New register for optically variable devices aims to protect authenticity of security printing

The secure Hologram Image Register (HIR), established by the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) to help safeguard hologram copyright and underpin the use of holograms in authentication and security printing has been extended and relaunched as the Security Image Register (SIR).  IHMA says this expansion and rebranding as the SIR reflects the changing realities of the global security printing industry, where holograms are increasingly being integrated with other optically variable devices (OVDs).

The centrally held global database of secure optical images will continue to be operated on behalf of the IHMA by the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau, under strict levels of confidence and security, as defined by ISO 14298 for the management of security printing and security foil processes.

The ability to register all types of OVDs with the SIR will be available to hologram producers, manufacturers of other OVDs, security printers, designers of secure documents and banknotes, packaging and packaging converters, authentication specifiers and influencers, and others, according to the Association.

The register will enable them to check that their security OVD design, or elements of the design, do not infringe copyright or allow the unintentional copy of existing security OVDs. The image registration is completed once the design has received clearance. The SIR will also be accessible to law enforcement agencies, allowing them to check for the provenance of a design when they need information on a suspect OVD.

The expanded register is designed to improve user efficiency and effectiveness by enabling faster online registration and copyright checking of optically active designs. It came into effect from January 2024.

The copyright and IP section of the SIR secure portal offers advantages to IHMA members and non-members alike, says the Association. It is a fully online process where artwork is submitted electronically to provide quicker design checks. The optical device producer or supplier submitting a design search should have the authorisation of their customers to use copyrighted artwork provided for use in the final design..

To encourage the take up of the new register, IHMA chair Dr Paul Dunn and secretary general Micaal Sidorov have embarked on an engagement tour to promote its benefits. Dr Dunn said, “the SIR reflects a rapidly changing and innovative global sector, where the technology is increasingly a part of an integrated security strategy to protect identity. It represents a beneficial step forward, more accurately reflecting the way holograms and other OVDs are designed and used – undoubtedly facilitating an increase in the registration of images to secure their integrity.” 

The SIR will inherit more than 11,000 hologram registrations from the HIR, a number that is regularly increasing. It has helped to prevent numerous attempts to source copy holograms and has also helped to confirm that suspect holograms were fake, leading to arrests and prosecution of the counterfeiters.

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