Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Patents is a question and answer site for people interested in improving and participating in the patent system. It's 100% free, no registration required.

HELP SAVE MESH NETWORKING — This application from Schlage seeks to patent a secure gateway between a mesh network and an IP network, and a lock device connected through the mesh network. Because mesh networks often use protocols that don’t work well with IP clients, it’s important to have a secure bridge that allows web browsers and other traditional IP clients to use mesh network based systems.

Help narrow US patent applications before they become patents.... HERE!

QUESTION: Have you seen anything that was published before May 27, 2008 that discusses:

  1. A gateway device for transmitting signals between an IP network and a radio frequency mesh network that uses a secure data connection to communicate with the IP network; OR

  2. A gateway device that meets all of the criteria above where the gateway is configured to enroll a lock device in the mesh network; OR

  3. A method for synchronizing the gateway device described above with a lock device.

If so, please submit evidence of prior art as an answer to this question. Please submit only one piece of prior art per answer below. We welcome multiple answers from the same individual.

EXTRA CREDIT ---

A reference to anything that meets all of the criteria above AND that was published BEFORE December 31, 2007.

A reference to anything that meets all of the criteria above AND ALSO uses a secure socket layer protocol to implement the secure data connection.

A reference to anything that meets all of the criteria above AND where the gateway is configured to enroll an additional device that is not a lock in the mesh network.

A reference to anything that meets all of the criteria above AND ALSO where the logic and memory unit translates between the mesh and IP network.

TITLE: MESH NETWORK SECURITY SYSTEM GATEWAY AND METHOD

Summary: [Translated from Legalish into English] A secure data connection gateway between an IP or computer network and a radio-frequency mesh network, with a power supply, that could allow for web browsers and other traditional IP client software to control or use a mesh network. Separately, the applicant is claiming a method of enrolling a lock device in the mesh network and synchronizing it with the gateway.

Publication Number: US 20130014219 A1

Assignee: Schlage

Prior Art Date: May 27, 2008

Open for Challenge at USPTO: open through at least July 10, 2013

Claim 1 requires each and every element below:

A gateway for transmitting signals between a computer network and a radio-frequency mesh network, comprising:

  1. A housing;

  2. A radio-frequency transceiver for communicating with the radio-frequency mesh network;

  3. An Internet Protocol transceiver, operatively coupled to the radio frequency transceiver, for communicating with the computer network;

  4. A power supply; and

  5. A logic and memory unit configured to communicate with the computer network using a secure data connection.

In plain English this could mean:

A gateway device with:

  1. A housing;

  2. A radio frequency transceiver and IP transceiver in communication with each other

  3. A power supply; AND

  4. Any logic and memory device that can communicate with the IP or computer network through a secure data connection.

Claim 9 requires each and every step below:

A gateway for transmitting signals between a computer network and a radio-frequency mesh network, comprising:

  1. A housing;

  2. A radio-frequency transceiver for communicating with the radio-frequency mesh network;

  3. An Internet Protocol transceiver, operatively coupled to the radio-frequency transceiver, for communicating with the computer network;

  4. A power supply; and

  5. A logic and memory unit configured to enroll devices into the radio-frequency mesh network, at least one of the devices being a radio-frequency mesh network lock.

In plain English this could mean:

A gateway device with:

  1. A housing;

  2. A radio frequency transceiver and IP transceiver in communication with each other

  3. A power supply; AND

  4. Any logic and memory device that can add nodes to the mesh network, where at least one of those nodes is a lock device.

