US 3640009 A
An identification system utilizing an identification card which has thereon identifying indicia which is invisible under normal, visible light. The card or other article of identification includes a portion formed with an opening receiving a sheet on which identifying indicia is located, and this identifying indicia includes at least a portrait of the individual who is authorized to use the identification article. The sheet can also carry a signature of this individual, and the nature of the indicia is such that it can be rendered visible by making use of light beyond the visible spectrum, such as ultraviolet light or infrared light, with a suitable filter being located over the sheet with the indicia thereon so as to permit only the desired light to reach the indicia.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Komiyama Feb. 8, 1972  IDENTIFICATION CARDS  Appl. No.: 856,286
3,468,046 9/1969 Makishima ..40/2.2 3,477,156 11/1969 Naito ..283/6 Primary ExaminerJerome Schnall Assistant ExaminerWenceslao J. Contreras Attorney-Steinberg & Blake  ABSTRACT An identification system utilizing an identification card which  Foreign Apphcauon Pnomy Data has thereon identifying indicia which is invisible under nor- June 7, 1969 Japan ..44/53401 mah visible light The card or other m-tide f identification cludes a portion formed with an opening receiving a sheet on  US. Cl ..40/2.2, 283/7 which identifying indicia is located and this identifying indicia  Int. Cl. ..G09I 3/20 includes at least a portrait of the individual who is authorized  Field ofSearch ..40/2,2.2;283/6, 7,8 to use the identification article. The sheet can also a si ature of this individual, and the nature of the indicia is  References cued su h that it can be rendered visible by making use of light UNITED STATES PATENTS beyond the visible spectrum, such as ultraviolet light or infrared light, with a suitable filter being located over the sheet 2,395,804 3/ 1946 De Gruchy ..283/7 X i h the indicia thereon so as to Permit only the desired light Land u40/2 to reach the indicia 3,048,697 8/1962 Cavanaugh et al ..283/8 UX 3,455,577 7/1969 Kikurnoto ..283/6 X 1 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures f- Jalm Doe SHEET 1 BF 3 INVENTOR EIZO KOMIYAMA i M TORNEYS mmnnrm m PATENTED FEB 8&9?! I 3.640.009
INVENTOR EIZO KOMI Y BY MA AT OR EYS PATENIED FEB 8 H72 S EUJUFS INVENTOR E120 KOMI YAMA a M AT ORNEYS IDENTIFICATION CARDS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to identification systems.
In particular, the present invention relates to an identification card which is used in such a system. Thus, such cards conventionally have thereon identifying indicia which normally is invisible but which can be rendered visible upon making use of light beyond the visible spectrum, such as ultraviolet light or infrared light.
In recent times systems of credit sales utilizing credit cards have come into wide use, with such cards being used in all sorts of establishments such as department stores, specialty shops, restaurants, etc. Each individual has a given registration number and a signature on the card so that when using the same an impression is made from the card on a suitable form which the individual signs so that his signature can be compared with that on the identification card. Of course, individuals who own and use such cards must first open special accounts with the organization which carries out the credit operations. Thus, wherever a purchase is made with the use of such a card, the establishment from which the purchase is made will be paid by the organization which carries out the administration of the credit system. Such payment is made from the account of the individual with this latter credit organization.
Such conventional systems have a definite disadvantage however, in that it is possible for the card to become lost and used by an unauthorized individual who need only forge the signature which is readily visible on the card itself. Thus, the individual who carries such a card must be very careful not to lose the same, and of course if loss is noticed it must be immediately brought to the attention of the administrating organization.
In the case of banks, the depositor will normally keep a bankbook while the bank keeps the depositors accounts in suitable ledgers where the signature of the depositor is located.- After the opening of a deposit account with abank, all receipts and disbursements are based upon identification by the signature which is filed with the bank. Thus whenever money is to be withdrawn, the depositor must submit a copy of his signature upon the withdrawal and this signature is compared with that on file with the bank before the money is withdrawn. With such conventional deposit systems, it is of course troublesome to keep on hand ledgers of the above type. A considerable amount of effort and inconvenience is involved in picking out the required ledger from a file so as to achieve the necessary signature comparison before monies can be paid out. Although computers are used to a greater extent in banks at the present time, they have not become practical to the extent of enabling ledgers of conventional type to be completely replaced by computers, and the reason for this is partly because the bankbook bears the signature of the depositor. Of course, it is customary to render this signature normally invisible while at the bank the signature on the bank book is placed in a light beyond the visible spectrum which will render the signature visible, but even in such cases it is possible for unauthorized individuals to use a lost bank book for obtaining money in an unauthorized manner. For the latter reasons it is not yet possible for banks to avoid the use of conventional ledgers at least to an extent which is undesirable and inconvenient.
