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Mechanism for disabling undocked device Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013435D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18

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With the growing number of portable electronic devices available today (i.e. Laptop PCs, cellular phones, PDAs. This document will refer to these devices as PEDs there is a growing need for a mechanism for the prevention of theft of these electronic devices. Conventional means of preventing theft often rely on simple passwords. What is needed is a method that is easier to use and tougher to overcome than the conventional password method. This new invention is easier to use and provides better security then the traditional password method. With this invention, we propose that a PED contain adevice (referred to in this document as a "device security integrated circuit", or DSIC that disables the PED if it is not returned to a "security reset device" (SRD) before a predefined duration of time (the SRD can be present in a charging cradle, docking station, or a simple active "dongle"). The DSIC would disable the device by holding the device in reset. This DSIC would be embedded into the PED and the PED would default to a disabled state if the DSIC were removed. The following diagram illustrates the idea. This invention would be an effective deterrent to PED theft, since the would be thief would have an indeterminate amount of time before the device would be rendered useless. Additionally, the user who bought the PED would not have to worry about forgetting passwords or thinking about security. A simple message would come from the PED indicating that it needed to be "cradled" to reset the security. 1