Vertical Markets

Hologram register

by Mark Rowe

The Hologram Image Register (HIR) – a secure registry of holographic images, set up by the trade body the International Hologram Manufacturers Association (IHMA) to safeguard hologram copyright and underpin the use of holograms in authentication and security printing – has received a makeover, its first major one the IHMA reports since launch in 1993.

The HIR, the only system of its type, is operated on behalf of the IHMA by the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau under the strictest confidence and security that supports ISO 14298, the international standard for Management of Security Printing (and Security Foil) Processes specifies requirements for the management of security printing processes.

The register enables hologram manufacturers and producers to verify that their hologram design, or elements of a hologram design, do not infringe copyright or allow the unintentional copy of a security hologram. The image registration is completed once the design has received clearance. The HIR is also available to law enforcement agencies to check for the provenance of a design when they need information on a suspect hologram.

The changes are designed to improve user use by enabling faster online registration and copyright checking of hologram designs, and will come into effect in February 22.

The streamlining of the Copyright and IP section of the HIR secure portal offers advantages to IHMA members, the association adds. It will further and significantly reduce the time taken for registration, which is a fully online process where artwork is submitted electronically. The hologram manufacturer submitting a design search will be expected to 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: “The new, easier-to-use features are a beneficial step forward, representing a significant update and redesign of the HIR requirements. These reflect more accurately the way current holograms are designed and used, undoubtedly facilitating an increase in the registration of images and secure their integrity.”


The HIR includes more than 10,000 registrations, and rising. It has helped to prevent numerous attempts to source copy holograms, and has also helped to confirm that a suspect hologram was, indeed, a fake, which in turn has led to arrests and prosecution of counterfeiters. A registration of a hologram design with the HIR 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. Visit

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