GPO Employee Granted Patent for Anti-Counterfeiting Invention

Press release from the issuing company

Washngton, D.C. – U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) Senior Chemist Mary Kombolias, of Rockville, MD, has been granted a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for inventing a new method of adhesive testing on secure documents produced by the GPO. Some of those include U.S. Passports and visa documents. Her invention will be used to help prevent forgery, counterfeiting, identity theft, unauthorized duplication, and immigration fraud.

Kombolias’ method evaluates the strength of glue. In addition to helping deter counterfeiting, the method has potential to be used for other applications in the private sector, including the prevention of pharmaceutical fraud.

“All of us at the GPO congratulate Mary on this remarkable achievement,” said Acting GPO Deputy Director Andrew M. Sherman. “Her patent is an example of how the GPO is applying new technologies to the work we do for Congress and Federal agencies.”

Kombolias filed the non-provisional application for the patent in July 2015 and was issued US Patent number 9,927,337 on March 27, 2018. It is the first patent granted to a GPO employee since the World War II-era.

In addition to her work at GPO, Kombolias is also a guest researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). There, she is working with a team to develop a new analytical method to assess the fiber content of papers.

Kombolias was recently selected to be a member of the 2018-2019 AAAS-Lemelson Foundation Invention Ambassador Class, a prestigious program designed to celebrate and highlight the importance of invention. She has been employed by the GPO for ten years.

GPO is the Federal Government's official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government. The GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of Congress, the White House, and other Federal agencies in digital and print formats. GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through www.govinfo.gov and partnerships with approximately 1,140 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program. For more information, please visit www.gpo.gov


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