. No. 813,402
 Filed Apr. 1, 1969  Patented July 27, 1971  Assignee Spectronics Corporation Westbury, N.Y.
 IDENTIFICATION DEVICE Primary Examiner- Lawrence Charles Assistant Examiner-Wenceslao J. Contreras Allorney-Seidel, Gonda & Goldhammer ABSTRACT: An identification device is provided which includes a substrate having a portion of one surface constructed so as to be absorbent and capable of permanently accepting an invisible indicia such as a signature. The said portion of said substrate is of self-destructing safety printing so that tampering therewith is readily ascertainable and will obscure a slight visible cast resulting from transferring invisible indicia thereto. The substrate is preferably comprised ofa paper layer on opposite sides of a tough polymeric plastic such as Mylar bonded thereto. The identification device is preferably in the form of an identification or credit card bearing a signature, which signature may only be seen when subjected to radiant energy such as ultra violet light.
PATENTED m2 1 am 3 5 94, 9 3 3 VIII/I/I/I/l //VVA/ffl BERNARD WILLIAM COOPER IDENTIFICATION DEVICE This invention relates to an identification device; and more particularly, to an identification device which bears an invisible signature capable of being rendered visible when subjected to radiant energy. The identification device may be an identification card bearing a signature, etc.
The identification device, includes a rectangular paper substrate having indicia applied on one surface thereof, such as an account number, social security number, driver's license number, etc. A portion of the surface of the paper substrate is absorbent and capable of permanently accepting an invisible indicia, such as a signature. The absorbent portion is preferably of the self-destructing safety printing type so that tampering therewith is readily ascertainable and to provide a means for obscuring a slight visible cast resulting from transferring or applying invisible indicia thereto such as in a signature.
When the identification device is in the form of an identification card, the substrate. may be a layer of paper having a thickness of 2 to 3 mils. To insure that no depression is left on the substrate by the transfer or application of the invisible indicia thereto, .the opposite surface of the substrate is preferably coated with a thin tough layer of polymeric material bonded thereto. Another paper substrate overlies and is bonded to the plastic layer. The plastic layer is preferably Mylar having an approximate thickness between 0.004 and 0.014 inch. When the substrate must be passed through automatic typewriters for adding indicia thereto and must be glued to a mailer card in a manner so as to prevent deterioration of the substrate when removed from the mailer card, a thickness of approximately 0.0005 inch of a plastic layer may be coated or bonded to the paper substrate on which the invisible signature does not appear. Where the substrate has been preprinted and the only indicia to be appliedthereto is a signature, or when a stiffer card is desired, the higher thicknesses of MYlar such as 0.009-0.0l4 inch may be utilized. The polymeric layer'also adds stiffness or rigidity to the paper substrates and thereby reinforces the same so as to provide for greater longevity. I
It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel identification device capable of receiving an invisible indicia which is rendered visible when subjected to radiant energy.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a novel identification card having thereon an invisible signature capable of being rendered visible for purposes of comparison.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a novel identification card bearing an invisible signature constructed in a manner so that it may be processed through equipment such as typewriters and the like while at the same time being constructed so as to eliminate depressions left on the card by the application of the invisible signature.
Other objects will appear hereinafter.
For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings a form which is presently preferred; it being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the identification device of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is .a sectional view taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. I and on an enlarged scale.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2, but of another embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 2, of yet another embodiment of the invention and on an enlarged scale.
Fig. 5 is a top plan view of another embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the line 6-6 in FIG. 5.
Referring to the drawing in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements, there is shown in FIG. I an identification device in accordance with the present invention designated generally as 10. For purposes of illustration, the identification device 10 is in the form of an identification signature card.
