Businessweek Archives

Yabba Dabba Don't Swipe This Toon


Developments to Watch

YABBA DABBA DON'T SWIPE THIS TOON

FRED FLINTSTONE NOTWITHSTANDING, HANNA-BARBERA Cartoons Inc. is no Stone Age studio. To guard against counterfeits of its celluloid images--which fetch $750 and up in the collectors' market--Hanna-Barbera is employing the very latest in biotechnology. First, the studio snips some hair from the head of 83-year-old co-founder Joseph Barbera. Using a technique called polymerase chain reaction, it isolates a fragment of Barbera's DNA, then makes millions of copies of it. These copies are mixed into a special ink used for Barbera's signature and a numbered seal, both of which go on the celluloid frames, known as cels. A handheld scanner can instantly read the genetic ink, verifying the signature and checking the seal against a database of registered cels. Co-founder William Hanna, 84, uses conventional ink for his co-signature.

Hanna-Barbera's development partner, Los Angeles-based Art Guard International Inc., has big plans and a patent for the DNA marker technology. Art Guard President Charles Butland says it could protect items ranging from paintings to coins to credit and I.D. cards.EDITED BY PETER COY


Monsanto vs. GMO Haters
LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW

(enter your email)
(enter up to 5 email addresses, separated by commas)

Max 250 characters

 
blog comments powered by Disqus