|Publication number||USRE39490 E1|
|Application number||US 10/612,731|
|Publication date||Feb 20, 2007|
|Filing date||Jul 1, 2003|
|Priority date||Dec 2, 1997|
|Also published as||CA2312391A1, CA2312391C, CN1221919C, CN1280690A, DE69822660D1, DE69822660T2, DE69829889D1, DE69829889T2, EP1034504A1, EP1034504A4, EP1034504B1, US6255948, WO1999028852A1, WO1999028852A9|
|Publication number||10612731, 612731, US RE39490 E1, US RE39490E1, US-E1-RE39490, USRE39490 E1, USRE39490E1|
|Inventors||Paul F. Cote, Stephen B. Curdo, Gerald J. Gartner, Gary R. Wolpert|
|Original Assignee||Technical Graphics, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (44), Non-Patent Citations (2), Referenced by (8), Classifications (45), Legal Events (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/067,228 filed Dec. 2, 1997, fully incorporated herein by reference.
The present invention relates to security devices and in particular, to a security device or element having multiple security features for use with valuable merchandise or items.
Counterfeiting and tampering with secure documents or instruments, such as bank notes, checks, tickets, credit cards and the like, and other valuable merchandise or items is a common problem in many fields or enterprises. To prevent counterfeiting, many secure documents and other items of value include a security device or element, such as a security thread, disposed on or in the document. The security device typically includes one or more security features, such as metallic security features, magnetic security features, or luminescent security features, that authenticate the document and prevent counterfeiting and/or tampering.
To authenticate the document, many conventional security devices merely require that the existence of a single security feature be detected. Thus, counterfeiters need only recognize the security feature in a document or item and reproduce that one security feature in a counterfeit document or item such that the security feature is detectable to authenticate the counterfeit document. Advances in technology have brought even new and easier ways of identifying these security features and reproducing the valuable documents or instruments with the security device. Thus, a need exists for more covert security features that are not easily identified and reproduced.
One type of security thread includes metallic features, such as metallic graphic indicia, disposed on a carrier substrate. According to conventional chemical etching techniques, a chemical resist is printed on a metallic layer in the form of the graphical indicia, either positively or negatively, and de-metalization of the areas of the metallic layer not covered by the chemical resist causes the graphic indicia to be formed either negatively or positively by the remaining metallic layer. Security threads having only a metallic security feature, formed according to this method, do not provide adequate protection because the counterfeiter can easily recognize and reproduce the metallic graphic indicia.
Attempts have been made to combine multiple security features, such as metallic and magnetic features, to make counterfeiting more difficult. In one example, magnetic ink is used to print graphic indicia that can be read by MICR detectors. However, if magnetic ink is used to print graphic indicia on or with metallic security features, the magnetic features and metallic features are easily distinguishable and identified. A counterfeiter could recognize that both magnetic and metallic security features have been used and need to be reproduced.
Other types of security threads have also used hybrid metals or alloys to form graphic indicia having both magnetic and metallic security features. However, the hybrid metals and the process for depositing or applying the hybrid metals to form the graphic indicia is costly. Also, using hybrid metals limits the ability to vary the magnetic properties that can be used.
Accordingly, a need exists for a security device having multiple security features, such as metallic and magnetic security features, that are not easily distinguishable and recognizable upon observing the security device. A need also exists for a security device in which the security feature(s) is capable of providing machine readable encoded data, e.g., pertaining to the security device or document, in addition to detectable features for authentication of the security document. What is also needed is a method of making a magnetic/metallic security device using existing chemical etching or de-metalization techniques.
The present invention features a magnetic/metallic security device for use with an item to provide multiple security features. The security device includes a carrier substrate, a metallic layer disposed on the carrier substrate, for providing metallic security features, and a magnetic layer disposed on and in substantially identical registration with at least a portion of some of the metallic layer, for providing magnetic security features. The metallic layer and the magnetic layer together form graphic indicia on the carrier substrate, either positively or negatively. In one embodiment, a coating layer is disposed over the graphic indicia formed by the metallic layer and the magnetic layer.
The magnetic/metallic security device has different embodiments in which the magnetic layer provides magnetic security features. In one embodiment, the graphic indicia is formed as magnetic characters readable by MICR detectors. In another embodiment, the magnetic layer includes a hard magnetic substance capable of being magnetized for recording data on the magnetic layer.
In a further embodiment, the magnetic layer includes at least one type of magnetic substance having at least one predetermined magnetic characteristic that is detectable, for authenticating an item having said security device. In one example, the magnetic substance is a soft magnetic pigment capable of holding a level of magnetism for a limited period of time.
