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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
DOCUMENT SECURITY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/007111
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A label (1) for securely carrying confidential information has a lamina (3) overlying a substrate (5). The substrate (5) includes a first part (7) and a second part (9) that are separable. The first part (7) is located between the lamina (3) and the second part (9) and has areas (11) that are selectively transferrable to the second part (9) when the first and second parts are separated. Information printed on the lamina (3) aligned with areas (11) that transfer to the second part can be distinguished from information printed on the lamina aligned with areas (11) that remain with the first part (7).

Inventors:
BLACK, Stephen, Paul (Mastermailer Stationery Limited, Bloxham MillBarford Road,Bloxham, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX154FF, GB)
Application Number:
GB2009/001730
Publication Date:
January 20, 2011
Filing Date:
July 14, 2009
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
MASTERMAILER HOLDINGS PLC (Bloxham Mill, Barford RoadBloxham, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX154FF, GB)
BLACK, Stephen, Paul (Mastermailer Stationery Limited, Bloxham MillBarford Road,Bloxham, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX154FF, GB)
International Classes:
G09F3/02; B42D15/00; B42D15/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WIGHTMAN, David Alexander (Barker Brettell LLP, 100 Hagley RoadEdgbaston, Birmingham B16 8QQ, GB)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A form or label for securely carrying confidential information, the form or label comprising a lamina overlying a substrate, wherein the substrate includes a first part and a second part that are separable, the first part being located between the lamina and the second part and having one or more areas that transfer from the first part to the second part when the first and second parts are separated such that information printed on the lamina aligned with said one or more areas can be distinguished from other information printed on the lamina.

2. A form or label as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lamina is a printable film of transparent or translucent material.

3. A form or label according to claim 2, wherein the transparent or translucent material is polyester.

4. A form or label according to any preceding claim, wherein the first and second parts of the substrate each comprise a film of opaque material. 5. A form or label according to claim 4, wherein the opaque material is white paper.

6. A form or label according to any preceding claim, wherein the first part of the substrate has a plurality of die cut areas.

7. A form or label according to claim 6, wherein the die cut areas include areas formed by complete cuts such that the areas transfer to the second part of the substrate when the first and second parts are separated.

8. A form or label according to claim 6 or claim 7, wherein the die cut areas include areas formed by partial cuts such that the areas remain with the first part when the first and second parts are separated. 9. A form or label according to claim 8, wherein, in use, the lamina is printed with information including confidential information aligned with complete cut areas and with dummy information aligned with partial cut areas whereby the confidential information is revealed when the first and second parts of the substrate are separated.

10. A form or label according to claim 9, wherein the information is in the form of numbers, letters, symbols or any combination thereof.

11. A form or label according to any preceding claim, wherein the lamina and first part of the substrate are in the form of a bullet separable from the second part of the substrate.

12. A form or label according to claim 11, wherein tamper evident means is provided that gives a visual indication if the bullet is partially or completely separated from the second part of the substrate.

13. A form or label according to any preceding claim, wherein, in use, the lamina is printable with a printer that is operable according to the position of the areas to be printed.

14. A form or label according to claim 13, wherein an identity mark or code is provided to identify the printable areas of the form or label.

15. A form or label according to claim 14, wherein the identity mark or code is provided in a machine readable form or an electronic form.

16. A form or label according to claim 15, wherein the identity mark or code can be altered so that access to the mark or code in the printed form or label is prevented.

Description:
DOCUMENT SECURITY

This invention relates to document security and in particular to tamper-evident forms or labels for securely carrying confidential information.

The invention has particular, but not exclusive, application to personal identification numbers (PIN) supplied to customers by financial institutions sαch as banks to enable the customer to validate a credit card or the like at the point of use. Secure transmission of a PIN to a customer is vital to reduce or prevent the fraudulent mis-use of credit cards.

Traditionally, the PIN is mailed to the customer using a tamper-evident form which enables the customer to detect if security has been breached by any unauthorised access to the PIN prior to receipt by the customer.

A tamper evident form for securely transmitting a PIN is disclosed in

UK Patent No. 2 331 270 in which the form has an upper transparent lamina on which the PIN is printed and a lower non-transparent lamina carrying a mass of alpha-numeric characters which act as scrambling means to prevent the PIN being read when the upper and lower laminas are joined together wherein the lamina are separable to reveal the PIN printed on the upper transparent lamina. This form relies on the presence of scrambling means so that the PIN is effectively hidden from view until the scrambling means is separated from the part of the form carrying the

PIN.

