Hologram producers can now protect their designs more quickly and easily following improvements to the International Hologram Manufacturers Association’s (IHMA) Hologram Image Register (HIR).
The IHMA represents 90 of the world’s leading hologram producers. The highly secure HIR, established in 1993 and now merged with the Hologram Manufacturers of India’s (HoMAI) Hologram Roster, is the only database of hologram images in the world. It was established in 1993 to help prevent IHMA members from mistakenly copying an existing hologram design already issued in another part of the world.
The register underpins the use of holograms for authentication by enabling members to see if a proposed hologram design, as requested by customers, infringes existing designs. In doing so, it can unearth suspected attempts to source counterfeits. The IHMA claims that it is the only database of a security or authentication feature in use by suppliers of such features. And because the date of first registration of a new hologram is recorded on the register, it also supports the copyright in that image.
Suspected counterfeit holograms can also be compared against genuine ones stored within the register and, if found to be fake, the producers and customers of the originals can be notified and action taken. The hologram search and register forms have been merged by the IHMA into one easy-to-use, streamlined Web browser-based new Hologram Proposal Form which producers can use to make rapid online submissions. This features check boxes and drop-down menus to aid application and improved registration.
A search of the register for matching images is undertaken on receipt of the application and the hologram is registered on confirmation that it has been produced. A second procedure, which is initiated in the event of a match being found, is designed to check whether the second registration is legitimate, remains in place.
Merger with the Hologram Image Roster ensures that a search of the HIR will avoid the risk of failing to spot a match with a hologram produced in India, which has a large domestic hologram industry. Holograms registered on the HoMAI database can be re-registered on the HIR.
The registration service is now free and will be included as part of IHMA membership. The HIR database is kept off-line to maintain the highest levels of security and is operated by the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau of the Commercial Crime Services division of the International Chamber of Commerce. Only authorized staff at the CIB have access—the HIR operation is totally confidential between these and the IHMA member registering holograms.
The success of the HIR has been proven over the years, and a growing number of customers commissioning secure holograms require them to be registered on the HIR. Several attempts to make counterfeit holograms have failed because the HIR demonstrated the hologram was already being produced by an IHMA member.
Equally, there have been cases of fake holograms reported to the HIR which has then proved useful in demonstrating that they were counterfeit. This has then led to prosecutions and the counterfeiters punished.
For IHMA, visit directory.myprintresource.com/10114258.