Preventing Counterfeit Packaging with DNA. Yes, DNA
In today’s world, any company that has an established brand needs to protect it. With counterfeit products flooding the market and continually on the rise, it is vital for businesses to fight not only the loss of sales but also the loss of credibility of their brands via inferior knockoffs.
Gilroy, California-based Creative Labels has always considered itself a “solution-seeking” company. Part of this has involved reducing customer costs while bringing more value and fresh ideas from process to product. One of its fresh ideas involves a unique type of smart label technology. And while you’ve likely heard of smart label technology along the lines of near field communication and QR codes, what Creative Labels is doing is a bit different. Specifically, the company has entered the world of DNA marking.
Yes, DNA marking. Creative Labels is working with New York-based Applied DNA Sciences and using its SigNature DNA platform of botanical DNA taggants to provide unique labeling solutions for customers, essentially allowing them to better protect their respective products. The technology can be applied to a variety of substrates, including film.
SigNature DNA markers are based on plant DNA. These engineered marks are designed to be unbreakable; the conventional process used to sequence – or decode – native DNA is not possible with the engineered mark. Additional layers of protection and complexity are added to the mark in a proprietary manner. The SigNature DNA platform has proven highly resistant to UV radiation, heat, cold, vibration, abrasion and other extreme environmental conditions, and a single mark will support numerous authentications.
DNA marking technology provides a powerful means to authenticate originality and verify provenance of a huge array of items, including packaging. With essentially infinite variability, individualized custom DNA sequences can be created and embedded into a range of host carriers such as ink, varnish, thread, laminates and metal coatings. Highly secure, robust and cost-effective, DNA markers can be used as a forensic complement to barcodes, watermarks, holograms, RFIDs, microdots or any other security platform.
For Creative Labels, incorporating DNA marking is a “no brainer.” For starters, the company says that there’s currently nothing on the market that cannot be duplicated within six months, meaning that brands are always trying to stay ahead of counterfeiters. And with estimates that sales dollars for counterfeit goods will soon surpass brand owners sales dollars, extra steps need to be taken to protect brands and their products.