LONDON – Thin Film Electronics has received an order for use of its organic non-volatile memory in electronic labels to help prevent counterfeiting.
Counterfeit goods range from everyday items such as cosmetic through to designer clothes and handbags and on to software and it is estimated they cost vendors of the brands being copied billions of dollars per year.
Thin Film Electronics ASA (Oslo, Norway) has pioneered the creation of printed rewritable memory and has developed a brand-protection system that includes smart labels that can be applied to a product in the same way as conventional labels. The labels can be built to be robust and withstand harsh environmental conditions, the company said.
One reason for the need for electronic labels is that conventional printed and woven labels are too easily copied.
Thin Film's plastic memory has a characteristic electronic signature that is hard to replicate and in addition the signal can be modified to create a signature that is unique to an individual manufacturer or even a particular product line. The brand protection system includes labels with embedded memory and a handheld reader that verifies the labels authenticity.
Thin Film did not identify who has ordered the system except to say it is a global vendor of packaged consumer goods. Nor did Thin Film identify the value of the order.
"The largest companies in the world lose billions of dollars each year to illegally copied merchandise. Product labels are easy to duplicate, and even authorized retailers may be unable to recognize counterfeit products," said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thin Film Electronics, in a statement. "Thinfilm's ultra low-cost electronic memory provides distributors and retailers a powerful way to detect fake products."