US 3827726 A
Identification cards including I. D. credit cards comprising a sheet material bearing a photographic image pattern preferably prepared by diffusion transfer processes. A portion of the photographic image pattern provides a security feature and comprises a partial or imcomplete portion of a predetermined validation pattern. The predetermined validation pattern becomes apparent when another medium containing the residual portion of the validation pattern is superposed on the partial pattern which is part of the photographic information stored on the information-bearing surface.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 McVo'y et al.
1 llDENTIFICATlON CARDS  Inventors: Robert A. McVoy, Melrose; Ronald R. OConnor, Bedford, both of Mass.
 Assignee: Polaroid Corporation, Cambridge,
 Filed: May 2, 1972  Appl. No.: 249,532
 US. Cl. 283/7, 40/22  Int. Cl B42d 15/00  Field of Search 40/22; 283/6-9; 35/2  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,417,163 3/1947 Horst 35/2 2,984,030 5/1961 Hannon 40/22 1 -Aug.6, 1974 3,279,095 10/1966 Carlson 35/2 3,614,839 10/1971 Thomas ..40/2.2
Primary Examiner-Lawrence Charles Attorney, Agent, or Firm-John P. Morley 5 7] ABSTRACT 8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures IDENTIFICATION CARDS THE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. The Field of the Invention This invention relates to identification cards. More precisely, the invention disclosed herein relates to identification cards containing photographic information wherein a novel security feature, e.g., a verification capability is integrated with the photographic information.
2. Description of the Prior Art Identification cards including I. D. credit cards have become an integral part of modern society and their performance characteristics are well defined. In addi tion to being durable under conditions of handling as well as compact, such cards must also contain relevant information pertaining to bearer and issuer and oftentimes additional indicia for recording any transactions conducted with the card all integrated in a secure fashion to discourage tampering or alteration. Another requisite feature of such cards is that the information contained thereon must provide a high degree of assurance that the person bearing or presenting the card is the person to whom the card was actually issued and that the card was validly issued by the actual issuer thereof. A photograph of the bearer preferably in color usually together with a reproduction of the bearers signature are considered to be the best means for assuring that the bearer of the card is the one to whom it was actually issued. However, other means are oftentimes relied on to provide additional assurance that the card was validly issued, e.g., not a counterfeit or has not been tampered with or altered. Such auxiliary security or validation means can be conspicuous or inconspicuous on the card and such means have included polarized strips, water marks, fluorescent materials and the like. However, many of the security or verification means employed heretofore are expensive or add to the expense of the final identification card containing them because special steps or manipulations are required to install such means in the cards. In accordance with the present invention, identification cards are presented which provide novel security or verification means which can be integrated with such cards simply, inexpensively with a minimum of inconvenience and without any substantial alteration of attendent hardware employed in producing such cards.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The identification cards or I. D. credit cards of the present invention comprise a surface bearing photographic information a portion of which photographic information comprises a partial or incomplete pattern of a predetermined validation pattern. The complete validation pattern can be rendered apparent by viewing the partial pattern on the information-bearing surface through a superposed medium comprising the residual portion of the validation pattern. Especially preferred cards of the present invention are those wherein the photographic information is provided by way of diffusion transfer photographic processes and the partial or incomplete pattern of the predetermined validation pattern is included in such photographic information by simultaneously exposing the partial pattern with the subject information to be provided on the informationbearing surface.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS illustrates a partial or incomplete portion of a predetermined validation pattern.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a laminar assembly designed to accommodate the medium of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a sectional, diagrammatic view of a laminar structure of a l. D. card prepared in accordance with this invention.
FIG. 4 is a plane view of a verification medium which is superposed on the surface of FIG. 1 to render a predetermined validation pattern visible or apparent.
FIG. 5 is a plane view of the verification medium of FIG. 4 superposed on the surface of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A typical information-bearing medium 18 useful in the preparation of identification cards and/or I. D. credit cards'of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1. Traditionally, such media include a photograph of the intended bearer and any other desired descriptive information pertaining to the bearer. In the identification cards of the present invention, the photographic information on the card additionally comprises an incomplete or partial pattern of a predetermined validation pattern shown as section 30 of medium 18. For reasons which will be explained later, at least a portion of section 30 is associated with other indicia on the card. For example, as shown, a portion of section 30 is associated with the indicia relating to the bearer which appears on medium 18.
