Browse Prior Art Database

Publication Date: 2005-Jan-19

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Authenticity labels using an electronic ink display, smart chip with embedded private key, and wireless I/O. Delayed detection of duplicate serial numbers using a central server and offline scanning. Two embodiments described: money and product labels. Duplicate detection also works with printed serial numbers. My idea is to give smart chips an electronic ink display and wireless I/O. With wireless I/O, large groups of items can be authenticated simultaneously as with RFID tags. With a visual display, any items that fail to authenticate will stand out visually, making it easy to spot even a single counterfeit item amongst a group of valid items. To create a counterfeit would require extracting the private key(s) from a smart chip. It will be very difficult for a counterfeiter to obtain the private key of even one smart chip. Location tracking and owner tracking of serial numbers will catch any duplicated smart chip. As soon as a serial number is found to have two locations at the same time, that serial number can be invalidated. This document also describes my idea for an improved method of detecting duplicated serial numbers, (counterfeits), using an authentication server and scanners which can function offline for faster throughput, or online for higher security. The authentication server functions as a central processor of scan data. It detects a duplicate serial number if a serial number is found in two different locations at the same time, or if the calculated travel speed between two scan locations is unreasonably high. The method of detecting duplicates is described first for use with authenticity labels, but the application of the method to printed serial numbers will also be discussed. Each authenticity label would have a unique serial number. Each serial number would have at least one unique public/private key pair associated with it. The private key would be securely embedded in the label's smart chip. The public key for each serial number would be available in a public database. Anyone familiar with public key cryptography knows that a message encrypted with the public key can only be decrypted using the private key. In order to verify the authenticity of a label, a random image would be encrypted using the public key and wirelessly sent to the label. The label's smart chip would decrypt the encrypted image with its private key, and display the image on its electronic ink display. Displaying the image would prove that the smart chip has the private key corresponding to the label serial number. A serial number might also have a multiplicity of non-unique public/private key pairs associated with it. The set of non-unique keys associated with a serial number would be selected from a large pool of keys by a random number generator function. This would enable offline verifier devices to store a limited number of keys for an unlimited number of serial numbers. Authenticity labels would be useful to prevent the counterfeiting of bearer currency and to protect intellectual property. An authenticity label can be used to indicate that a product has been produced with the permission of the IP owners. Any product not containing the authenticity label is easily recognized as counterfeit or pirated.