The device 10 is comprised of a paper substrate 12 having a thickness of approximately 0.002 to 0.003. V i
The substrate 12 has its upper surface provided with indicia I4 whereby numbers such as an account number may be applied. Other indicia such as indicia l6 directed to a social security number may be applied to the upper surface of substrate I2. Substrate 12 is provided with a portion 18 which is absorbent and capable of permanently accepting invisible indicia such as a signature. Portion 18 is of self-destructing safety printing so that tampering therewith is readily ascertainable. The safety printing also obscures a slight visible cast resulting from application or transferring of an invisible signature thereto and prevents the signature from being ascertained when dirt or sweat is applied to portion 18.,
The substrate 12 is provided with a reinforcement layer 20. Layer 20 is preferably a layer of tough polymeric plastic material bonded to the surface of substrate 12 remote from the portion 18. The layer 20 is preferably a tough polymeric plastic material such as Mylar having an approximate thickness of between 0.004 inch and 0.014 inch. A plain paper substrate 13, of the same thickness as substrate 12, is bonded to layer 20.
In FIGS. 1 and 2, the layer 20 has a thickness of 0.005 inch. In FIG. 3, there is illustrated another embodiment of the present invention which is identical wit that described above except as will be recited hereinafter. In FIG. 3, the layer 20' corresponds to layer 20, but has a thickness of0.0 l 4 inch. The drawings are not to scale. The layers 20 and 20 prevent depressions from being left in the substrate l2 when the signature is applied to the portion 18. Due to the thinness of layer 20, the substrate may be processed through bookkeeping equipment such as a typewriter. v
Either of the devices shown in FIGS. I-3 may have a layer 23 of polymeric plastic bonded to the substrates 13 or 13. Layer'23 FIG. 3, is of the same material as layers 20 and 20' but thinner so as to have a thickness of about 0.0005 inch. In addition to reinforcing the substrates, the layer 23 provides a convenient surface to which an adhesive may be applied to' temporarily secure the device 10 to a mailer card without causing any deterioration of the substrate 13 when the device 10 is separated from the mailer card.
v The portion 18 is'preferably colored differently from theremainder of the substrate 12. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the portion 18 has self-destructing safety printing thereon and constitutes the area to which invisible indicia such as a signature is to be applied by means of the transfer sheet 22. Transfer sheet 22 is preferably a luminescent transfer paper of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,822,288, however equivalent paper may be used. Sheet 22 is comprised on its upper surface by a layer of paper. The lower surface of sheet 22, and consequently the surface to be juxtaposed to portion 18, is coated with a luminescent substance or other suitable dye which may be organic or inorganic, and when employed will have the characteristic of fluorescing when exposed to energy such as light waves or electromagnetic rays of different wavelengths so that the luminescent material re-emits.
The term luminescent as used herein is intended to include and denote both fluorescent materials, which are activated by energy of shorter wavelength, and re-emit energy of longer wavelength, and phosphorescent materials which continue to re-emit light or energy after excitation is discontinued. Thus, the term luminescent includes any luminescent, fluorescent or phosphorescent material which is either organic or inorganic and any other materials which are partially visible or substantially invisible in ordinary light of the visible spectrum (wavelengths or 3,800 to 7,600 a visible or re-emit energy when exposed to light or energy differing in kind or wavelength from that remitted by the luminescent substance.
The luminescent substance may be a mixture of carnauba wax and pharmaceutical grade mineral oil, with which is mixed zinc sulfide phospher or other substances treated to luminesce. The complete mix may consist of approximately 32 percent carnauba wax, 21 percent mineral oil, and approximately 47 percent of pigment or zinc sulfide component by weight. Other known luminescent substances may be used. In a preferred embodiment, the signature or other indicia of the luminescent material is rendered visible by exposure to ultraviolet light.
Portion I8 is a circumscribed area on the upper surface of the substrate. The area of portion 18 is preferably 2 square inches but may vary from L to 2.5 inches or considerably more, even completely covering one section of the card.
The identification device of the present invention has the desirable attribute the immediate identification of a person, through this signature, without having the signature appear visibly on the card in ordinary light. This acts as a substantial deterrent to forgery of signature since it is obvious that only the most skilled forger can forge a signature, on the spot, while being observed by a teller or cashier. without being able to copy from a visible signature.