The present invention seeks to provide an improved form or label for securely carrying confidential information. It is a preferred aim of the invention to provide a form or label that is tamper-evident and which does not rely on scrambling means to hide the confidential information from view.

According to the present invention, there is provided form or label for securely carrying confidential information, the form or label comprising a lamina overlying a substrate, wherein the substrate includes a first part and a second part that are separable, the first part being located between the lamina and the second part and having one or more areas that transfer from the first part to the second part when the first and second parts are separated such that information printed on the lamina aligned with said one or more areas can be distinguished from other information printed on the lamina.

The information aligned with said one or more areas may be confidential information and the information in other areas may be fake or dummy information. Alternatively, information aligned with said one or more areas may be fake or dummy information and the information in other areas may be-confidential information. Embodiments of the invention will now be described in more detail by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1 shows a label embodying the invention; Figure 2 is a section through the label of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 shows the label of Figure 1 with information printed thereon; and Figure 4 shows the label of Figure 3 opened to reveal confidential information. Referring to the drawings, there is shown a label 1 for securely carrying confidential information such as a PIN number for a bankcard, credit card or the like.

The label 1 has a lamina 3 secured to a substrate 5 by any suitable adhesive. The lamina 3 is a printable film of transparent or translucent material such as polyester on which information can be printed by any suitable device such as a laser printer (not shown) .

The substrate 5 includes two lamina 7,9 releasably secured together by any suitable adhesive. The lamina 7,9 each comprise a thin film of opaque material such as white paper. The lamina 7 forms an intermediate layer located between the lamina 3 and lamina 9 and has a plurality of areas 11 of rectangular shape arranged in a grid comprising three rows 13 A, B, C and four columns 15 A, B, C, D providing 12 areas each having a unique location in the grid defined by their position in a particular row and column. It will be understood that the grid may comprise any number of rows and columns and that the areas may have other shapes such as oval, triangular or circular.

The areas 11 are formed by die-cutting and may be in the form of partial cuts, sometimes referred to as kiss-cuts, or substantially complete cuts. The areas 11 appear identical through the transparent or translucent lamina 3 when the label is viewed from the printable side and are concealed by the lamina 9 when the label is viewed from the non-printable side. In this way, the areas 11 cannot be distinguished by visual inspection of the label 1. Also, the areas 11 are protected on one side of the label by the lamina 3 and on the other side by the lamina 9 such that the areas 11 cannot be distinguished by manipulation of the label. When the label is opened by separating the lamina 7 from the lamina 9, areas formed by partial cuts remain with the lamina 7 but areas formed by complete cuts separate from the lamina 7 and transfer to the lamina 9. The cuts may be formed in lamina 7 of the substrate 5 prior to securing the lamina 3 to the substrate 5.

In use, the lamina 3 is printed with indicia such as numbers that are aligned with the areas 11 in the lamina 7. Where the label is used to carry confidential information, the confidential information is printed in areas defined by complete cuts in the lamina 7 and fake or dummy information is printed in areas defined by partial cuts in the lamina 7. When printed with a combination of confidential information and fake or dummy information, the confidential information is indistinguishable from the fake or dummy information and cannot be determined by visual inspection of the printed label. When the label 1 is opened, the areas corresponding to where the confidential information has been printed on the lamina 3 transfer to the lamina 9 thereby revealing the position of the confidential information on the lamina 3. Where the confidential information is the digits of a PIN, the label may be printed with a mirror image of numbers including both the numbers of the PIN and fake or dummy numbers whereby the numbers of the PIN are revealed when the label is opened and can be read from the reverse side of the lamina 7 through the windows formed by transfer of the areas formed by complete cuts in the lamina 7 to the lamina 9 as shown in Figure 4. In this embodiment, the confidential information comprises a three digit PIN but it will be understood that the confidential information may comprise any combination of numbers, letters, symbols or other indicia as appropriate. In a modification, the lamina 7 may be coloured, for example black, that improves visibility of the confidential information when the label is opened and the lamina 3,5 placed on a substrate of contrasting colour such as sheet of white paper. In this embodiment, the removable part of the label 1 - lamina 3 and lamina 7 - is in the form of a bullet 17 provided at one end with a pull- tab 19 for separating the bullet 17 from the lamina 9, for example by tearing perforations (not shown) provided along both sides of the bullet 17. In this modification, tamper evident means (not shown) is provided between the bullet 17 and the adjacent lamina 9 that is activated to provide a visual indication if the bullet 17 is removed fully or partially and replaced. As a result, inspection of the label 1 will enable a customer to determine if the bullet 17 has been fully or partially separated from the form such that the secure transmission of the confidential information has been compromised. In this way, the label 1 is readily tamper-evident.

