Genuine product authentication method
Publication Date: 2013-Dec-10
The IP.com Prior Art Database
Page 01 of 2
Title: Genuine product authentication method
Herewith we describe a method by means of which a consumer is able to verify the authenticity of a purchased product. The method is particularly useful for consumer products that suffer from counterfeiting activities. Known authentication methods make use of serial number schemes based on a prescribed sequential pattern or based on a prescribed algorithm. Such sequential patterns or algorithms may be detected by counterfeiting parties by analyzing a plurality of available serial numbers and therefore have a limited reliability.
We propose a genuine product authentication method that is based on the generation of a unique serial number for each individual product. Each unique serial number is selected at random from a serial number pool, wherein the total number of serial numbers in the serial number pool is a multitude (e.g. one million) of the total number of selected unique serial numbers assigned to the products. When the user purchases or has purchased the product, the user can contact the manufacturer to verify the unique serial number assigned to his product. Since the total number of possible serial numbers is a multitude of the total number of selected (i.e. valid) unique serial numbers, the chance for a counterfeiting party to generate valid serial numbers is negligible. Because the valid serial numbers are selected at random, a counterfeiting party will not be able to detect valid serial numbers by detecting a prescribed sequential pattern or algorithm.
The valid serial numbers can be stored in a central registration database. By incorporating a machine-readable tag with at least the product type number and the valid serial number into the product, the authentication process can be made easy and robust. The reading of the tag can take place at home by the consumer, but also back-end by company registration servers. To further secure the communication of the serial numbers with the manufacturer's registration server and to minimize the storage capacity required for the valid serial numbers, a hash may be calculated from each valid serial number at the moment the valid serial number is generated from the large pool of possible numbers. Hashing is a well-known example of a one-way function with a very low collision rate. Multiple well-established algorithms exist, such as SHA1 or MD5. By only storing and transmitting this hash, knowledge of this hash does not give a counterfeiting party the information needed to generate the accompanying, valid serial number. In addition a so-cal...