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DNA Marking to Assure Product Authenticity
Keywords: Anti-Counterfeit, DNA, Section818
Counterfeit electronic components pose a serious global threat to industry and government. In recent years, the global supply chain has diversified and outsourcing of sub-systems, assemblies, sub-assemblies, and components is now the norm. The counterfeit parts put every electronic assembly at risk of failure. In some cases (weapons, fighter aircraft, communications equipment), failure can come with catastrophic consequences. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has been investigating the feasibility of marking electronic components with a secure DNA marker as part of the manufacturing process. The initial viability study was so successful that the agency embarked on a broader, more robust program. This current effort spans the entire microcircuit supply chain and engages leading industry participants. Under this concept, a unique DNA marker is bound to a quick read UV or IR mark. Broad ranges of industries are successfully using this approach. In one example, components are marked with SigNature ® DNA-inoculated ink during the existing manufacturing process. Government agencies have determined the technology's efficacy and courts have accepted the forensic results. Section 818 of the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2012 compels government action and creates real liability for contractors. Among other provisions, Section 818 requires the government and contractors to establish ". . . policies and procedures to eliminate counterfeit electronic parts from the defense supply chain" and ". . . mechanisms to enable traceability of parts." DNA Marking is one method of assuring product authenticity. Some industry leaders are examining this approach as a means of meeting the mandates of Section 818. This paper will present the concept, how it can be applied to electronics, and discuss a pilot demonstration that is underway on behalf of the DoD's Defense Logistics Agency. By the time of the conference, there will be additional information to present.
Janice Meraglia, VP, Military & Government Programs
Applied DNA Sciences
Stony Brook, NY

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