One particularly useful and especially preferred system for preparing card 18 utilizes the principles of photography known as diffusion transfer. In such photographic systems either a black-and-white or a color print may be obtained, depending upon the particular photographic procedures employed.
Black-and-white images may be obtained in accordance with the silver transfer procedures described and claimed, for example, in US. Pat. Nos. 2,543,181 and 2,647,056 issued to Edwin H. Land. As is described and claimed in these patents, an exposed light-sensitive silver halide emulsion containing a developable image is developed with an aqueous alkaline processing composition including a silver halide developing agent and a silver halide solvent; as a function of development an imagewise distribution of a soluble silver complex is formed in terms of unexposed areas of the emulsion; and this imagewise distribution is then transferred, at least in part, by imbibition, to a superposed silver receptive stratum where it is reduced to impart thereto a positive silver transfer image.
Color transfer images may be obtained in accordance with the procedures described and claimed, for example, in U. S. Pat. No. 2,983,606, issued to Howard G. Rogers. As is disclosed in this patent a photosensitive element including one or more light-sensitive silver halide emulsions each having associated therewith a dye developer (a dye which is also a silver halide developing agent), is exposed and developed with an aqueous alkaline processing composition; as a function of development an imagewise distribution of diffusible dye is formed; and this imagewise distribution is then transferred at least in part by imbibition to a superposed dyeable stratum to impart thereto a positive dye transfer image.
In a particularly suitable system for preparing card 18 utilizing one of the aforementioned diffusion transfer processes, a data card containing the desired descriptive information and a copy of the partial pattern of the predetermined validation pattern are integrated with the camera so that the subject and the descriptive matter pertaining to him as well as the partial pattern are all simultaneously photographed to provide a single developable image which is thereafter processed to provide a transfer print comprising a suitable support having thereon an image-bearing layer containing an image of the subject at one portion thereof and the descriptive matter and partial pattern at another portion thereof, e.g., a photographic print such as is shown in FIG. 1. The aforementioned procedure for preparing the photograph may be accomplished most expeditiously with Polaroid ID-2 or Polaroid ID-3 Land Identification Systems.
In the above mentioned Polaroid I. D. 2 and Polaroid I. D. 3 Land Identification Systems, the camera is designed to form juxtaposed images on a photosensitive sheet. Each of the subjects, e.g., the intended bearer and the data card, is located in the field of a separate lens systems. The lens systems have coincident focal planes such that negative photographic film placed at the coincident focal planes is properly positioned for receiving images from each of the lens systems. Normally in identification cards or I. D. credit cards it is desirable to provide a validation signature thereon. In such I. D. systems this has been done by positioning a validation signature plate in the focal plane of the optical system so that when the film is exposed, the signature will intercept portions of the image to thereby impose the signature and other information on the photographic negative. In the preferred practice of the present invention the partial pattern of the preselected validation pattern can be included on the signature validation plate and arranged thereon so that the partial pattern can be obtained in whatever desired section of medium 18.
The medium 18 of FIG. 1 is normally protected by a laminar assembly to provide the final identification card or I. D. credit card. A suitable preformed laminar assembly employed for this purpose is shown in FIG. 2.
As shown in FIG. 2, a preformed product 1 is provided comprising a front sheet 14 and a back sheet laminated or otherwise secured together along one edge 16. The two sheets are preferably but not necessarily of the same dimensions and configuration so as not to overlap when placed in superposition. Sheet 14 is substantially transparent and, may, for example, be made of a rigid or semirigid plastic such as cellulose acetate butyrate, polyvinyl chloride, a polymerized polyethylene glycol ester, e.g., Mylar (trademark of E. I. duPont, deNemours & Co. for a polyethylene glycol ester of terephthalic acid), etc. Back sheet 10 may be made of the same or a different material and, while it may also be transparent, it is preferably opaque, e.g., white, both for masking purposes and to provide the requisite background for the particular design and other information appearing thereon and which will be described with more particularity hereinafter.
