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ID DOCUMENT STRUCTURE WITH
PATTERN COATING PROVIDING VARIABLE
RELATED APPLICATION DATA 5
This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 11/025,786, filed Dec. 28, 2004 (now U.S. Pat. No. 7,383, 999), which is hereby incorporated by reference.
The invention relates to document laminate structures, such as those used in identification documents, and related methods for making these laminate structures. 15
BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY
Identification documents (hereafter "ID documents") play a critical role in today's society. One example of an ID docu- 20 ment is an identification card ("ID card"). ID documents are used on a daily basis—to prove identity, to verify age, to access a secure area, to evidence driving privileges, to cash a check, and so on. Airplane passengers are required to show an ID document during check in, security screening and prior to 25 boarding their flight. In addition, because we live in an everevolving cashless society, ID documents are used to make payments, access an automated teller machine (ATM), debit an account, or make a payment, etc.
For the purposes of this disclosure, ID documents are 30 broadly defined herein, and include, e.g., credit cards, bank cards, phone cards, passports, driver's licenses, network access cards, employee badges, debit cards, security cards, smart cards (e.g., cards that include one more semiconductor chips, such as memory devices, microprocessors, and micro- 35 controllers), contact cards, contactless cards, proximity cards (e.g., radio frequency (RFID) cards), visas, immigration documentation, national ID cards, citizenship cards, social security cards, security badges, certificates, identification cards or documents, voter registration cards, police ID cards, 40 border crossing cards, legal instruments, security clearance badges and cards, gunpermits, gift certificates or cards, membership cards or badges, etc., etc. Also, the terms "document," "card," "badge" and "documentation" are used interchangeably throughout this patent application.). 45
Many types of identification cards and documents, such as driving licenses, national or government identification cards, bank cards, credit cards, controlled access cards and smart cards, carry certain items of information which relate to the identity of the bearer. Examples of such information include 50 name, address, birth date, signature and photographic image; the cards or documents may in addition carry other variable data (i.e., data specific to a particular card or document, for example an employee number) and invariant data (i.e., data common to a large number of cards, for example the name of 55 an employer). All of the cards described above will be generically referred to as "ID documents".
FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a front view and cross-sectional view (taken along the A-A line), respectively, of an identification (ID) document 10. In FIG. 1, the ID document 10 60 includes a photographic image 12, a bar code 14 (which may contain information specific to the person whose image appears in photographic image 12 and/or information that is the same from ID document to ID document), variable personal information 16, such as an address, signature, and/or 65 birthdate, and biometric information 18 associated with the person whose image appears in photographic image 12 (e.g.,
a fingerprint, a facial image or template, or iris or retinal template), a magnetic stripe (which, for example, can be on a side of the ID document that is opposite the side with the photographic image), and various security features, such as a security pattern (for example, a printed pattern comprising a tightly printed pattern of finely divided printed and imprinted areas in close proximity to each other, such as a fine-line printed security pattern as is used in the printing of banknote paper, stock certificates, and the like).
Referring to FIG. 2, the ID document 10 comprises a preprinted core 20 (also referred to as a substrate). In many applications, the core can be a light-colored, opaque material (e.g., TESLIN (available from PPG Industries), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material, polyester, polycarbonate, etc.). The core 20 is laminated with a transparent material, such as clear PVC or polyester material 22, which, by way of example, can be about 1-5 mil thick. The composite of the core 20 and clear laminate material 22 form a so-called "cardblank" 25 that can be up to about 30 mils thick. Information 26a-c is printed on the card blank 25 using a method such as Laser Xerography or Dye Diffusion Thermal Transfer ("D2T2") printing (e.g., as described in commonly assigned U.S. Pat. No. 6,066,594, which is incorporated hereto by reference in its entirety.) The information 26a-c can, for example, comprise variable information (e.g., bearer information) and an indicium or indicia, such as the invariant or nonvarying information common to a large number of identification documents, for example the name and logo of the organization issuing the documents. The information 26a-c may be formed by any known process capable of forming the indicium on the specific core material used.
To protect the information that is printed, an additional layer of transparent overlaminate 24 can be coupled to the card blank and printed information. Illustrative examples of usable materials for overlaminates include biaxially oriented polyester or other optically clear durable plastic film.
"Laminate" and "overlaminate" include, but are not limited to film and sheet products. Laminates used in documents include substantially transparent polymers. Examples of laminates used in documents include polyester, polycarbonate, polystyrene, cellulose ester, polyolefin, polysulfone, and polyamide. Laminates can be made using either an amorphous or biaxially oriented polymer. The laminate can comprise a plurality of separate laminate layers, for example a boundary layer and/or a film layer.
The degree of transparency of the laminate can, for example, be dictated by the information contained within the identification document, the particular colors and/or security features used, etc. The thickness of the laminate layers can vary and is typically about 1-20 mils. Lamination of any laminate layer(s) to any other layer of material (e.g., a core layer) can be accomplished using a lamination process.
In ID documents, a laminate can provide a protective covering for the printed substrates and provides a level of protection against unauthorized tampering (e.g., a laminate would have to be removed to alter the printed information and then subsequently replaced after the alteration.). Various lamination processes are disclosed in assignee's U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,783,024, 6,007,660, 6,066,594, and 6,159,327. Other lamination processes are disclosed, e.g., in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,283,188 and 6,003,581. A co-extruded lamination technology described in this document also appears in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/692,463. Each of these U.S. patents and applications is herein incorporated by reference.