In a further embodiment, the magnetic layer includes at least first and second types of magnetic substances having at least first and second predetermined magnetic characteristics respectively. The first and second types of magnetic substances are arranged in the magnetic layer in a predetermined pattern representing data encoded with the magnetic layer such that the first and second predetermined characteristics are detectable to read the predetermined pattern and decode the data. In one example, the first and second predetermined magnetic characteristics represent binary integers, and the predetermined pattern of the first and second types of magnetic substances represents data in a binary coded format. One example of the first and second types of magnetic substances include first and second soft magnetic pigments having first and second predetermined magnetic decay rates and/or predetermined levels of magnetism.
The magnetic/metallic security device also has different embodiments in which the metallic layer provides metallic security features. In one embodiment, at least a portion of the metal layer includes at least one predetermined characteristic that is detectable, for authenticating an item having the security device.
In another embodiment, the metal layer forms a plurality of conductive regions on the substrate. The conductive regions are separated by non-conductive regions and have at least two different predetermined lengths forming a predetermined pattern for representing encoded data. The predetermined lengths of the conductive regions are detectable to read the predetermined pattern and decode the data. In one example, the conductive regions include first and second predetermined lengths representing binary integers, and the predetermined pattern of the first and second lengths of the conductive regions encodes the data in a binary coded format.
The present invention also features a magnetic security device for use with an item. The magnetic security device comprises a carrier substrate, and a plurality of magnetic regions disposed on the carrier substrate. The plurality of magnetic regions have different predetermined magnetic characteristics and are arranged in a predetermined pattern representing data encoded by the magnetic regions. The first and second predetermined characteristics are detectable to read the predetermined pattern and decode the data.
The present invention also features a metallic security device for use with an item. The metallic security device comprises a carrier substrate, and a plurality of conductive regions disposed on the carrier substrate. The conductive regions are separated by non-conductive regions and have at least two different predetermined lengths forming a predetermined pattern for representing encoded data. The predetermined lengths of the conductive regions are detectable to read the predetermined pattern and decode the data.
The present invention also features a method of making a magnetic/metallic security device having a plurality of security features. The method comprises: providing a carrier substrate having first and second surfaces; applying a metallic layer to at least a portion of the first surface of the carrier substrate; applying a magnetic layer over at least a portion of the metallic layer; and etching the magnetic layer and the metallic layer such that the magnetic layer and the metallic layer are in substantially identical registration and together form graphic indicia on the carrier substrate.
The preferred method of making a magnetic/metallic security device comprises: providing a carrier substrate having first and second surfaces; applying a metallic layer to at least a portion of the first surface of the carrier substrate; applying a magnetic chemical resist to at least a portion of the metallic layer, wherein the magnetic chemical resist forms a pattern of graphic indicia on the metallic layer; and chemically etching the metallic layer to remove exposed portions of the metallic layer, wherein chemical etching is resisted by the magnetic chemical resist such that the magnetic chemical resist and a portion of the metallic layer underlying the magnetic chemical resist together form the pattern of graphic indicia on the carrier substrate. The method can also include applying an additional layer over the graphical indicia formed by the magnetic chemical resist and the portion of the metallic layer underlying the magnetic chemical resist.
These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be better understood by reading the following detailed description, taken together with the drawings wherein:
A security device 10,
The security device 10 can be used in secure documents including, but not limited to, banknotes, currencies, passports, visas, titles, licenses, registrations, checks, money orders, original documents, certificates of authority, event tickets and gift certificates. The security device 10 provides authentication of the secure document and/or is encoded with data pertaining to the secure document or the security device itself.
The security device 10 can also be used in labels, tags or packaging material including, but not limited to, pressure sensitive labels, glue-on labels, in-mold labels, heat-shrink labels, woven labels, tear tapes, shrink-caps and collars, and stickers. In this example, the magnetic/metallic security device 10 authenticates and/or is encoded with data relating to the articles to which the labels or packaging material is attached, such as liquor or other commodities of value.
The security device 10 can further be used with a laminated article including, but not limited to, passports, ID Cards, access cards, licenses, and credit/debit cards. In this example, the security device 10 is used to authenticate the laminated article and/or is encoded with data relating to the article or the owner of the article.
The security device 10 can also be used in tickets or passes including, but not limited to, event tickets, transit tickets, lottery tickets, and admittance passes. According to this example, the security device 10 can provide authentication of the ticket or pass itself and/or can be encoded with data relevant to the event. The present invention also contemplates other uses and applications for the security device 10 to prevent counterfeiting, reproduction or otherwise provide security for items or articles of value.
According to the exemplary embodiment, the security device 10 is formed as a thread or strip that extends partially or entirely along the item 12 in any direction. The security device 10 can be embedded within the item 12, adhered to the item 12, woven in the item 12, or laminated between multiple layers of the item 12. The item 12 can also include multiple security devices 10 according to the present invention.