In the particular form shown in FIG. 2, inner surface 10a of sheet 10 is provided with a conventional pressure-sensitive adhesive coating. A conventional release sheet 12, which may be made of glassine, polyethylenecoated paper, etc. is provided over this adhesive coating to prevent premature or unwanted adhesion of sheets 10 and 14. Release sheet 12, which is readily strippable from the coating on layer 10a, is shown to cover substantially all of the surface area of layer 10a not shown to be secured to sheet 14.
The assembly shown in FIG. 2 and described so far may be prepared by coating substantially the entire surface 10a with the pressure-sensitive adhesive, then applying the release sheet 12 thereon, sheet 12 being of slightly smaller width to leave coated edge 16 of layer 10a exposed. When sheet 14 is then placed in superposition and suitable pressure brought to bear, sheets 10 and 14 are then sealed together along this edge as shown.
The rear of the outer surface sheet 10 can contain or be adapted to contain additional information or data. For example, if the preparation of an I. D. credit card is contemplated, the rear surface can contain the name and a particular design-preferably in colorof the issuer in addition to an embossed serial number and any other desired information pertaining to the bearer and which may be employed in known manners for billing of charge purchases or other bookkeeping matters.
In a typical procedure of the present invention, the issuer is provided with a plurality of assemblies of the type shown in FIG. 2 containing its characteristic identifying design on surface 10b but not yet embossed with the identifying matter pertaining to the individual bearer.
In the preparation of the final identification card or I. D. credit card, release sheet 12 is removed and medium 18 is then placed between sheets 12 and 14 with the image-bearing surface of the card up or in juxtaposition with sheet 14. The resulting lamination may then be securely sealed by applying a suitable pressure, e. g., by passing the sandwich between a pair of pressure rollers.
In the preferred system, the inner surface of front sheet 14 is provided with a water-activated adhesive, e.g., polyvinyl alcohol. The medium 18 is inserted while moist and upon contact the moisture from the print activates the adhesive layer so that the surface of the medium 18 is securely laminated to the inner surface of sheet 14. To accomplish the desired moistening, the medium may be inserted while still slightly damp from processing or it may be moistened after processing but before insertion if desired. In the lamination just described, it will be appreciated that the support or rear surface of medium 18 is secured to inner surface 10a of the back sheet by means of the adhesive coating.
In a preferred embodiment the length and width of sheets 12 and 14 are predetermined to be slightly greater than the length and width of medium 18. In this manner not only is the medium itself tightly secured, the periphery of sheets 10 and 14 overlapping the dimensions of the medium are also tightly secured to one another to provide a composite laminar structure as shown in FIG. 3.
While reference has been made to the use of pressure-activated adhesives and water-activated adhesives, it will be appreciated that other types of adhesive, e.g., any of the known heat-activated polyester adhesives, hot melt adhesives, etc. may be employed in lieu thereof.
A verification medium 40 of FIG. 4 is used in verifying the identification cards or I. D. credit cards prepared as described above and having a partial pattern of a predetermined validation pattern as part of the photographic information on the card. Essentially such verification media comprise a pellucid sheet material, e.g., a transparent or translucent sheet material having on a portion thereof 30a the residual portion of the predetermined verification pattern. Accordingly by superposing section 30a of verification medium 40 on section 30 of medium 18 the complete predetermined verification pattern becomes apparent as shown in FIG. 5. Registry means are usually included in verification media employed in the practice of the present invention. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, cross marks 32a can be alligned with cross marks 32 of medium 18 to aid in quick, effective alignment of sections 30 and 30a to provide readout of the complete predetermined validation pattern as shown in FIG. 5. Obviously, possession of verification media employed in the practice of the present invention should be severly restricted to authorized personnel.
