The printed code used for recognition by a bar code scanner (bar code reader). The 'bar' in bar code comes from the ubiquitous, one-dimensional (1D) UPC bar code found on countless product packages. Several two-dimensional (2D) bar codes are also in wide use, but they are not really as bar-like as the UPC. The 2D codes are scanned horizontally and vertically and hold considerably more data.

(Source: encyclopedia)


A brand is constituted by a unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer's mind. Legal name for a brand is trademark and, when it identifies or represents a firm, it is called a brand name.


Closure seal

A closure seal is used for the safe closure of packaging or envelopes. If it is equipped with the appropriate security features, it can also protect the content against counterfeiting and manipulation. With such closure seals the user recognises at first sight, whether the sealed envelope or package has been tampered with.


A counterfeit is an imitation, usually one that is made with the intent of fraudulently passing it off as genuine. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product. The word 'counterfeit' frequently describes both the forgeries of currency and documents, as well as the imitations of works of art, clothing, software, pharmaceuticals, watches, electronics and company logos and brands. In the case of goods, it results in patent infringement or trademark infringement.


Data matrix code

The data matrix code is one of the most common two-dimensional barcodes. It is used for the tracing of products along the supply chain. It is square or rectangular and bears a black and white print. This comprises coded information on the product, e.g. product code, manufacturer information, production date, batch and serial number. The code is scanned with a 2D reading device. The amount of data stored in the data matrix code is 1,556 bytes, 2,335 ASCII characters and 3,116 numerical characters. The application of data matrix codes is described by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

EAN code

The European Article Number (EAN) is a barcode which is standardised in Europe for the labelling of goods and products. For more information see barcode.


An original (from Latin: origo, origin) is the opposite of a counterfeit. It describes a genuine product or thing which does not pretend to be anything else than it is. Contrary to a copy, an original signifies the original work of an artist and not the reproduced copy.


A patent is a legal title which protects a technical invention for a limited period. It gives the owner the right to prevent others from exploiting the invention in the countries for which it has been granted. All patents are published, so everyone can benefit from the information they contain.

(Source: European Patent Office)

Pirate copy

A pirate copy is a copy of software or other copyrighted material (digital text, music, films) which has been illegally produced.


Plagiarism is taking the writings or literary ideas of another and selling and/or publishing them as one's own writing. The original author can bring a lawsuit for appropriation of his/her work against the plagiarist and recover the profits. A person who plagiarises is subject to being sued for fraud or copyright infringement if prior creation can be proved. Penalties vary depending on jurisdiction, the charges brought, and are determined on a case by case basis.


Product labelling

There are many overt and covert ways of identifying and labelling products. Among the most well-known are barcodes, textile labels, control seals etc. Invisible product labelling methods contain important product information without impairing the outer appearance of the product. One example for such covert protection is the micro colour-code technology SECUTAG®.

Product piracy

Product or brand piracy is the act of copying a branded product or naming it in a manner that might result in confusion with other well-known brands. Product piracy infringes brand and patent rights as well as copyrights.


RFID, Radio Frequency Identification, is a wireless procedure for the labelling and tracking of process chains, goods, objects, people and livestock. An RFID system consists of a storage medium (the so-called RFID tags), an antenna and an RFID reading device. The range of the contact-free data transfer via radio, inductive or resonance coupling depends on the system used and can vary between a few millimetres and several metres.


Traceability (also: track & trace) refers to the ability to determine when, where and by whom a certain product or batch has been produced, processed, stocked and transported along the entire supply chain.


A trademark is a distinctive name, symbol, motto, or design that legally identifies a company or its products and services, and sometimes prevents others from using identical or similar marks.


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