Claim 14 requires each and every step below:

A method of synchronizing a radio-frequency mesh network lock device with a mesh network gateway, comprising:

  1. Positioning the gateway adjacent to the lock device;

  2. Initiating synchronization procedures on the lock device;

  3. Initiating synchronization procedures on the gateway;

  4. Exchanging identifying information between the gateway and the lock device;

  5. Indicating that synchronization is successfully completed at the gateway;

  6. Increasing radio signal power of a lock device transceiver associated with the lock device; and

  7. Adding the lock device to a list stored in the gateway of devices that make-up the radio-frequency mesh network.

In plain English this could mean:

A process where the lock an the gateway are synchronized by:

  1. Placing the lock and gateway next to each other;

  2. Entering a security code into the lock device (or otherwise initiating a synchronization procedure);

  3. Pressing a button on the gateway (or otherwise initiating a synchronization procedure);

  4. Transmitting the security code (or other identifying information) between the gateway and the lock;

  5. Increasing the amount of power going to the lock’s transceiver; and

  6. Enrolling the lock device in the network.

enter image description hereenter image description here

What is good prior art? Please see our FAQ

Want to help? Please vote or comment on submissions below. We welcome you to post prior art you know about on other questionable US patent applications.

share|improve this question
add comment

11 Answers 11

One of the challenges of patents like this is to take a generic idea and locate specific prior art. For this example, ZigBee will be used as the specific wireless mesh technology. Some information about it is here: http://www.zigbee.org/About/UnderstandingZigBee.aspx

People were thinking about connecting security devices (a lock is a security device) through gateways from ZigBee networks to IP networks for awhile now. Here is a presentation about ZigBee (wireless mesh) gateways from 2004: http://www.zigbee.org/zigbee/en/events/documents/sensorsexpo/7-sensors-expo-kinney.pdf

Slide 11 says " For example: A ZigBee security device is preconfigured to connect to a web service through a gateway."

At an IEEE conference in 2007, the concept was suggested for health care monitoring: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/ICCE.2007.341319

Digi has been selling Zigbee to IP gateways which support SSL connections (security on the IP side) for awhile: http://www.digi.com/pdf/ds_connectportx2se.pdf

A press release from Feb. 8th, 2008 (which is older than this prior art date) announces it: http://www.digi.com/news/pressrelease?prid=429

In fact, Kwikset is even selling a ZigBee enabled door lock right now: http://www.kwikset.com/Products/Details/Electronic-Locks/912TNL-TRL-ZBC4-11P-SMT.aspx

As for the synching portion of this claim - this is how most BlueTooth devices work. A quick search for "Secure Simple Pairing" will find numerous hits for prior art. Here is a white paper from 2006 that explains the process in detail : http://mclean-linsky.net/joel/cv/Simple%20Pairing_WP_V10r00.pdf

share|improve this answer
add comment

In wlan slovenija, open wireless network of Slovenia, we helped in 2010 a high-school student for his project of monitoring the doors with the WiFi router. He competed with this project on one or two competitions for high-school projects. The idea was that you use WiFi router which you connect with a circuit to the sensor which monitors if the doors are locked or not. Then you can connect to the network with eg. your smart devices and check if the doors are locked or not. The project was not a really a complete success, but he did some things and in his presentation he does research also other possibilities of such system: using it to control things in the house, like lights.

share|improve this answer
add comment

This paper: http://www.ece.gatech.edu/research/GNAN/archive/2006/wimesh06.pdf

Seems to meet a number of the criteria, IMO. Clearly, the the process of providing a gateway into the wireless mesh is central to the paper. TCP(IP) is used as a typical example of a FIFO protocol. And, under Security (Part III Section D), the discussion of encryption assumes that 'breaking cryptographic keys' would be the typical activity of an attacker of the mesh entry points which implies the presence of protocol that uses key exchange, like SSL does.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Looking for evidence that people were transmitting email and files over radio waves in a many-to-many broadcast fashion in the early 1980s? Your keywords are "Packet Radio".

Need to nail it down as part of a "network"? Several northern-Canadian FidoNet nodes were packet radio-only. All the evidence I've found suggests that the Canadian zone administrators didn't share this information with their USA counterparts, probably because they enjoy annoying the Americans who insisted that every node have a published phone number. FidoNet wasn't the only ad hoc network in the '80s with wireless nodes, but it's one of the best documented.