The complete validation pattern as shown in FIG. 5 comprises a repetitive arrangement of the word valid. The particular validation pattern selected can vary and can include designs as well as arrangements of words or numbers for example. The selected pattern, however, should be capable of being broken into at least two partial patterns so that the partial patterns alone do not suggest or otherwise render the complete predetermined pattern apparent. In other words, each partial patterns should represent a random disassociation of the complete pattern which is preferably complicated so that any attempt to determine the complete pattern without the other partial pattern(s) would present a problem having a high probability of failure and- /or require specialized efforts. For example, the partial pattern shown in section 30 of medium 18 is designed to appear as hens Scratchings and each mark has been deliberately arranged so that the partial pattern will not even remotely suggest the complete pattern shown in FIG. 5. Computors and/or the ingenuity of cryptologists can be employed to randomly scramble or disassociate predetermined validation patterns into partial patterns of lines, dots or curves which alone would make a determination of the complete pattern extremely difficult and/or time consuming thereby discouraging attempts to defeat such a verification feature.
As mentioned before, the preferred identification cards and I. D. credit cards of the present invention are those wherein the partial pattern of the predetermined validation pattern is associated with other indicia on the medium since the association of the partial pattern with indicia discourages attempts to reproduce the pattern. For example, in order to mass produce counterfeit identification cards of the present invention a plate containing the partial pattern would be required for use in the equipment of an I. D. identification system. One way of producing such a plate could involve photographing the partial pattern of an identification card and transferring the pattern to a plate which could be integrated with the lens system of an ID. camera to provide an image of the partial pattern on the counterfeit card. However, because the partial pattern is associated with other indicia, portions of the pattern will be obscured or obliterated and accordingly a photograph of the partial pattern will not provide all the individual marks of the pattern. The association of the partial pattern with some indicia which appears on all the identification cards, e.g., the name of the issuer and with some indicia which varies from card to card, e.g., indicia relating to the bearer can further complicate and discourage attempts to reproduce all the individual marks of the pattern.
From the foregoing, it should be appreciated that the identification cards or I. D. credit cards of the present invention provide a distinctive verification feature which can be integrated with such cards in a simple, inexpensive, fashion with a minimum of inconvenience and without extensive modification or alteration of existing systems and techniques and equipment related thereto. Moreover, the feature is sufficiently sophisticated to require highly specialized considerations and efforts in order to avoid the feature. Accordingly, the present invention provides a simple, inexpensive and surprisingly effecient solution to a problem long outstanding in the art; that of continually improving the credibility and reliability of identification cards and I. D. credit cards.
Various modifications of incidental features offered in the above description offered for the purposes of illustrating the invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In an identification card comprising a sheet material having an information-bearing layer containing photographic information on at least a portion thereof, the improvement wherein said photographic information comprises a partial pattern of a preselected validation pattern associated with other indicia on said information-bearing layer, said pattern being integrated with said card so as to provide the preselected validation pattern when a second partial pattern providing the residual portions of said preselected validation pattern is placed in superposition with said first mentioned partial validation pattern.
2. A card as defined in claim 1 wherein said indicia associated with said partial validation pattern is indicia which normally varies from card to card.
3. A card as defined in claim 1 wherein said photographic information is provided on said informationbearing surface by diffusion transfer photography.
4. A card as defined in claim 1 wherein said photographic information is a multicolor image pattern.
5. A laminar identification card or I. D. credit card comprising a transparent front sheet having inner and outer surfaces, a card having an information-bearing surface and a rear surface wherein said informationbearing surface comprises photographic information some of which comprises a partial pattern of a preselected validation pattern which is associated with other indicia, the dimensions of said card being less than those of said transparent front sheet, leaving a peripheral area of said front sheet free from contact with said card, a back sheet of substantially the same dimensions as said transparent sheet and having inner and outer surfaces, the rear surfaces of said card being sealed to the inner surface of said back sheet leaving a peripheral area of said back sheet free from contact with said card, the opposed peripheral areas of said front and back sheets being sealed together to complete said lamgraphic information is provided on said informationination, the outer surface of said back sheet comprising bearing Surface by diff i t f photography an mformanon'bearmg Surface 8. A card as defined in claim 5 wherein said photo- 6. A card as defined in claim 5 wherein said indicia f I t associated with said partial validation pattern is indicia 5 grap m Ormanon compnses a mu or Image pa which normally varies from card to card.
7. A card as defined in claim wherein said photo-