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Donfucius Says: October 31st, 2014. Random Bits Of Wisdom.

  1. “As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it!” — Buddy Hackett
  2. “Nature gave men two ends – one to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then man’s success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most.”Donfucius
  3. Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary use words.” — Aaron Rogers Quoting Francis of Assisi
  4. “Diplomacy is the art of saying “Nice doggie” until you find a rock.” — Will Rogers
  5. “Before they invented drawing boards, what did they go back to?” –Patti Molloy
  6. “The way we’re going… if I called up another pitcher, he’d just hang up the phone on me.” — Any Brewers Manager
  7. “When someone is impatient and says I haven’t got all day,” I always wonder, “How can that be? How can you not have all day?” — George Carlin
  8. “We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” — Old & Wise Japanese Proverb
  9. “Blessed are the cracked – for they are the ones who let in the light.” — Donfucius
  10. “Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” — Will Rogers
  11. “I don’t mind how much my Ministers talk, so long as they do what I say.” — Margaret Thatcher

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Posts Tagged ‘holograms’



Mixing It Up.

March 21st, 2010

Mixing and rotating overt, covert, and forensic technologies can thwart counterfeiters.

By Donald J. Dobert
President and Chief Operating Officer
ATL Security Label Systems

It has been said dozens of times already, there is no silver bullet against counterfeiters and diverters. You’ve got to layer, layer, and layer some more. In the photograph below we have illustrated the different “layers” of a 3D hologram. These invisible layers give the security label three color kinetic movement.

These “layers”, which are not immediately known to the counterfeiters, can be mixed and rotated to protect original products and documents. In the example below a German ID card has hologram layers that reveal a pattern when the card is moved back and forth.

In the photo below, courtesy of Graphic Security Systems Corporation, Lake Worth, FL, you can easily see how (during manufacturing) each “layer” is structured with different anti-counterfeiting properties.

Just what exactly does layering mean? What layer comes first, what layers need constant updates, and what layers stay put? Who decides when and when to layer, when to update the layers, and when do you need to inform FDA?
A “mix and rotate” approach brings multiple technologies together in one package. To “mix and rotate” can be compared to software updates. As computer hackers invent new “bugs,” software companies develop new “anti bugs.” Every time you as a brand owner produce your product, you can “mix and rotate” the following security features:

Tamper-evident breakaway closures.
Invisible, hidden markers.
Anticounterfeiting holograms.
Color-shifting inks.
Tamper-evident unit closure.
Mass-serialization.
Two-dimensional bar codes.
RFID chips.
Void security closures or destructible tapes.

Here is an example. Tamper-evident substrates can employ destructible, paper-based face stock or nonreproducible covert security fibers. Distribution can be limited to approved secure suppliers for a secure chain of custody. Tamper-evident substrates can make label removal impossible without visible damage. Such features effectively deter remarking and help ensure product authenticity. They also provide simple in-field authentication.
In addition, color-shifting inks and other covert features can be public signals of authenticity. Invisible forensic markers alone can be used to detect whether a product has been repackaged or relabeled. Such forensic markers may be used in the varnish on the package as well as customized or serialized codes and holograms.
Combining these technologies, the hologram would be an overt feature, the forensic marker would be a covert one, and the code could be either overt or covert, depending on what you are doing with it. Special codes can be purchased or created that pertain to only one product, which tells the manufacturer where it was made, how it was distributed and on what days. While there are codes that are very obvious and basically list manufacture date and product code, there is a wide range of options in customized codes.
A Ubiquitous Example
Modern U.S. currency has changed many times over the past few years. With the exception of the one-dollar bill, all of these notes are obsolete (see photo below). This is because the U.S. government “mixes and rotates” (M&R) its overt and covert techniques to stay one step ahead of the counterfeiters.

