Motorola Inc. and Pasadena-based Avery Dennison Corp. have formed a strategic partnership to make the next generation of radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags.

Avery, which specializes in making pressure sensitive labels, will put its manufacturing muscle behind Motorola's new EPCglobal Gen 2 RFID tags. Motorola also makes the readers required with the tags. Both the tags and the readers will be branded Motorola.

Avery made its entrance into the RFID tag manufacturing business two years ago after companies like Wal-Mart and Gillette Co. began using RFID to expedite inventory procedures.

An RFID label is like the next generation of barcodes, with no manual scanning involved. The tag is essentially a super-thin microchip and antennae sandwiched between layers of adhesive paper that can be attached to any product to be used for inventory verification. RFID readers send out a signal and receive an immediate response from the tags with identifying information more detailed than that provided by bar codes.

No financial terms of the partnership were disclosed. Shares in Avery were flat at $62.17 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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