Cheating copycats Featured

9:58am EDT July 22, 2002

Graphic Arts Technical Foundation has received a patent on a technology trademarked as KOPOUT, which offers varying degrees of protection from reproductions using specular and diffuse photocopiers, fax machines and scanners.

KOPOUT was developed as an offshoot of GATF’s research on security papers for the U.S. government.

“We expect that this new technology will have broad applications in the security printing field,” says Richard Warner, vice president and director of research at GATF. “The relative ease and low cost of application will allow any printer or quick-print shop to offer this capability to customers with jobs that shouldn’t be copied.”

Applications for KOPOUT include coupons, financial statements, banknotes and checks, according to GATF. Sporting or musical event tickets would be rendered tamper-proof. Sensitive documents such as contracts, personnel records and letters of agreement from legal, human resource, finance and research departments would be secured.

GATF has hired an organization specializing in technology transfers for the security printing field to negotiate all licensing agreements on its behalf. A one-time licensing fee will cover the technology transfer, revealing all the theory, processes and material suppliers required to implement the technology. Licenses will be offered to printers worldwide on a category and geographic basis.

The product is a specially coated metallized paper that is converted and printed with a light trap, known as a diffractive optical variable device in the security printing industry on top of the substrate. This combination produces a random interference pattern of diffracted light that renders a copy of the printed information illegible.

The GATF says counterfeiting knockoffs and fraud are a $200 billion business, with U.S. financial institutions losing $800 million to check fraud in 1997.

For licensing information, contact Cliff Angers, 10 Henry Clay Court, Savannah, Ga. 31411, or at (912) 598-7087 or (203) 222-3452. For information or samples of KOPOUT, contact Richard Warner by writing GATF, 200 Deer Run Road, Sewickley, Pa. 15143-2600, by phone at (800) 910-GATF ext. 581, by fax at (412) 741-2311, or e-mail info@gatf.org.