Protecting Brands through Decoration

In its Hot Stamping and Cold Foil Transfer Guide, Kurz taps more than 110 years of experience in the production and processing of decorative surface finishing to explore a number of design possibilities. In the chapter excerpted and condensed below, “The Importance of Brand Protection and Brand Decoration in the 21st Century,” the company argues that hot-stamped foil can be used to protect brands.

Stamping foil technology can be used as an effective tool for protection against brand and product piracy, and brand protection has developed into an important application for stamping foils. The importance of brand identification is growing constantly owing to the increasing value of branded products, and the global spread of criminal counterfeits. Brands are the soft currency of a company; guaranteeing their integrity is an essential factor for global success.

In the consumer society of the 21st century, soft values count more than ever. Brands are one of the best examples of this, because the perceived value of a branded product is often much higher than that of the product itself. The significance of brands is therefore substantially affected by the trust customers place in the authenticity of the product.

A fine line exists between constructive exchange of knowledge, and fraudulent misuse of intellectual property. When a new product is launched, a plagiarized item will sometimes appear on the market within just a few days. Manufacturers of branded goods face an increasing risk of IP theft. Only those who effectively mark their brands and protect them against highly organized counterfeiters will achieve long-term, successful positioning of the brands in which they have invested so highly.

Long-established brands, too, face this critical threat. The number of breaches of intellectual property worldwide has increased dramatically over the past few years. According to estimates by International Chamber of Commerce, the losses suffered in G20 nations as a result of counterfeiting and product piracy amount to over 100 billion euros ($135 billion U.S.) per annum.
Targeted preventive measures in brand management—if possible before launch of a new product—can guard against major losses.

The best protective measure against counterfeiting and misuse is a combination of various state-of-the-art security technologies, including for example, special papers, sophisticated printing technologies with advanced security inks, invisible information, and Optically Variable Devices (OVDs), which are robust optically diffractive security features.

Commercial Security Concepts from Kurz Transfer Products

To ensure a product is given an appropriate and optimal level of protection, Kurz offers not only a comprehensive range of security elements with various levels of protection, but also detailed consultation during the design phase. The principle “Easy to verify—hard to copy” is of prime importance when selecting, designing and integrating the components of a security element.
Kurz’s diffractive anti-counterfeiting and authenticity features, in particular the exclusive Trustseal range of OVDs, can be easily integrated in to the manufacturing process for existing products. The optical security feature, once applied to a product or its packaging, can incorporate a self-voiding tamper-evident function.

The OVD can be produced in a number of different formats, allowing flexibility in its integration into the design of an existing product and packaging. The diffractive optical structures of the highly counterfeit-resistant Trustseal are computer-generated, then replicated in a foil polymer structure. The distinctive Trustseal structures are easily recognizable even under unfavorable light conditions such as dim or diffuse lighting.

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