Peter Anderson at http://www.cmns.sfu.ca/ has archives from Vancouver's early packet radio community. You may find volunteers to dig through the boxes by contacting at SFPIRG.

share|improve this answer
add comment

The XO-1 laptop[1], from One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) would seem to be prior art. This laptop featured mesh networking [2], with traffic hopping from one laptop to the other. Meshing was done using the 802.11s protocol, though the OLPC's XO-1 implementation predated the ratification of the standard.

An XO-1 could connect to a WiFi router, and use the WiFi router to bridge between the mesh network and an IP network, such as the Internet. The neighbourhood screen of the XO-1 would show any accessible access points. The user could click on a displayed node and be prompted for a password. Once a password was entered, authentication would be completed and mesh traffic could then flow to/from the IP network. All this is documented on the OLPC wiki [3]. The section relevant to this patent was written before 27th December 2007 [4].

Once connected, users could also use ssh to connect over the mesh to an ssh client/server on the IP network [5], again written before the end of 2007.

References:

[1] http://laptop.org/en/laptop/hardware/index.shtml

[2] http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Mesh_Network_Details

[3] http://wiki.laptop.org /go/Simplified_user_guide#Connecting_your_XO_to_the_network

[4] http://wiki.laptop.org/index.php?title=Simplified_user_guide&oldid=89301#Connecting_your_XO_to_the_network

[5] http://wiki.laptop.org/index.php?title=Developers/Setup&oldid=88499#SSH_Access

share|improve this answer
add comment

If you take "mesh" out of the equation, and just look at security and encryption over wireless, it make the "mesh" portion an obvious extension.

Microsoft has "A Mechanism for Communication-Efficient Broadcast Encryption Over Wireless Ad Hoc Networks" at http://research.microsoft.com/apps/pubs/default.aspx?id=102087

A forum discussion from 2005 "VPN over WiFi: How Much of a Security Risk?" might help as well. http://www.wirelessforums.org/alt-computer-security/vpn-over-wifi-how-much-security-risk-4610.html

share|improve this answer
add comment

There's "freifunk" an open mesh networking implementation. Their first release was in 2004 (http://wiki.freifunk.net/Freifunk_Firmware unfortunately in german). It has included openvpn to (optionally) securely transmit data over IP in a secured manner from early on since it was built on openwrt's white russian release.

There's http://ipkg.berlin.freifunk.net/ChangeLog (partially in german though) and it discusses openvpn being included in an 2005-Dec-23 release candidate.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Try these below. The cellphone system is a mobile radio-frequency mesh network....

[1] A method for connection roaming a Mobile Node (MN) to a Network GateWay (NGW) for providing secure data path using Internet Protocol (IP) security procedure. Also Mobile IP (MIP) is required for providing mobility to the user, when the MN moves from one sub-network to another. However, when the Home Address of the network is not known, a cyclic interdependency is observed between the IP Security (Ipsec) procedures and MIP procedures. If the home address of the MN is not known initially during the procedure, IPsec Security Associations (SA's) are formed between the MN and NGW such that only MIP packets are passed through. http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=10&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20080911&CC=US&NR=2008219224A1&KC=A1

[2] The invention relates to mobility management of an Internet-type protocol traffic in a mobile communications system. At least one mobile exchange (DXT1, DXT2) in the mobile communications system is arranged to operate as a gateway which interfaces (router 1) the mobile communications system with external data networks. All the mobile exchanges (DXT1, DXT2) are arranged to use a user identity and a data equipment identity for identifying each mobile host and to use an identity of the mobile exchange currently serving the mobile host for defining the location of the mobile host. Each mobile host is dynamically or permanently allocated an IP address which is bound to the user identity, the data equipment identity and the location information of the respective mobile host. The use of the user identity and the data terminal identity provide a unique identification for the mobile host without any relation to the IP network. Also the location information is independent of the IP network. As a consequence, the mobile exchanges are able to route IP datagrams having the allocated IP address from a gateway exchange (DXT1) to the serving exchange (DXT2) according to the location information and further to the respective mobile host according to the user identity and the data equipment identity bound to the IP address by using a mobile network specific routing method instead of mobile IP tunnelling. http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20100302&CC=US&NR=7672288B1&KC=B1