Shown below are examples of anti-counterfeiting “layered levels” of the “ever-changing” “face” of U.S. notes. You will notice the different colors when compared to the notes that are now obsolete:


Overt and covert M&R anticounterfeiting measures include fine detail with raised intaglio printing on bills. This allows nonexperts to easily spot forgeries. As a side note, on coins, milled or reeded (marked with parallel grooves) edges are used to show that none of the valuable metal has been scraped off. This detects the shaving or clipping (paring off) of the rim of the coin. However, this does not detect sweating, or shaking coins in a bag and collecting the resulting dust. Since this technique removes a smaller amount, it is primarily used on the most valuable coins, such as gold.
For paper bills, in the late twentieth century, advances in computer and photocopy technology made it possible for people without sophisticated training to easily copy currency. To combat this, national engraving bureaus began to include new (more sophisticated) anticounterfeiting systems such as holograms, multicolored bills, and embedded devices such as strips, microprinting, and inks whose colors change depending on the angle of the light. New technology also includes the use of design features such as the “Eurion Constellation,” which disables modern photocopiers.

Detecting counterfeit bills often isn’t easy to do by eye. One bogus $100 bill believed to have been made in North Korea, for instance, would be nearly impossible for a novice to identify as a fake. It has the security strip on the left side of the bill and a watermark of Ben Franklin (whose portrait is on the bill) on the right-hand side, as well as replicating other security features. However, its paper contains no starch and doesn’t reflect ultraviolet light, which is one sign of a counterfeit.Photo Below. The portrait on a genuine $50 bill (left) compared to a counterfeit. Notice the relative flatness and lack of detail on the fake bill.

Photo Below: The portrait on a genuine $50 bill (left) compared to a counterfeit. Notice the relative flatness and lack of detail on the fake bill.

Photo Below. $50 bill with three security features highlighted. A section of the security thread is visible in the circle near the portrait. The large circle to the right shows the watermark, and below that the color-shifting ink is circled.

There is now a scanner that searches for missing covert features in bogus “Super Dollars.” The device looks at several aspects of the bill to confirm its legitimacy. U.S. paper money is printed with magnetic ink, but that’s also used for many fraudulent bills. On real bills, the ink is distributed in a consistent pattern whose magnetic resonance can be mapped. The magnetic map is stored in the scanner, as well as three other maps containing ultraviolet, infrared, and other measurements taken from legitimate bills. Scanning a bill takes less than one second. If there’s any spike or anomaly in any of the threads of data, the scanner rejects the dollar.

Photo Below. Beginning with Series 2004, $10, $20, and $50 bills received a redesign with several changes to their overall look, notably the addition of more colors (see the picture of the $50 bill above). Probably the most important new security feature is the addition of EURion Constellations, a distinct arrangement of symbols (in this case, numbers) which triggers many color photocopiers to refuse to copy the bill.

SUPER LABELS=SUPER DOLLARS

What I have just described is a “layered” approach in anticounterfeiting. You may not be the government fighting “super dollars,” but then again, you are fighting to protect your brand from counterfeiters. The money a brand owner saves in brand protection and litigation should be considered as “super dollars” to the brand owner. In the process (of saving money), the brand owner will be protecting the public, and he can advertise as such.

PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE
Here’s how forensic authentication works in a M&R layered approach:
A unique digital code, “ATL 12-IDGJ”, is set-up for a brand.
A digital code is incorporated into the label through multiple-entry points (inks, varnishes, adhesives).
The digital code is also incorporated into (or linked to) the pedigree documentation.
A scanner will indicate that “ATL 12-IDGJ” is the established digital code, allowing traceability.

Such uniqueness cannot be duplicated because the invisible, nondegradable forensic digital code is virtually impossible for the counterfeiters to duplicate. It only takes a second to authenticate a product anywhere in the world.


Today, FDA does not need to know what type of anticounterfeiting measures you are taking. In fact, to protect themselves, brand owners should limit such details to a certain number of trained individuals who are monitoring what features are being used and for how long.
Most important in the anticounterfeiting arsenal is the brand owner’s mindset. Nothing changes until this does. Counterfeiters have the mindset that they can break the laws, provide fake or diluted products, and they do not care if they place the public in harms way. We (you and I) have to assume the mindset that says to the counterfeit, “No, you can’t copy my products.”

