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1. (WO1991017523) MARKING AND IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM
Nota: O texto foi obtido por processos automáticos de reconhecimento ótico de caracteres.
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CLAIMS
1. A method for marking and identifying an article, comprising:
forming on a portion of the article (1;10;20) a plurality of markings ( 5 ) arranged relative to one another according to a predetermined relationship to constitute an identifying pattern;
providing one or more identifying means 16 having markings data arranged thereon comprising a pattern of markings in the same relationship as the markings formed on the article; and
subsequently checking the identity of an article (1;10;20;) provided with an. identifying pattern (5) by comparing the markings (5) on the identifying means with the pattern on the article or on a reproduction thereof. 2. A method according to claim 1 wherein the identifying means is a template having markings whose spatial distribution corresponds to that of the markings of the identifying pattern; and correspondence is checked by locating the template over the pattern.
3. A method according to claim 2 wherein the template is a master template having a multiplicity of markings whereof a subset corresponds to a pattern to be checked.
4. A method according to claim 3 wherein a data store and processor is provided having means for correlating patterns with identifying data, for example identifying an owner of a marked article; and wherein the master template is used to encode the pattern to be checked; and the encoded data are fed to the data store and processor for identification/verification.
5. A method according to claim 2, 3 or 4 wherein the markings of the template are holes.
6. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the markings on the article include at least one hole through the portion of the article.
7. A method according to claim 6 wherein all said markings on the article are holes.
8. A method according to claim 6 or 7 wherein the step of checking the identity includes a step of examining the sides of a hole of the pattern to distinguish a hole made in an authorised fashion from an unauthorised hole.
9. A method according to any preceding claim wherein the markings of the identifying pattern are holes and/or depressions whose locations and/or sizes and/or shapes and/or number are selected according to a predetermined coding system to encode data.
10. A method according to claim 9 wherein the markings are formed by bringing an article and a plurality of engraving means together.
11. A method according to claim 10 which employs as said engraving means an array of drills which extend in parallel and are configurable to correspond to a desired pattern.
12. A method according to claim 10 or 11 which employs as said engraving means an array of drills which extend in parallel and are individually reciprocable whereby a plurality corresponding to a desired pattern are selectable and reciprocable towards the article to effect marking thereof.
13. A method according to claim 10, 11 or 12 wherein markings on the identifying means are formed by bringing a blank and said engraving means together.
14. A method according to any of claims 1-9 wherein the markings on the article are formed by using a said identifying means as a guide to determine the marking pattern.
15. A method according to claim 14 wherein a said identifying means is secured on the article prior to forming the markings thereon.
16. A method according to claim 14 or 15 wherein said identifying means have a said pattern of markings and mounting means in predetermined spatial relationship therewith, whereby the identifying means in the checking step are located identically to the identifying means in the marking step.
17. A method according to any one of the preceding claims wherein a master identifying means is made and used to generate a plurality of secondary identifying means.
18. A method according to claim 1 as appendant on claim 15 wherein said secondary identifying means comprise one or more identifying means to be secured to one or more articles prior to forming the markings.
19. A method according to claim 17 or 18 wherein said master has a multiplicity of markings and is used to generate a plurality of secondary identifying means each corresponding to a single identifying pattern having a selection from said multiplicity of markings.
20. A method according to claim 17, 18 or 19 wherein said secondary identifying means have a said pattern of markings and mounting means in predetermined spatial relationship therewith; and different secondary identifying means are generated by varying said predetermined spatial relationship.
21. A method according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the identifying pattern is entered as coded data into a register.
22. A master template for use in a method of marking and identifying an article optionally comprising making secondary identifying templates, said master template comprising:
locating means for locating the master template in predetermined relation to a portion of an article or a secondary template; and
a plurality of identifying markings from which subsets of markings for use in marking are selectable.
23. A master template according to claim 22 wherein the plurality of identifying markings are disposed in columns and rows, not all of the column spacings being equal and/or not all of the row spacings being equal.
24. A system for identifying marked articles comprising:
a database system for registering a plurality of patterns, each pattern having information about a plurality of markings arranged in an area according to a predetermined relationship, and information related to the pattern;
at least one article having on a portion thereof a plurality of markings formed thereon according to one of the registered patterns; and
an identifying means having matching means for identifying the pattern formed by the markings on the article;
whereby the markings on the article can be identified by matching the markings or their reproduction with the identifying means, thereby to find information related to the pattern in the database system so as to identify the article.