UL Introduces New Holographic Label to Combat Counterfeiters

On June 25, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a testing and certification organizations, introduced a new holographic UL Mark that will be required in 32 common consumer product areas, including power supply cords, nightlights and ceiling fans. The redesigned label incorporates cutting-edge technology, elevated security features and a unique hologram design, making it easy to identify and validate, yet incredibly difficult to replicate.

"UL's new holographic label is the most recent element in our efforts to protect and enhance the integrity of our UL Mark," said Brian Monks, UL's vice president of Anti-Counterfeiting Operations. "The new label technology will further help retailers, customs officials and other law enforcement agencies around the world determine the legitimacy of UL Marked products."

The new label was introduced at the 2008 International Law Enforcement IP Crime Conference, an international consortium of law enforcement and intellectual property crime experts.

Since UL first introduced a holographic label in 1996, the safety testing organization has continually redesigned it and added security features, each time making it increasingly difficult for potential counterfeiters to reproduce, officials said. Distinct features of the new hologram label include:

  • Gold background to help U.S. Customs officers and other law enforcement agencies, distributors, retailers and consumers quickly identify the new label.
  • Color shifting ink similar to that in the new U.S. paper currency.
  • Repeating pattern of floating UL symbols, a distinctive burst pattern around one of the floating UL symbols and wavy lines.
  • Additional covert security features to assist with the authentication of a UL holographic label.

Additionally, UL has added another level of security via the UL Authenticator, a special credit card-size device that authorities can use to better identify counterfeit products.

The new holographic label will be available for manufacturers on July 1, 2008. It will be required worldwide on all new production in the 32 hologram categories starting July 1, 2009.

"Counterfeiters will copy and sell anything that turns a profit without regard to quality, safety, or the law," Monks said. "As part of our zero-tolerance policy concerning products bearing counterfeit UL Marks, we are constantly working with government and law enforcement agencies worldwide to help prevent counterfeit products from entering the marketplace. UL is the only product testing organization in the world whose label is backed with this level of security and technology."

If consumers suspect a product may have a counterfeit UL Mark, they can contact UL by e-mailing anticounterfeiting@us.ul.com. For additional tips on how to identify a counterfeit label, visit the UL Newsroom at www.ul.com/newsroom. For general information about counterfeiting and UL's partnership in global anti-counterfeiting efforts, visit www.ul.com/ace.

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