Thank you for your time. Donald J. Dobert, President, ATL.

Faking It. Nothing Phony About Profits In The Knockoff Business.

January 21st, 2010

President’s notes: The IACC (International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition) is an organization dedicated to fighting counterfeit goods. This article courtesy of Ambrose Clancy, Long Island Business News.

A couple of years ago a building inspector in North Hempstead was checking out a warehouse when he noticed something was wrong with the back gates. As he walked in to inform the owner about the problem, several Asian women bolted past him, piled into a van and sped off.

Faking It

Photo above. Fake goods. Bad quality and very bad for the economy. Why? Counterfeiters do not pay taxes, but you do.

Inside were boxes of Timberland boots. Well, the label said Timberland. Actually they were cheap knockoffs manufactured in China and smuggled into the Port of New York/New Jersey.

“They were moving thousands and thousands of boots out of there,” said Detective Sgt. Thomas Riley of the Nassau County Police Department.

Trademark counterfeiting is ” where a brand name is essentially stolen and slapped on a cheaper and vastly inferior copy”. This is big business. On Long Island, fakes are sold at nearly every flea market, in carwashes, delis, mom-and-pop stores and at kiosks in the malls. They change hands at shopping parties in people’s homes and from the trunks of cars by so-called “bag ladies.” These are not homeless women but crooks hawking what on first glance looks like a Louis Vuitton bag for a quarter of the price, but in reality is a inferior product, doomed to fall apart in six months.

Figures on the size of the counterfeit market are murky. More than $600 billion has been mentioned as the amount of cash generated by worldwide counterfeiting of apparel, luggage, handbags, sunglasses and other designer goods.

But Susan Scafidi, a law professor at Fordham University and an expert in intellectual property law, said all figures are suspect, since counterfeiters don’t file with the Internal Revenue Service.

“The $600 billion is a vague number taken from estimates that something like 7 percent of world trade is counterfeit,” said Scafidi, who also runs the up-to-the minute blog Counterfeit Chic, tracking the fashion industry’s battle against fakes.

Bob Barchiesi, president of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, had no problem with the $600 billion global figure, adding that the total for the United States is a quarter of a trillion dollars. Formed in 1979, the IACC works with investigators and law firms, lobbies politicians and gets the word out.

“This is a serious problem and not getting any better,” said Barchiesi.

Photo below. Counterfeits are a world wide problem, including fake baby formula. Hong Kong’s two biggest grocery chains removed all milk made by the leading Chinese dairy after traces of a chemical that killed and sickened babies was found in products in mainland China. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Above: Logo Of Product Being Removed From Chinese Stores

Above: Logo Of Product Being Removed From Chinese Stores

The criminal enterprises began in the late 1960s when fashion designers figured out that copyright and patent laws don’t protect designs, Scafidi said. As a response, designers placed visible logos on garments and bags, in part because the logos were copyright protected, even if the designs were not.

But then the counterfeiters moved in, copying those logos in an effort to trick buyers into believing their wares were the real thing.

Fifteen years ago when China became a manufacturing powerhouse, the illegal trade boomed, said Barchiesi, who estimated that 85 percent of trademark counterfeiting comes from China.

The goods are moved in shipping containers, mislabeled from electrical equipment to actual clothing, Riley said. Some clever importers recently moved winter coats with a Chinese label and when the New York contact picked them up, the Chinese labels were peeled off to reveal a North Face logo, he added.

The classic crime success story is very low risk and very high reward. Trademark counterfeiting is all of that, said Barchiesi, adding that the illegal trade is safer and more profitable than importing heroin.

“The low risk is the judicial system doesn’t levy out significant penalties for this type of crime,” he said.

Trademark counterfeiting law in New York has two degrees of felony offense, with a second degree charged if more than $1,000 worth of merchandise is sold, according to Deputy Inspector James Burke, commanding officer of the Suffolk County Police Department’s District Attorney Squad.