Thus, it is known to use signatures for credit cards, bank books, and the like, in such a way that the signatures are normally invisible and can be rendered visible only by the use of light beyond the visible spectrum such as ultraviolet light or infrared light. Such expedients do indeed provide a partial solution to the problem. The difficulty is, of course, that unauthorized individuals know very well that use is made of ultraviolet and infrared light, so that such unauthorized individuals such as those who find a lost card of bank book, will know enough to subject to the infrared or ultraviolet light rays, in order to determine the normally invisible indicia which must be duplicated in order to provide unauthorized use of the identification article. Thus, any establishment can render the signature on a card or bank book visible with the use of light beyond the visible spectrum in order to make a comparison with the signature placed on a suitable form, but this signature may very well be known previously even to unauthorized individuals who have first subjected the identification article to ultraviolet or infrared light rays.
In spite of these difficulties, such systems are widely used because they enable individuals to carry on transactions without cash and because banks can eliminate their ledgers when using such systems to such an extent that only computers are required to give an indication of the account of a given depositor. Thus, it is possible for a bank to store all records in cluding the balance on deposit for a given depositor by way of computer tapes with a suitable form being provided so that the depositor can enter items such as the number of the account, the amount to be taken out or deposited, and the signature of the client. In this latter case a clerk of the bank will compare the normally invisible signature with that placed on the form so that unauthorized disbursement of money can be prevented to a large extent.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a primary object of the present invention to provide an identification system, and particularly an identification card or other article, which will provide safety against unauthorized use of a credit card, bank book, or the like, beyond the extent which has heretofore been possible with conventional systems of the type referred to above.
In addition, it is an object of the invention to achieve this added security without any change in the size or format of the identification article, whether it be a card, bank book, etc.
Furthermore, it is an object of the invention to provide identificationarticles which can be constructed either so as to operate with reflected light or so as to operate with light which is transmitted through the article.
Also, it is an object of the invention to provide a construction which can easily be adapted for use with any one of several known identification systems.
According to the invention the identifying indicia which is located on the card or the like will include at least a portrait of the authorized individual who uses the identification article, so that it will be possible to utilize this portrait in connection with the individual who presents the card or other identifying article. Of course, the identifying indicia may also include the signature, so that not only is identification made by way of a comparison of signatures but also by way of a comparison of a portrait with the individual who presents the card or other article, so that in this way a practically foolproof safety against unauthorized use of an identification article can be achieved. Thus, in accordance with the invention use is made not only of a signature but also of a portrait which will become visible only when exposed to light beyond the visible spectrum.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS The invention is illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings which form part of this application and in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of an identification card of the invention;
FIG. 2 illustrates the indicia of the card of FIG. 1 before this indicia is covered with a suitable filter;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the card of FIG. 1 taken along line A-A of FIG. I in the direction of the arrows and illustrating a reflecting type of identifying article;
FIG. 4 is a section similar to that of FIG. 3 through an article similar to that of FIGS. 1 and 3 but showing a different embodiment according to which light beyond the visible spectrim is adapted to be transmitted through the article such as a card or the like;
FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of an identifying system using reflected ultraviolet light;
FIG. 6 is a schematic illustration of an identifying system using reflected infrared light;
FIG. 7 is a schematic sectional elevation illustrating use of reflected ultraviolet and infrared light; and
FIG. 8 is a schematic representation of a system capable of transmitting ultraviolet light through the identification article.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, there is illustrated therein a card 1 according to the present invention. This card may be made of a body of relatively thick paper, cardboard, synthetic resin or the like. The identification article has identifying indicia in the form of a signature 2, this signature being shown in print letters rather than script for the sake of convenience only. It is to be understood that the signature will normally be in the form of a hand written cursive signature.
The indicia of the identification article of the invention however is not made up only of the signature 2. It also includes a portrait 3 of the individual who is authorized to present the identification article. Therefore when this article is presented it is possible to make a comparison not only of signatures but also of the portrait of the individual with the individual who presents the article.
This indicia 2, 3, which takes a form described in greater detail below, is covered by a filter 4 designed to transmit only a given type of light beyond the visible spectrum to the indicia 2, 3. Thus, depending upon whether ultraviolet or infrared light is used, the filter 4 will have the property of permitting ultraviolet or infrared light to be transmitted through the filter so as to reach the indicia 2, 3. In addition, the entire assembly is protected by a transparent covering sheet or protective filter 5 which adheres in a known manner to the body of paper or synthetic resin.
