Lots of covert and overt features are available in the international market to enhance the Security of the printed documents. They are commercially available but are expensive for implementation by small users. Therefore some low cost but effective security solutions for brand protection documents need to be found. In this direction after studying various options and trends in the market, a simple security solution by way of unique numbering technique have been thought, the style of which can be firm specific (like proprietary product). This can be tried by not only the bigger but also the smaller units to protect their documents and products packed in cartons.
In this suggested security feature, basically the documents/ product labels which require security feature need to be additionally printed with some running serial numbers using lookalike two different fonts. The firm specific numbering boxes with two different fonts engraved on the numbering wheels can be procured by the firms as firm specific wheels directly from manufacturers. This will be one time investment only. In the suggested system the numbering style will also be far different from conventional numbering, but characters with hidden security concept. The technique involves allotting specific style of serial numbers to each area like the illustrated examples given at the end paras.
Usually the brand protected products released are sent to different parts of the country. The manufacturer can divide the market areas as zones or classified blocks. Let us for example divide the zones as ten. Each zone will get the products packed in the same kind of carton with printed matter as usual, but each zone will carry different style of numbering which will have covert security feature detectable by a special scanner made available by the manufacturers to their dealers. The cartons or labels meant for dispatch to each zone are to be serially numbered in a totally different fashion to confuse the counterfeiters. The style of serials allotted to a particular zone will be known only to the manufacturers of the product. This is explained at the end with illustration.
What is the basic requirement ? The numbering box with ten digits is to be procured. One wheel in them will be of different font while the other nine wheels will be of same font. The two varieties of fonts though will be different will appear similar to the naked eyes unless they are closely examined to see the difference. The nine numbering wheels with one style of font and another style of font in the tenth wheel in each box should be interchangeable in positions. For example the printer should be able to move the wheels in any manner required as per the numbering pattern to be printed ie the second numbering wheel with unique font can be shifted to the third, or fourth or even last digit as is possible in the normal numbering boxes. Though two types of fonts are used to produce the number, they will look alike unless they are enlarged and seen. For example use of Verdana and Comic sans in combination will make the numbers appear similar to naked eye. This can not be understood by the counterfeiters.
See below the illustrated examples of two different fonts.
The product carton or the document circulated will have the usual designs and contents as prepared by the firm circulating such documents or product packs. However they will be additionally numbered by the specially designed numbering system as discussed above. When the visually lookalike nos are enlarged, then one can see the difference in the appearance.
- By the use of two different fonts to print the sequential numbering pattern, each zone with different style compared to other zones it will be almost difficult to the counterfeiters to know the secret and to produce similar style of numbering locally.
- The twin look alike font numbering boxes will not be commercially available and will be manufactured only on specific orders from the firm. Therefore the counterfeiters will find it difficult to procure them.
- Once one set of such numbering boxes are procured, it can become the patented or copyrighted one and will not be supplied to others by the manufacturer under firm specific agreement.
- The numbers allotted to each zone will be kept secret and recorded in the firms centralized computer so that subsequently it will be easy to trace and track the mixed up or counterfeited product circulated as the counterfeiter may not know the exact style of numbering allotted to each zone.
- It will also be difficult to manufacture so many kinds of numbering boxes by the counterfeiters to produce such numbering pattern.
- Thus in the field check when the allotted serial to a particular zone is found mixed with styles of other region a thorough examination can be immediately made to track the genuine product.