The security device 10,
In the exemplary embodiment, the security device 10 includes graphic indicia 16 formed from a metallic/magnetic medium disposed on the carrier substrate 14. The graphic indicia 16 can be formed positively on the carrier substrate 14, i.e. the graphic indicia 16 is composed of the magnetic/metal medium. The graphic indicia 16 can also be formed in the reverse, i.e. the area 18 surrounding the graphic indicia 16 is composed of the magnetic/metallic medium. The magnetic/metallic security device 10 can also be formed with a combination of positive and reverse graphic indicia 16. The graphic indicia 16 can be printed as line work in which solid areas are printed in the desired shape or as halftone in which tiny dots are printed with varying spacing to vary the shading. Although the graphic indicia 16 are shown as alphanumeric characters, the present invention contemplates any type of symbol, design, shape or other graphic indicia.
The method of making the exemplary security device 10,
Next, a magnetic chemical resist 22 is applied to the metallic layer 20 according to the desired pattern of graphic indicia 16, e.g. printed in positive, reverse or both. The magnetic chemical resist 22 includes film-forming chemical resisting resins containing ferromagnetic and or other magnetic pigments. Examples of the chemical resist include, but are not limited to, solvent based, water based or solid based, ultra violet (UV) or electron beam (EB) polymerized resin systems or other conventional chemical resist resins. The magnetic pigments include both hard and soft magnetic pigments, as will be described in greater detail below, typically ranging from about 200 oersteds to 10,000 oersteds.
An etching process is then performed on the magnetic/metallic security device 10,
Alternatively, the graphical indicia 16 can be formed using other types of techniques including, but not limited to, lasers, mechanical scribing, abrading, and the like. In one example, a substrate containing a metallic layer is overcoated with a magnetic layer and subjected to a laser etching process. The laser etching selectively removes both the magnetic and metallic layers and forms the desired graphical indicia 16 having the magnetic security feature superimposed substantially identically over the metallic security feature.
The present invention also contemplates using an additional coating or laminate 24,
The security device 10,
The magnetic security feature is capable of authenticating an item or encoding data pertaining to the item in multiple ways. In one example, the graphic indicia 16 are formed as magnetic characters that can be read by conventional MICR detectors. In this example, the graphic indicia 16 are preferably formed as positive text.
According to another example, the magnetic chemical resist 22 includes a hard magnetic pigment that is capable of being magnetized in the same manner as a magnetic recording tape. In this example, graphic indicia 16,
According to a further example, the magnetic chemical resist 22 includes a soft magnetic that can be magnetized and holds a level of magnetism for a limited period of time depending upon the characteristics or properties of the soft magnetic. Using the soft magnetic allows the magnetic security feature to be further concealed because the magnetic properties will not be detected unless the soft magnetic is first magnetized. Soft magnetics typically have predetermined magnetic characteristics, such as a level of magnetism that they can achieve and rate of decay of magnetic charge. Soft magnetics can be used to provide authentication, by first magnetizing the magnetic/metallic security device 10 and then detecting the existence of the magnetic, the level of magnetism, or the rate of decay.
By providing soft magnetics with varying magnetic characteristics, such as different levels of magnetism which can be attained or rates of decay, the graphic indicia 16,
According to one method of the present invention, different formulations of the magnetic chemical resist 22 having magnetic pigments with different magnetic properties or characteristics are printed onto the metallic layer 20 using multiple print stations, such as an offset printing press similar to the type used for multicolor printing. Using multiple print stations allows graphic indicia to be printed in any desired pattern using various combinations of magnetic chemical resists having various different magnetic properties.
The present invention also contemplates simultaneously using the level of magnetism and decay rate properties of the soft magnetics, as well as a mixture of hard and soft magnetics to achieve any desired combination of magnetic characteristics or properties for authenticating an item or encoding data pertaining to an item. Although the exemplary embodiment described above refers to two different magnetic properties for encoding data in BCD format, any number of different properties can be used to encode data in other numerical formats. For example,
The device 30,
When the security device 10 includes magnetic security features having soft magnetics, the device 30 further includes a magnetic charger 32 that charges the soft magnetic pigments prior to the reader 34 detecting the features of the magnetics, such as the existence of magnetics, the level of magnetization, the decay rate of the magnetic, or other detectable magnetic characteristics. Authentication can be made based upon whether the soft magnetic is present, whether the soft magnetic has a predetermined level of magnetization, or whether the soft magnetic has a predetermined decay rate.
