New IHMA Security Image Register launched - reflecting changes in global holography


The secure registry of holographic images, established by the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) to safeguard hologram copyright and underpin the use of holograms in authentication and security printing, has been relaunched as the Security Image Register (SIR).

The former Hologram Image Register, the only system of its type for the authentication community, has been expanded and rebranded as the SIR, in a move that the reflects the changing dynamics of the global security holography industry.  The sophistication of holograms has evolved significantly in recent years and are increasingly being incorporated and integrated with other optical variable devices (OVD) technologies to provide holistic, added value and advanced authentication and anti-counterfeiting solutions.

Key changes at a glance are:

  • The Primary Visual Feature selection has been updated to include a choice of 13 current optical technologies that now fall with a general OVD (Optically Variable Device) category.   
  • The HIR phrase and logo has been replaced by Security Image Register phrase and logo.
  • The word hologram will be replaced by OVD. 

The centrally held global database of secure holograms will continue to be operated on behalf of the IHMA by the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau under the strictest confidence and security that supports ISO14298* on behalf of members. 

The SIR will be available to hologram producers, manufacturers of other optical variable devices, security printers and designers of documents. It will also be available to central government and  institutions such as central banks, revenue authorities and passport issuers, through their security image suppliers

It will enable them to verify that their security hologram design, or elements of a hologram design, do not infringe copyright or allow the unintentional copy of existing security holograms. The image registration is completed once the design has received clearance. 

The SIR will also be accessible to law enforcement agencies, allowing them to check for the provenance of a design when they need information on a suspect hologram. 

The expanded register is designed to introduce image registration to the full spectrum of optical security manufacturers. It provides a global database that protects the security image by recording and identifying all copyright associated with each design and manufacture of a security image.  Each registration will be allocated a unique reference number that can be tracked to support authentication of the image and its copyright. 

The Copyright and IP section of the SIR secure portal offers distinct advantages to IHMA members.  It significantly reduces the time taken for registration, which is a fully online process where artwork is submitted electronically to provide quicker design checks. The hologram producer or supplier submitting a design search will need to ensure they have the authorisation of their customers to use copyrighted artwork provided for use in the final hologram.  

This is achieved by acceptance in the portal of warranties and indemnities to that effect, significantly speeding up the whole verification process and ensures copyright / IP is clearly identified and protect for all parties. 

IHMA chair Dr Paul Dunn, said: “Over the years holograms have evolved into highly sophisticated security images and new processes have been introduced that are not conventional holograms in the strictest sense. The new look SIR reflects a rapidly changing sector, where hologram technology is increasingly a part of an integrated security to protect brands, profits and people. It represents a beneficial step forward, more accurately reflecting the way holograms and OVD’s are designed and used - undoubtedly facilitating an increase in the registration of images and secure their integrity.”

The SIR includes nearly 10,000 registrations - a number that is growing by the day. It has helped to prevent numerous attempts to source copy holograms as well as helped to confirm that suspect holograms were indeed fakes. This in turn, helped support the law enforcement authorities in their pursuit  of the counterfeiters.

Moreover, registration of a hologram design with the SIR is increasingly a pre-condition of tenders and procurement, particularly by government bodies such as central banks, revenue authorities and passport issuers, as well as brand owners. 

*ISO 14298 – Management of Security Printing (and Security Foil) Processes specifies requirements for the management of security printing processes. Its goals are:

  • To improve the security for the industry in regards to security printing and aid the fight against fraud and forgery
  • To reduce trade barriers by encouraging uniform practices around the world
  • Satisfy clients’ increasing security needs

Add a Comment

No messages on this article yet

Editorial: +44 (0)1892 536363
Publisher: +44 (0)208 440 0372
Subscribe FREE to the weekly E-newsletter