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Xerox combats counterfeiting with printed memory

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To help businesses and government better secure products as they are distributed, Xerox has introduced two printed electronic labels (also known as “printed memory”) that can collect and store information about the authenticity and condition of products.

Xerox Printed Memory is a highly secure, printed label containing up to 36b of rewritable memory which can store up to 68-billion points of data. The labels, for example, can be used to determine if a product is genuine and to track how it’s been handled during distribution.

The second product, Xerox Printed Memory with Cryptographic Security includes a unique, encrypted printed code (such as a QR bar code) to the memory.  It can only be read by authorized personnel using a reader which interfaces with a secure smartphone application. This combination of printed memory with an encrypted printed code, creates one of the most secure anti-counterfeit solutions on the market. It is ideal for use in applications as wide ranging as tracking and ensuring the safety of pharmaceutical products to securing tax or duty stamps for government agencies. The cryptographic security feature was developed at PARC, A Xerox company, and is an added feature in the printed memory labels.

“This makes it possible to ensure the integrity of a product from the time it leaves the factory to the time it gets into the hands of a customer,” says Steve Simpson, Xerox vice-president responsible for Xerox printed memory. “Our printed memory products provide a cost efficient, highly secure method of authenticating and verifying information about a product as it moves through various distribution channels or as it is used.”

Traditional anti-counterfeiting methods such as invisible ink, holograms and RFID tags can be copied, and are often expensive to implement. In contrast, Xerox Printed Memory with Cryptographic Security offers brand owners a solution that is inexpensive and difficult to counterfeit because every label is uniquely encrypted.

In December 2014, Xerox licensed proprietary printed memory technology, from Thin Film Electronics ASA, a Norwegian company and a leader in the development and commercialization of printed electronics. Under this licensing agreement, Xerox plans to produce printed memory at its plant in Webster, N.Y.  For the past few years, PARC, A Xerox Company, and ThinFilm have been working together on enabling smart labels based on Thinfilm’s Addressable Memory(TM).