On first look, I’d thought that this invention was a stretch from a practical standpoint, until I saw that it was filed by a prominent packaging vendor, MeadWestvaco, Richmond, VA, which gives it instant credibility.
The patent relates to a security mechanism for high-value items that allows the packaged products to be prominently merchandised in a normal manner while being made theft proof using a tether/security loop or “smart label” as an alternative to Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) tags and other means.
The ability to alarm a packaged product without the need for an EAS infrastructure is a major plus.
The way it works is that a security loop applied to or in the package can be formed from conductive printed ink, conductive ribbon, conductive foil and/or conductive wire. An audio, visual or electronic alert is activated when removal of the product or package contents breaks the conductive connection. This “security module” can also detect a breach of the package.
The filing even references the downside of MWV’s own NATRALOCK packaging, a tear-resistant polymer laminated to recyclable paperboard combined with an APET or RPET thermoform that requires the use of a scissors to open. This present invention cuts out the need to use a tool to open a package while addressing a way to make the package theft proof.
Among other options in this detailed document, one method identifies the security module applied over an easy-open feature such as a nick so that the package can be opened after removal of the security module.
This seems another take on Smart Packaging by using it as a robust, theft-deterrent technology.
Source: Fresh Patents