Decoding is performed by determining the pattern of the different magnetic characteristics read by the reader 34. For example, if the magnetic/metallic security device 10 shown in
The metallic security feature 40,
Each conductive region 42 has one of at least two predetermined lengths, for example, long conductive regions 42a and short conductive regions 42b. Each predetermined length corresponds to a predetermined value so that the data can be determined by detecting the length of each conductive region 42 and determining a corresponding value.
In one example, long conductive regions 42a correspond to a “1” and the short conductive regions 42b corresponds to a “0”. According to this example, the long and short conductive regions 42a, 42b are used to encode data in BCD format. The long and short conductive regions 42a, 42b are arranged in a predetermined series corresponding to the binary representation of the data to be encoded. In this example, the detector/reader 34 detects the length of each conductive region 42 in the series (e.g. long or short) and determines the corresponding binary representation. To provide authentication, the binary representation will be matched to a predefined verification code for an item 12. To read encoded data, the binary representation will be further decoded.
Accordingly, depending upon the arrangement of the conductive regions 42 having varying lengths, a virtually unlimited number of verification codes or data can be encoded using the machine readable metallic security features 40. The machine readable metallic security feature 40 according to the present invention allows encoded data to be easily varied by varying the sequence of the conductive regions 42a, 42b. The conductive regions can be formed according to various designs provided that they are conductive over one of the predetermined lengths, as will be described in greater detail below. Although only two lengths are discussed herein for simplification, the present invention contemplates using conductive regions of any number of different lengths for encoding data. For example, octal data can be encoded using eight (8) different length conduction regions.
One method of reading and verifying the machine readable metallic security feature 40,
The conductive regions 42 of the machine readable encoded metallic security feature 40 are preferably formed from a metallic material, such as aluminum. Exemplary methods include, but are not limited to, forming the conductive regions 42 by metalization of a polyester film, hot stamped foil, and printing the conductive regions 42 with a metallic ink. The present invention contemplates other types of metallic material and methods of forming the metallic conductive regions and non-conductive breaks.
The machine readable encoded metallic security feature 40 and the security device 10 in which it is used are preferably designed to allow minimal “stretching,” for example, approximately 5% or less variation in length. Also, the detection of the lengths of the conductive regions 42a, 42b should account for the potential stretching of the security device and machine readable encoded metallic security feature 40, for example, by accounting for the potential percentage of change in length.
According to another embodiment of the machine readable encoded metallic security feature 40a,
According to another embodiment of the machine readable encoded metallic security feature 40b,
A further embodiment of the machine readable encoded metallic security feature 40c,
The present invention contemplates using the magnetic security features and metallic security features alone or together on a security device. Any number of the magnetic or metallic properties described above can be used individually or combined with other properties to provide authentication of an item, encode data pertaining to an item, or both.
According to the various embodiments of the present invention, one or more security devices or threads 10,
One example of the instrument 70 is a ticket used for sporting events, concerts, theater, shows, lotteries, transportation, theme parks, fairs, and other events. The security device 10 in the ticket can be encoded with a predetermined authentication code or encoded data that can be read when the security instrument 70 is presented, e.g. upon admission to a particular event. In one example, one full code 72 appears in approximately 2.5 in.
Accordingly, the security device of the present invention authenticates an item and/or is encoded with data pertaining to the item in numerous ways with one or more security features, such as metallic security features and magnetic security features that generally appear together as one single security feature. The security features and encoded data are thus more difficult to identify and reproduce. The method of making the security device using chemical etching and a magnetic chemical resist results in a magnetic security feature that is substantially indistinguishable from a metallic security feature. The method of printing graphic indicia using a magnetic chemical resist also facilitates the use of magnetic pigments having different magnetic characteristics or properties by printing different formulations of the magnetic chemical resist.
Modifications and substitutions by one of ordinary skill in the art are considered to be within the scope of the present invention which is not to be limited except by the claims which follow.
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|U.S. Classification||340/572.8, 235/493, 235/452, 340/5.8, 194/213, 235/451, 235/449, 428/457, 428/919, 283/82, 428/381, 235/492, 283/83, 428/389, 428/209, 340/572.1, 428/916, 428/399, 340/572.6|
|International Classification||G07D7/00, G07D7/04, G06K7/08, G01N27/72, B44F1/12, B42D15/10, G06K19/06, G08B13/24, G06K19/18, G08B13/14|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10T428/31678, Y10T428/2944, Y10T428/24917, Y10T428/2958, Y10T428/2976, Y10S428/916, G08B13/2448, G08B13/2408, G06K19/18, G08B13/2417, G08B13/2437|
|European Classification||G08B13/24B1G1, G08B13/24B3U, G08B13/24B3M, G08B13/24B1F, G06K19/18|
|Jul 7, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TECHNICAL GRAPHICS, INC.,NEW HAMPSHIRE
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