The material(s) from which a laminate is made may be transparent, but need not be. Laminates can include synthetic resin-impregnated or coated base materials composed of sue3
cessive layers of material, bonded together via heat, pressure, and/or adhesive. Laminates also includes security laminates, such as a transparent laminate material with proprietary security technology features and processes, which protects documents of value from counterfeiting, data alteration, photo 5 substitution, duplication (including color photocopying), and simulation by use of materials and technologies that are commonly available. Laminates also can include thermosetting materials, such as epoxy.
In a typical ID document, one or more laminate layers are 10 joined together with the substrate, possibly including other security devices, such as holograms, integrated circuits, optical memory, RFID tag, etc. to form a complete document. These laminate layers are designed to enhance the durability and security of the identification documents. From the stand- 15 point of durability, the laminate should increase the document's ability to withstand wear and tear experienced in the field, including heat and humidity that can compromise the integrity of the document structure.
From the standpoint of security, an identification document 20 should be difficult to tamper with and/or provide clear evidence of tampering. In particular, the various layers of the document, including the laminate, should be difficult to separate or intrude into without severely damaging the document and marring the information contained in it. 25
This document describes novel security features for ID documents and methods for making these features and the documents that include them. Embodiments of these security features provide one or more layers of security, including: 1. 3Q variable (e.g., personal) information that links the feature to information on the card and its bearer; 2. optically variable effects that are difficult to reproduce; 3. a unique tactile feel on the surface of the document; 4. obvious tamper evidence and/or intrusion detection; and 5. use of ink formulations that 35 enhance security, such as optical variance, fluorescence, invisible inks (e.g., UV or IR inks), etc.
One aspect of the invention is a method of making an identification document comprising applying a first material representing first information on a core layer of the document, 40 the first material at least partially overlapping the core layer; applying a second material representing second information at least partially adjacent to the first material; and applying a laminate layer over the core layer. The laminate layer covers the first and second materials. The first and second materials 45 adhere differently to the laminate and core layers such that removal of the laminate layer from the core layer causes a separation of the first and second materials. The second material represents the second information in a relief pattern having a varying surface height relative to a surface of the core 50 such that the document has a tactile feel.
In one embodiment of the method, a manufacturing process prints a first material depicting first information on a core layer of the document. This first material at least partially overlaps the core layer. One example of this first printing 55 stage is Xerographic printing of the bearer's information and photo. The process then applies a second material representing second information at least partially overlapping the first material, and cures the second material. One example is ink jet printing of personal information with a UV curable ink in 60 the form of a relief pattern on the core layer. Finally, the process applies a laminate layer over the core layer. The laminate layer covers the first and second materials. The first and second materials adhere differently to the laminate and core layers such that removal of the laminate layer from the 65 core layer causes a separation of the first and second materials.
Another aspect of the invention is a security feature for an identification document comprising a first material representing first information applied to a core layer of the document, a second material representing second information adjacent to the first material, and a laminate layer applied over the core layer. The laminate layer covers the first and second materials, and the first and second materials adhere differently to the laminate and core layers such that removal of the laminate layer from the core layer causes a separation of the first and second materials. The second material represents the second information in a relief pattern having a varying surface height relative to a surface of the core such that the feature has a tactile feel.
Additional aspects of the invention include ID documents and methods for making the ID documents and parts of ID documents.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The advantages, features, and aspects of embodiments of the invention will be more fully understood in conjunction with the following detailed description and accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is an illustrative example of an identification document;
FIG. 2 is an illustrative cross section of the identification document of FIG. 1, taken along the A-A line;
FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating a cross section of an identification document including a coating between laminate and core layers creating a variable security feature;
FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating an example of an identification document with a variable security feature over a photo of the document's bearer.
FIG. 5 is a diagram illustrating the tamper evident properties of the security feature shown in FIG. 4
FIG. 6 is a flow diagram illustrating a method for creating a type of laminate shown in the example of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 7 is a flow diagram illustrating a method for creating an identification document with a variable security feature as shown in FIGS. 3-5.
Of course, the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale, with emphasis rather being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention. In the drawings, like reference numbers indicate like elements or steps. Further, throughout this application, certain indicia, information, identification documents, data, etc., may be shown as having a particular cross sectional shape (e.g., rectangular) but that is provided by way of example and illustration only and is not limiting, nor is the shape intended to represent the actual resultant cross sectional shape that occurs during manufacturing of identification documents.
For purposes of illustration, the following description will proceed with reference to ID document structures (e.g., TESLIN-core or Polycarbonate-core, multi-layered ID documents). It should be appreciated, however, that the invention is not so limited. Indeed, as those skilled in the art will appreciate, the inventive techniques can be applied to many other structures formed in many different ways.
FIG. 3 is a diagram illustrating a cross section of an identification document including a coating 108a-c between laminate and core layers creating a variable security feature. In this particular example, the coating 108a-c at least partially overlaps areas of a core layer 104 that have been pre-printed with information 106a-c. A laminate layer, which itself in this