ORNL Technology Helping N.Y. Company Battle Piracy

September 19, 1997

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Sept. 19, 1997 -- Buyers of compact discs, computer software, recorded movies and designer clothing can rest assured they got what they paid for if Tracer Detection Technology Corp. is successful in marketing its new counterfeit-deterren ce system.

The technology, developed at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), is based on a non-chemical tagging agent that is difficult to duplicate but easy to scan -- and authenticate -- using a simple optical scanner. It labels products with a unique marking using special tiny fibers of fluorescent nylon.

Tracer Detection Technology President Jay Fraser is confident the new system will have a major impact on piracy, which costs the U.S. recording industry alone $300 million per year, according to industry sources. The losses to U.S. companies are estimated at $200 billion a year, but that figure doesn't tell the whole story.

"Piracy doesn't hurt just the businesses," Fraser said. "It hurts the consumer, who ends up buying a product of inferior quality. And it costs many of our nation's jobs."

Tracer, based on Long Island, N.Y., recently signed an agreement giving it sole commercial rights to ORNL's Fluorescent Dichroic Fiber tagging technique for counterfeit-resistant materials and for authenticating materials. The technology was developed by the laboratory's Mike Ramsey and Leon Klatt, whose initial work in the area was done for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

By using dichroic fibers made of polymers such as nylon-66, a manufacturer can tag individual products or cartons containing the products. The dichroic feature means the fibers have different absorption properties for light of the same color but polarized in different directions. The ORNL-developed fibers, which can be colored or colorless, exhibit fluorescence only if illuminated by light of the proper polarization.

Fraser expects the music industry to be an ideal candidate for the new technology, which differs from existing techniques to tag merchandise mainly in that it is exceedingly difficult to duplicate. The naturally random process of incorporating the dichroic fibers into the product also allows for a virtually infinite number of markings, or tags.

The Recording Industry Association of America, a private, not-for-profit organization and advocate for the recording industry, estimates that piracy costs the industry as much as $2 billion annually worldwide. Retailers estimate their losses at up to 30 percent of their business.

In other sectors, estimated losses range from $16 billion per year by the computer software industry to $12 billion per year by U.S. automakers and parts suppliers who lose revenue because of the sale of counterfeit parts.

Nationwide, a U.S. Customs Service study estimated the job losses caused by counterfeit goods was 750,000.

"When you take into account the vast losses vs. the relatively low cost of this technology, we're confident businesses will quickly see the benefits," said Fraser, whose company would provide each manufacturer with a customized label virtually impossible to duplicate.
ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram research facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.

You may read other press releases from Oak Ridge National Laboratory or learn more about the lab if you have access to the Internet. You can find our information on the World Wide Web at http://www.ornl.gov/news

DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Related Technology Articles from Brightsurf:

December issue SLAS Technology features 'advances in technology to address COVID-19'
The December issue of SLAS Technology is a special collection featuring the cover article, ''Advances in Technology to Address COVID-19'' by editors Edward Kai-Hua Chow, Ph.D., (National University of Singapore), Pak Kin Wong, Ph.D., (The Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA) and Xianting Ding, Ph.D., (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China).

October issue SLAS Technology now available
The October issue of SLAS Technology features the cover article, 'Role of Digital Microfl-uidics in Enabling Access to Laboratory Automation and Making Biology Programmable' by Varun B.

Robot technology for everyone or only for the average person?
Robot technology is being used more and more in health rehabilitation and in working life.

Novel biomarker technology for cancer diagnostics
A new way of identifying cancer biomarkers has been developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden.

Technology innovation for neurology
TU Graz researcher Francesco Greco has developed ultra-light tattoo electrodes that are hardly noticeable on the skin and make long-term measurements of brain activity cheaper and easier.

April's SLAS Technology is now available
April's Edition of SLAS Technology Features Cover Article, 'CURATE.AI: Optimizing Personalized Medicine with Artificial Intelligence'.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

Post-lithium technology
Next-generation batteries will probably see the replacement of lithium ions by more abundant and environmentally benign alkali metal or multivalent ions.

Rethinking the role of technology in the classroom
Introducing tablets and laptops to the classroom has certain educational virtues, according to Annahita Ball, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, but her research suggests that tech has its limitations as well.

The science and technology of FAST
The Five hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), located in a radio quiet zone, with the targets (e.g., radio pulsars and neutron stars, galactic and extragalactic 21-cm HI emission).

Read More: Technology News and Technology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.