This identification device therefore permits the extension of certain services to the public while at the same time acting as a deterrent to forging of the signature.
If the identification device is lost, danger of forgery is minimized since the signature is invisible in ordinary light, i.e., visible spectrum. The safety feature becomes more significant in connection with credit cards made in accordance with the present invention. There is less likelihood of anyone trying to use a credit card which has been lost or stolen if the signature of the original owner is not visible on the card when viewed in the visible spectrum.
The polymeric plastic layers 20, 20 and 23 may be made from other materials than Mylar. Such other materials includes polyvinyl chloride, polymeric polyethylene, polyamides such as nylon, acetates, etc.
After all information and a signature have been applied to the upper surface of substrate 12, the bank, credit card agency, or other issuing office may apply an invisible validation stamp, mark or signature to portion 18 to indicate authenticity. Thereafter, the upper surface of substrate I2 or 12 may be coated with an overlay such as layer 26 in FIG. 4. Layer 26 is preferably a thin transparent layer of one of said polymeric materials referred to hereinbefore. Layer 26 may be applied by adhesive, heat-sealing under heat and pressure, etc. Layer 26 balances the weight of the identification device to prevent curling and acts as a protective layer for the portion 18 to prevent it from contamination from dirt and stains which could obscure the signature.
In FIGS. 5 and 6, there is shown a device designated Device 10' includes a substrate 28 which is the same as substrate 12. The side face of substrate 28 opposite from the signature portion is bonded to a layer 30. Layer is made from one said polymeric material other than Mylar, such as polyvinyl chloride, and is provided with embossed indicia 24 such as a name, credit card number, etc. Layer 30 has a thickness from approximately 0.015 to 0.025 inch. Substrate 28 has a thickness the same as substrate 12. In view of the above description, a detailed discussion on the advantages ofa credit card made in accordance with FIGS. 5 and 6 is not deemed necessary.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof.
I. An identification device comprising first and second paper substrates and a third substrate comprised of polymeric material, said third substrate being interposed between said first and second substrates in facing relation thereto, one of said paper substrates having indicia on a surface remote from said third substrate, a portion of said surface being absorbent to permanently accept indicia which is invisible when viewed in the visible spectrum, said portion being comprised of selfdestructing safety printing so that tampering therewith is readily ascertainable, and said surfaces of said first and second substrates are bonded to said facing surfaces of said third substrate.
2. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said portion has a signature thereon which is invisible in the visible spectrum, and a fourth substrate of transparent polymeric material joined to said surface carrying said portion in overlying relation thereto.
3. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said layer has an approximate thickness of between 0.004 and 0.014 inch. I
4. A device in accordance with claim I wherein said substrate is paper having a thickness of approximately 0.002 and 0.003 inch.
5. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said portion contains a signature which is invisible except when viewed under ultra violet light.
6. A device in accordance with claim 1 including a second layer of polymeric plastic material overlying and bonded to said second substrate.
7. A device in accordance with claim 6 wherein said second layer of plastic material has embossed indicia thereon for credit purposes.
8. A device in accordance with claim 1 wherein said portion has a signature thereon which is invisible in the visible spectrum, and a layer of transparent polymeric material joined to said one surface overlying said portion.
9. An identification device comprising a generally rectangular paper substrate having a thickness of about 0.002 and 0.003 inch, a portion of said surface being absorbent and capable of permanently accepting an invisible indicia such as a signature, said portion being of self-destructing safety printing so that tampering therewith is readily ascertainable and for obscuring a slight visible cast resulting from transferring invisible indicia thereto, a film of Mylar bonded to a surface of said substrate opposite to said first-mentioned surface so that no depression is left on said substrate by the transfer of said invisible indicia thereto, said Mylar film having a thickness of approximately 0.005 inches.