The label 1 may be printed using a printer such as a laser printer controlled by a processor such as a computer, laptop, notebook, palm top or the like electronic device to print the confidential information in the areas 11 that are defined by complete cuts and to print the dummy information in the areas 11 defined by partial cuts. The position of the complete cuts can be set-up by the supplier of the label 1 and a plurality of labels 1 can be provided with a programme (software) or the like for the end user to control operation of the printer to ensure the confidential information is printed in the correct position on each form 1.

The position of the complete cuts and thus the printed confidential information can be changed by providing the lamina 5 with different arrangements of complete and partial cuts to produce the label 1. In this way, the supplier of the label 1 knows the position of the complete cuts and provides this information to the end user in a machine readable form which is used to programme the printer. The end user therefore only has to synchronise operation of the printer to match the pre-determined position of the complete cuts in the labels 1 to a customer list to print the form with the correct PIN number in the correct position. In an alternative arrangement, each label can be provided with an identity mark or code that can be used to identify the position of the complete cuts as the label is fed to the printer and provide a signal to the software controlling operation of the printer to print the PIN in the correct position on the label. In this way, the position of the complete cuts can be altered from one label to the next and the printer will automatically print the PIN at the correct position. As the operation of the printer is controlled by reading the mark or code applied to each label, the printer does not have to be synchronised to match pre-determined positions of the complete cuts in the labels. As a result, the labels can be presented to the printer in any order.

In one arrangement, the mark or code is provided in a machine readable form such as a data-matrix barcode containing information on the position of the complete cuts that is readable with a magic eye or other suitable device prior to printing the label. The barcode or other mark or code may be provided on a detachable part of the label such that the mark or code can be removed from the label after printing to prevent fraudulent detection of the position of the confidential information after the label has been printed. Alternatively, the barcode or other mark or code may be partially or fully overprinted to alter or destroy the code to prevent fraudulent detection of the position of the confidential information after the label has been printed.

In another arrangement, the mark or code is provided in an electronic form such as a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag containing information on the position of the complete cuts that is activated by any suitable means prior to printing the label. The RFID tag may be deactivated after printing to prevent fraudulent detection of the position of the confidential information after the label has been printed. Other suitable electronic forms include an electrically programmable read only memory (EPROM) chip or an electrically erasable programmable read only memory (EEPROM) chip where the stored information can be erased after reading.

The mark or code may identify the actual location of the complete cuts in the label. Alternatively, the mark or code may be used with a look-up table to identify the actual position of the complete cuts in the label. The look-up table can be changed so that different batches of labels may use the same mark or code to identify different positions of the complete cuts. In this way, the position of the complete cuts in any particular batch is not revealed by reading the mark or code applied to the label alone without the corresponding look-up table to refer to. The mark or code may be applied to the label by any suitable means and may be visible but more preferably is invisible for added security. The label may comprise part of a form such as a mailer that can be printed with the name and address of the customer at the same time the confidential information is printed and then folded and sealed for mailing to the customer. Alternatively, the label may comprise part of a form such as a letterhead that can be placed in an envelope for mailing to the customer. In this case, the envelope may be a window envelope with the name and address of the customer again being printed on the letterhead at the same time the confidential information is printed. While the invention has been described with particular reference to a label forming part of a form, it may also be applied to a label that is printed and then attached to a letter, mailer or other suitable document to be mailed to the intended recipient of the confidential information. The label may be provided on a release liner that enables the label to be printed and then peeled from the liner for attaching to the document. For example, the substrate may be releasably attached to the liner by a peel able adhesive such that the label can be detached from the liner and secured to the document for despatch to the intended recipient.

Any feature of the embodiments described herein may be combined with any feature of the other embodiments and the invention is deemed to include all combinations of features described herein. Other applications and uses of the invention to transmit confidential information in a secure manner will be apparent to those skilled in the art.