Referring to FIG. 3, the embodiment of the invention which is illustrated therein provides an identification article which operates with reflected light. It will be seen that the body 1 is formed with an opening 6 which extends only partly through the body 1 so that the latter, because it is opaque, does not permit light of any type to pass through. Within this recess or opening 6 of the body I is located a sheet 7 which has the indicia 2, 3 located thereon. This may be a sheet of paper on which the portrait 3 is directly printed or to which a print carrying the portrait is fixed, and the sheet itself may be adhesively fixed in the opening 6 to the body 1. The covering filter 4 extends across the entire recess 6 so as to fully cover the entire sheet 7 with the indicia thereon.
Thus, this reflecting type of construction may be inspected when using rays beyond the visible spectrum to render the indicia visible. For example it is possible to use ultraviolet rays in the case where the signature 2 and portrait 3 are of a nature which will enable them to become visible when exposed to ultraviolet light. In this case the sheet 7 is made in the form of a fluorescent plate and the filter 4 is in the form of a colored film capable of transmitting therethrough ultraviolet light rays which reach the sheet 7 so as to render the indicia 2, 3 visible. With such a construction the signature 2 is in the form of an ink which has the ability to reject or absorb ultraviolet rays. Although a colorless and fully transparent ink is preferable because of the greater security which will be achieved thereby, since such colorless and fully transparent ink will certainly not be visible under ordinary visible light rays, nevertheless it is preferred to use an ink of a lighter color so that when the individual puts his signature on the sheet 7 he will be able to see and recognize the signature as he places it on the sheet. With this embodiment a portrait 3 which forms part of the identifying indicia of the invention may take the form of a positive film print fixed to the sheet 7 in any suitable way.
Also, the sheet 7 itself may be in the form of a photographic printing paper which is soaked with a fluorescent agent and on which the portrait is directly printed by normal photographic methods.
While a construction of this latter type enables the device to be used with ultraviolet rays, it is also possible to provide a construction which will be capable of using reflected infrared rays. In this case the indicia formed by signature 2 and portrait 3 are adapted to be rendered visible when exposed to infrared rays. With such an embodiment the covering filter 4 is of the type which is capable of transmitting only infrared rays -therethrough. Thus, the colored film which will form the filter 4 in this embodiment will not transmit visible light rays so that the structure covered by the filter 4 is not visible in ordinary light. With this embodiment the sheet 7 may take the form of ordinary paper which is adhered to the body 1 in the recess 6 thereof. The signature 2 which is placed on this paper 7 is en tered with an ink which has the capacity of absorbing infrared rays, and preferably the portrait 3 is printed with the same ink, although it has been found that the portrait 3 can take the form of an ordinary positive photographic print which is fixed to the sheet 7 as by being adhered thereto. Such an ordinary positive photographic print will be satisfactorily recognized when infrared light is transmitted through the filter 4 thereto. However, in this embodiment which makes use of infrared rays it is also possible to use photographic printing paper for the entire sheet 7. In this case the portrait is printed directly on the sheet 7.
It is also possible to use an arrangement where both ultraviolet and infrared rays are used simultaneously in a device where both of these rays are simultaneously directed to a fluorescent plate so as to render the latter nonfluorescent. With such a construction the identifying indicia will absorb the infrared light so that the fluorescent plate will be rendered fluorescent only at an area thereof the configuration of which corresponds to the identifying indicia. With such a construction the portrait 3 may take the form of a negative photographic print which is fixed to the sheet 7. Also in this case the sheet 7 may itself be in the form of negative photographic film on which the portrait 3 is directly printed.
While all of the above-described embodiments shown in FIG. l3 operate with reflected light, it is also possible to apply the invention to that type of article which transmits light therethrough. Thus, with the embodiment of FIG. 4, the body 1' is also made of paper or synthetic plastic, for example, but in this case instead of a recess 6 the opening takes the form a cutout 9 which passes completely through the body I and indicated in FIG. 4. In this case instead of a sheet 7, the indicia 2, 3 is carried by a sheet 8 which is in the form of a transparent film situated directly in the opening 9 and framed by the body 1'. At opposite sides of the film 8 are a pair of covering filters 4 which may have any of the above-described characteristics so that the signature 2 and portrait 3 may be the same as those described above in connection with an identification card of the reflecting type. The transparent protective films 5 cover both pieces of the article of FIG. 4, and with this article light beyond the visible spectrum is directed through the opening 9 so as to be transmitted in this way through the identifying card or the like in order to render the identifying indicia 2, 3 visible.
FIGS. 5 through 8 respectively illustrate various types of identification systems in which the article of the invention may be used.
Referring to FIG. 5, the structure schematically illustrated therein is adapted to utilize reflected ultraviolet light. For this purpose an ultraviolet lamp 10 is situated in front of a reflector 11, so that light is directed through a condenser lens 12 before reaching an ultraviolet filter 13. After passing through the filter 13 the light is reflected by a mirror 14 onto the identification card C of the invention. This card is carried by a suitable support 15 on which the identification card of the invention has been placed. Thus, when exposed to ultraviolet light the operator can look directly at the card so as to see the indicia 2, 3 in the manner described above.
