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Main article: "International Article Number (EAN)
The "EAN-13 was developed as a "superset of UPC-A, adding an extra digit to the beginning of every UPC-A number. This expanded the number of unique values theoretically possible by ten times to 1 trillion. EAN-13 barcodes also indicate the country in which the company that sells the product is based (which may or may not be the same as the country in which the good is manufactured). The three leading digits of the code determine this, according to the "GS1 country codes. Every UPC-A code can be easily converted to the equivalent EAN-13 code by prepending 0 digit to the UPC-A code. This does not change the "check digit. All "point-of-sale systems can now understand both equally.
"EAN-8 is an 8-digit variation of the EAN barcode.
UPC usage notes:
- All products, marked with an EAN, will be accepted in North America currently - in addition to those already marked with a UPC.
- Product with an existing UPC does not have to be re-marked with an EAN.
- In North America, the EAN adds 40% more codes, mainly by adding digits '10 through 12' to the UPC digits '00 through 09'. This is a powerful incentive to phase out the UPC.
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After graduating from Maryland in 1951, George Laurer joined IBM as a junior engineer and worked up the ranks to senior engineer. In 1969, he returned to the technical side of engineering and was later assigned the monumental task of designing a code and symbol for product identification for the Uniform Grocery Product Code Council. His solution—the Universal Product Code—radically changed the retail world. Since then, he has enhanced the code by adding a 13th digit.
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