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Creo and Acucote Announce New Security Label Printing Stocks

Press release from the issuing company

Vancouver, BC, Canada (May 25, 2005) – Creo Inc. and Acucote Incorporated are pleased to announce a new exclusive agreement to produce security label printing stocks. The self-adhesive label stocks will combine Creo Traceless taggants into Acucote label materials, which will be sold to label converters for the manufacture of product labels for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, apparel, food and beverage, and other industries. The Creo Traceless marking and sensing system incorporates a new patents-pending technology that allows the creation of unique, forensically-invisible identification codes. These codes can be used for anti-counterfeiting, inventory management, product tracking and tracing, or brand authentication. Only Creo readers can detect the presence of the security taggants. In addition to product label stock, Creo taggants can be added to paper pulp or woven fibers, printing inks, copier and printer toners, varnishes, sprays, powders, paints, glass, building materials, molded or extruded plastics, molten metals, fuels, fertilizers and explosives, and other materials. Creo product security and authentication systems include multiple taggants, electronic sensing and imaging equipment, and database-driven software. The exclusive agreement between Creo and Acucote, a North Carolina-based pressure-sensitive label stock manufacturer, will allow the production of official product brand authentication label stocks that target the global problem of product counterfeiting, document authentication and brand security. Creo and Acucote have leveraged their expertise to combat fraud with inexpensive, machine-readable, anti-counterfeiting label solutions. “These new label stocks will allow genuine brand owners to regain control of their brands and stop brand-equity erosion resulting from counterfeiting,” said Lynn Crutchfield, Acucote executive vice president. “In the future, we can expect to see customs agents using Creo readers to find authentic labels produced from Acucote’s materials on everything from high-value luxury goods to inexpensive consumer products. We are delighted to have Creo with us as a technology partner in the fight for brand protection. Creo’s unique technology is a perfect fit for our products and, as a company, Creo’s philosophy and market approach meshes well with ours.” Consumer market analysts estimate that worldwide product counterfeiting costs brand companies over US$450 billion annually. Large European and North American companies often produce their brand-name products off-shore; however, the same contract manufacturing location will sometimes copy or counterfeit the same product after hours, and even print label copies sourced locally in those countries. Creo-tagged Acucote label stocks will provide the ultimate, non-breachable product authentication when it is used to produce a specific number of authentic labels by trusted label suppliers in the country where the brand company resides. When product authentication systems are introduced, counterfeiters try to reverse-engineer the systems to create something that appears authentic to the general public and even to brand investigators. The strength of the Creo Traceless marking and sensing system is its forensic invisibility. At less than two parts per million, Creo Traceless taggants are optically and forensically invisible in label stocks, unless the brand investigator has a specific Creo reader. Creo manufactures readers for single-taggant or multiple-taggant scenarios. Copying or counterfeiting these product brand authentication labels will be nearly impossible, because fraudulent counterfeiters cannot even find the Creo taggants in the label materials using the most sensitive forensic trace methods. Creo authentication products include standard, exotic and custom taggants; reading devices to verify the presence of Creo forensically-invisible taggants and capture the taggant image in each unique item; and database tracking of individual items. “Creo Traceless systems can even go further using the pure randomness of taggant particle positioning to designate each item uniquely, like a fingerprint per item,” said Kevin Harrell, director of global business development for the new security and authentication business at Creo. “This ‘taggant image signature’ is the ultimate in product brand authentication. Imagine having every pharmaceutical, cosmetic, garment and apparel product uniquely identified, with the database accessible exclusively to the brand goods company. The taggant image signature is machine-readable to officially verify the product on high-speed manufacturing lines up to 100 reads per second (360,000 items per hour). Governments can use the system to uniquely identify individual postage stamps, trace cash to reveal money laundering, and track terrorism financing.”