Watermarking technologies have been proposed for many different types of digital media. However, to this date, no viable watermarking techniques have yet emerged for the high value B-rep (i.e. Boundary Representation) models used in 3D mechanical CAD systems. In this paper, the authors propose a new approach (PO-Watermarking) that subtly changes a model's geometric representation to incorporate a "transparent" signature. This scheme enables software applications to create fragile, or robust watermarks without changing the size of the file, or shape of the CAD model. Also discussed is the amount of information the proposed method could transparently embed into a B-rep model. The results presented demonstrate the embedding and retrieval of text strings and investigate the robustness of the approach after a variety of transformation and modifications have been carried out on the data. © 2008 Springer Berlin Heidelberg.