The assignee for this patent, patent number 8745861, is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Package identification is a well-known method for inventory control. By providing a way to identify a specific package, manufacturers can track the construction process of a product, shippers can track a package from one location to another, and vendors can track the location of products. Bar codes are one established method for identifying products and the containers in which products are transported. Another established technology for identifying and tracking products is radio-frequency identification (RFID).
"U.S. Pat. No. 7,533,361 discloses a system and process for combining printable electronics with traditional electronic devices. Pre-provided electronic circuits on a substrate are electrically connected by an ink solution that includes conductive particles (e.g., silver particles). The conductive particles are used to form conductors that interconnect conventional integrated circuits and to print electronic devices with electronic functions on a conventional circuit board.
"Integrated circuits are relatively expensive and this limits their application, particularly at an item level (rather than a box or pallet of products containing many items). Furthermore, equipment for programming the
"There is a need, therefore, for an information-storing device that provides reduced process costs and parts costs, improved security and reliability, and a simplified process flow."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of making an electronic storage system, comprising:
"receiving a substrate with a detection region;
"affixing to the substrate a transceiver formed on a transceiver substrate separate from the substrate;
"disposing a code circuit separate from the transceiver over the substrate, the code circuit including a conductor disposed over the substrate at least partly in the detection region, the conductor having an electrical state that changes in response to an environmental factor; and
"electrically connecting the transceiver to the code circuit so that the transceiver can detect the electrical state of the conductor; wherein the transceiver further includes an interface adapted to selectively transmit an uplink signal representing the electrical state of the conductor.
"An advantage of the present invention is that it provides a unique identifier, e.g., for a product or container, without requiring a corresponding unique transceiver integrated circuit. Unique identification information can be provided on a much larger substrate than a conventional crystalline semi-conductor substrate, and thus be provided using lower-cost equipment. In various embodiments, unique identification codes can be applied to storage systems at the point of use. Transceivers having smaller transceiver substrates can be used, reducing cost and space requirements. In various embodiments, the code circuit can be modified by environmental stressors to enable monitoring of various environments. Various embodiments provide improved security and reliability by changing electrical characteristics if a transceiver is removed from a substrate. Various embodiments provide a simplified process flow compared to conventional systems using laser-trimmed RFID ICs. Various embodiments encapsulate a transceiver to provide robust operation in hostile environments."
For more information, see this patent: Cok,
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