“But the real rub is that a first-degree offense is only when $100,000 worth of illegal goods are sold,” Burke said. Stay below $100,000 and if you’re convicted, you can expect one to four years in jail. Cross the line and it’s five to 15.

Another low-risk factor for criminals is diminishing resources in law enforcement, Burke said. There is no trademark counterfeiting squad in any Long Island department. “Violent crime trumps trademark counterfeiting every time,” Burke added.

Law enforcement mainly works with companies, trade associations and private investigators to fight the fakes, he said.

Investigator Andrew Oberfeldt has been ferreting out counterfeiters on Long Island since 1991 for the Manhattan firm Abacus Security & Investigation. He works mainly on tips from jealous competitors.

“Informants are motivated by greed and envy,” Oberfeldt said.

He’s seen fake goods in beauty parlors, gas stations, small clothing and shoe stores. Bag ladies go to Manhattan’s Chinatown twice a month and load up on bogus handbags, he said. “They drive around the Island with stuff in their trunk and sell it where people work,” he added. If they know the receptionist at a doctor’s office, for example, they will drop by and hustle the bags in the waiting room.

It has become so commonplace that many people don’t consider it a crime. Oberfeldt had a friend in the Nassau County Police Department who was approached by a secretary at headquarters offering to sell designer clothes. He said, “Sure, lead the way,” the investigator said. “Out in the parking lot, he took one look at the stuff and locked her up.”

To those who say trademark counterfeiting is a victimless crime, all experts beg to differ. Not only do legitimate businesses suffer, but taxes are never paid on the goods sold. (Estimates on annual unpaid taxes approach $1 billion.)

Buying these goods supports violent criminals. Buying a knockoff pair of designer jeans also supports Third World sweatshops, where children labor for slave wages in appalling conditions.

Going for an illegal bargain can also be physically dangerous, Sgt. Riley said, referring to the brisk trade in fake electronics products.

“Buy a replacement cord for your coffee maker and if it’s counterfeit you’ve got a fire hazard,” he said.

game-boy-exploding

Photo above. Fake goods can hurt you. Here is an exploding counterfeit battery from a hand held video device. Cell phones are also at risk.

Another hazard could be related to knockoff Major League Baseball items. Jerseys and caps for adults and children are often processed with toxic chemicals and contain no flame-resistant elements.

According to MLB spokesman Matt Bourne, in the past five years organized baseball has seized more than four million pieces of counterfeit goods.

On a slow morning last week at the mammoth indoor Attitas Flea market in Sayville, Mets home jerseys were going for $35, more than half off the MLB price.

Genuine MLB merchandise is identified by a hologram attached either to the product or to a hang tag. Some jerseys at Attitas had the hologram, most did not. When someone brought the lack of holograms to the merchant’s attention, he said, “All I know is these are official.”

He then wasn’t interested in continuing the conversation.

zp-005-fake-and-real-hologram

Photo above. Fake and real hologram. Once a counterfeiter targets a product, a fake hologram can be made within 24 hours.

Rip-off artists

A crime related to counterfeiting trademarked goods is music piracy, which is swamping the recorded music industry. The Recording Industry Association of America said pirates cost the music industry $12.5 billion annually and that 71,000 jobs have been lost over the past five years. Thieves have also cost the government $422 million in unpaid taxes.

Although it’s a worldwide problem, there are homegrown illegal manufacturers as well, mostly involved in pirating music with CD “burner factories” set up in office parks on Long Island and funded in some instances by organized crime, said Bob Barchiesi, president of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition.

The music pirates have made the music makers change strategies. Since 2003, music companies sued 35,000 individuals for copying music online. Last December, however, they waved the white flag.

This was a combination of ineffectiveness and disastrous public relations. The practice of suing teenagers and single moms came across as bullying.

Instead, the RIAA asked for help from the Internet service providers to stop music piracy and a preliminary agreement has been reached. When file sharing is discovered, RIAA will inform the provider and the provider will then tell the offending customer to stop. If the customer is unwilling to do so, the provider can then cut off access to the offender.