The Hologram Image Register (HIR) is a secure registry of holographic images, established by the IHMA to safeguard hologram copyright and underpin the use of holograms in authentication and security printing.
In addition to registering the holograms they produce, IHMA members search the HIR before making a new hologram to help to prevent the accidental copying of an image.
To date, the HIR has helped to uncover and prevent several cases of attempted counterfeiting and many specifiers and users of secure holograms require these to be registered on the HIR.
Also, the IHMA allows approved non-members to register holograms in the HIR, which follows an agreement from Intergraf and NASPO (the North American Security Products Organization).
Compliance with ISO 14298 Standard
To comply with their implementation of the certification for ISO’s new 14298 standard (which covers management of security print and security foil production), hologram producers must register all security holograms they produce in a global registry, which is the purpose of the IHMA’s HIR.
About the HIR
There are two parts to the HIR:
Searching the HIR gives the producer the assurance that a planned hologram is an available design not in use by another organisation.
- Searching is the method used to identify suspicious attempts to get a hologram copied. It results in notification that there is, or is not, a closely matching image registered.
- If a match is revealed, procedures are implemented to ensure it is a legitimate copy, and if not, to identify the attempted fraudsters.
- Only IHMA members and other authorised parties, including law enforcement agencies, may request a search.
The IHMA recommends that its members search the HIR at the time the hologram is being designed and originated.
This helps to ensure that the hologram image is not already in use and is the first step for the subsequent registration of the image.
Once an IHMA member registers a completed hologram with the HIR, they receive a certificate of registration.
- This certificate is suitable for transmission to the end user of the hologram and bears a unique registration number.
- Only members of the IHMA can register the holograms they originate or manufacture. Customers who want maximum protection should therefore choose a supplier which is a member of the IHMA.
- Registering a hologram on the HIR establishes a record of who makes the hologram, when it was first made and who is using it. Therefore registration benefits the holder of the copyright in the hologram as well as the hologram user.
- If there is an attempt to fraudulently copy the hologram this will be identified through searching the Register.
The IHMA has established procedures to distinguish between legitimate second sourcing and fraud attempts. This protects hologram users and benefits producers.
The IHMA urges that users should require that their supplier register their holograms.