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New Technology Will Counter Massive Global Textile Fraud, Label Counterfeiting

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

15 September 2008 - World-first Australian and New Zealand technology being launched today is expected to counter hundreds of millions of dollars worth of international textile fraud and label counterfeiting each year.

Unique identifying fibres can now be woven into textiles - and read with a simple handheld device.

The invention, called Verifi TT, a joint venture between Australian listed security technology company DataDot Technology Ltd, and AgResearch, of New Zealand, is expected to put an end to

clothing makers substituting high quality textiles for low-quality ones using fake labels - and conducting large runs of counterfeit items carrying major brand labels.

DataDot Technology and AgResearch today unveiled the unique fibre identifier technology at the start of Air New Zealand's Fashion Week in Auckland.

DataDot has developed the fine marker and scanner technology in association with Australia's CSIRO. AgResearch has developed the process to evenly blend the unique markers into textiles, at a volume of about 300gms per metric tonne, while they're being woven.

When scanned the fine identifier fibre is excited by ultraviolet light - and emits a low-level electromagnetic signal specific to that fibre, providing unique product identification.

Expensive and time consuming laboratory testing is no longer needed to prove counterfeiting or fraud.

Dr Peter Ingham, AgResearch's Textile Science and Technology Section Manager, says the launch market for the product is in China, where a large textile maker will be using it in a bid to stop textile substitution at clothing manufacturing plants.

Substitution of textile often results in inferior products and claims against textile providers for refunds.

Dr Ingham says one yarn maker suspects 80% of the refund claims it is settling over quality issues are caused by illegal materials substitution.

The yarn maker will be one of the first to use Verifi TT.

Other early buyers are expected to include fine garment makers in Italy and Australia. Talks have started with some US law enforcement agencies, which send high-quality tender-specific material offshore to make uniforms, but who suspect it is being substituted with lower quality material.

In some countries textiles and labels are provided for a run of, say, 20,000 garments, but 30,000 are made - the extra carrying fake labels and going onto the counterfeit market.

Now, runs of uniquely identified labels will be supplied.

Dr Ingham says the textile counterfeiting and label fraud market is worth hundreds of millions a year.

"Now it's possible to determine - at any stage of the production and supply process - that it's the genuine article," he says.

The technology is under DataDot Technology DatatraceDNA patents. DataTraceDNA is the joint venture between DataDot Technology and CSIRO, who won Australia's most prestigious DuPont Innovation Awards in May this year

DatatraceDNA can be also be used in inks, polymers, paints and coatings, adhesives, concrete, paper and packaging, metal marking and explosives.

DataDot says it is a major new weapon in the fight against counterfeiting which is now a US$500 billion plus per year industry. It will also be deployed to fight

Organised retail theft, which is costing US retailers more than $30 billion a year A US$12 billion a year counterfeit auto parts industry DVDs pirates, robbing the US movie studios of $20 billion a year, and Fake IDs and identity theft, which are a strong source of funding for organised crime and terrorists.

DataTraceDNA is a molecular tracking and authentication system targeted at the newly emergent and rapidly growing needs of industry for the protection of brands, industrial products, and bulk materials and the control of product diversion.

DataDot Technology also produces security solutions to suit other applications, such as the well-known DataDotDNA for motor vehicles, motorcycles, boats, households, farms and businesses.

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