FIG. 6 shows a system where the identification card is exposed to infrared rays so as to render the identifying indicia visible. With this system the card C is again placed on a suitable support or loading stand 15 which has the inclined attitude shown in FIG. 6. Infrared light from the lamp 16 is directed to the card so as to be reflected thereby through an imaging tube 17 of known construction. The operator by looking through an ocular at the top of the tube 17 is capable of seeing the indicia 2, 3 which is rendered visible by being exposed to the infrared light.
In the system of FIG. 7 a plate which becomes fluorescent when exposed to ultraviolet light will become nonfluorescent when simultaneously exposed to infrared light. With this reflective type of system, infrared light is provided by an infrared lamp 18 from which the light is reflected by a system of reflectors 19 in the manner shown schematically in FIG. 7. The card C is again carried by the support which is moved into the housing shown in FIG. 7 so as to locate the card C in the path of the infrared light. The indicia 2, 3 in this case will absorb infrared light only where the indicia 2, 3 is situated. The rest of the sheet 7 and that part of the print 3 which does not carry the photograph itself will reflect the infrared light. The reflected light is magnified by lens system 20 before being reflected to the plate 22 which becomes fluorescent as a result of exposure to ultraviolet light from the lamp 21. Wherever the infrared light from the lamp 18 reaches the plate 22, the latter is rendered nonfluorescent so that only at an area of the plate 22 corresponding to the configuration of the indicia 2, 3 will a sheet 22 remain fluorescent because only at this area will there be exclusive exposure of the plate 22 to the ultraviolet light from the lamp 21. At all other areas the plate 22 receives both ultraviolet and infrared lights so as to become nonfluorescent. The fluorescent identifying indicia can be viewed through the window 23 in the manner indicated in FIG. 7.
Thus, all of the devices referred to above shown in FIGS. 5-7 will operate with reflected light. Thus, the cards used in these systems may have a construction such as that shown in FIG. 3 utilizing any of the above-described features which operate with reflected light beyond the visible spectrum.
However, it is also possible to utilize with the invention the structure of FIG. 4. Thus, with the systems of FIGS. 6 and 7, for example, it is only necessary to adapt the support 15 and the rest of the structure to an arrangement which utilizes the infrared light after it has passed through the article. Thus, the card 1' need only be supported in such a way that the light beyond the visible spectrum will pass therethrough before reaching the other components to which the light is reflected in the case of FIGS. 6 and 7.
FIG. 8, however, shows an identification system capable of using ultraviolet lights rays which pass through an identification card which is of the transmissive type shown in FIG. 4. With this system a fluorescent plate 23 is situated in the path of ultraviolet light rays which are transmitted from the lamp l0 and the reflector 11 through the card C. Thus, the elements 10 and 11 of FIG. 8 correspond to the elements 10 and 11 of FIG. 5 and direct ultraviolet rays to the identification article. The structure of FIG. 8 is situated in a suitable housing provided with a window 23 through which it is possible to observe the card C so as to recognize the indicia 2, 3 rendered visible by passage of ultraviolet light through the identifying device. However, this plate 23 of FIG. 8 can also take the form of a fluorescent plate situated in the path of the ultraviolet rays so as to be rendered fluorescent in a manner which will make the signature 2 and portrait 3 recognizable.
It is thus apparent from the above description that with the invention the identification card or the like, in addition to having a signature of the authorized individual, also has a portrait of the authorized individual fixed to or printed directly on the sheet which carries the signature, with the identifying indicia 2, 3 being covered by a covering filter in such a way that the signature 2 and portrait 3 can be recognized only when exposed to light beyond the visible spectrum. As a result the card of the invention will provide a more reliable and more accurate identification of a given individual so that there is a greater security against any possible unauthorized use of the card either in a bank or in any establishment which utilizes a credit card system, as contrasted with arrangements where reliance is made only upon a signature for the identifying indicia.
What is claimed is:
1. In an identification system, an article carrying a normally invisible indicia which can be rendered visible only by use of light beyond the visible spectrum, at least part of said indicia being a positive portrait of the individual authorized to use the article, said indicia also including a signature of the individual authorized to use the article, the article being in the form of a card having a hollow interior where a sheet bearing the signature and portrait is located, and a filter covering the indicia and permitting only light beyond the visible spectrum to reach the same, said sheet being a sheet of paper and said indicia including a signature of ink which absorbs infrared rays and a portrait printed on positive film, said filter covering the sheet permitting only infrared rays to be transmitted through the filter to the sheet to reach the indicia thereon.