[3] A secure communication method for allowing a mobile host (1) to communicate with a correspondent host (4) over a Virtual Private network. The method comprises negotiating one or more Security Associations (SAs) between the mobile host (1) and a correspondent host (4) of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Subsequently, a communication is initiated between the mobile host (1) and a Security Gateway (SG) (3) and an authentication certificate sent to the SG (3), the certificate containing at least the identity of a SA which will be used for subsequent communication between the mobile host (1) and a Security Gateway (SG) (3) and the correspondent host (4). Data packets can then be sent from the mobile host (1) to the correspondent host (4) using the identified SA, via the SG (3). However, the data packets are forwarded by the SG (3) to the correspondent host (4) only if they are authenticated by the SG (3). http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=1&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20010726&CC=WO&NR=0154379A1&KC=A1

[4] A method, apparatus and system provide a seamless, secure roaming solution. Embodiments of the present invention enable secure transmission of IP packets across enterprise security gateways. According to one embodiment, a mobile node on an external network may register with an external home agent using an external home address. The mobile node may also establish a secure path to the security gateway using the external home address and an internal home address. The mobile node may thereafter use the secure path to correspond with nodes on the external network. In other embodiments, the mobile node may use this secure path to register with an internal home agent on a home network, using the internal home address. The mobile node may then correspond with nodes on the home network via the secure path. http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=5&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20040624&CC=US&NR=2004120328A1&KC=A1

[5] A wireless data network process and system is provided including a mobile node with a wireless transceiver, a serving GPRS support node (SGPRS) a radio access network and a gateway GPRS including a packet gateway node (PGN) with an internet connection. The PGN acts as a mobile IP home agent (HA) with authentication of a MN handled by the GPRS/UMTS network before the PGN ever sees data traffic to establish a Mobile IP authentication key. An unauthenticated key exchange method such as Diffie-Hellman, the MVQ protocol or its one-pass variant (without certificates), or the Key Exchange Algorithm can be used to establish the shared key. The process may include performing a key exchange between the MN and the PGN via radio waves, the GPRS support node and the connection to establish a shared secret key and to establish an IPsec Security Association (SA) between the MN and the PGN. A hash of the key is performed at the PGN to obtain an authentication value for use in a Mobile IP protocol and using a security parameters index obtained from the SA as the Mobile IP for identifying the MN for authentication purposes. A Mobile IP registration request is sent from the MN to a Home Agent (HA) hosted in the PGN using the authentication value established. The Mobile IP registration request is received at the PGN. The message is authenticated using the authentication value and sending a Mobile IP registration reply to the MN. http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?DB=EPODOC&II=2&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20030213&CC=US&NR=2003031151A1&KC=A1

share|improve this answer
add comment

Reading the docs I'm reminded of the Novell Netware products from many years ago. They used coax cables which used signals that fit the description to send IPX packages.

So in the late 1980s this already existed, where the 'device' could be anything to a simple Windows PC that had the drivers for Netware installed as well as a TCP-IP stack. See the IPX/SPX and the Netware wikipedia pages.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Insteon developed a wireless home mesh network in 2005 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insteon

2006: http://electronicdesign.com/embedded/refresh-insteon-technology INSTEON devices to perform as a controller, responder,or repeater, sending, receiving, or relaying messages, respectively. On the design side, the technology also involves software, USB and RS-232 connectivity, with Ethernet capabilities for interfacing to a LAN and the Internet on the not-too-distant horizon. Development kits and a prototyping module are available, which include membership in the INSTEON development alliance and provide access to the development forum.

I found only v2 of the Insteon Details manual published in 2013 which mentions the control of locks: http://www.insteon.com/pdf/Insteondetails.pdf

There seems to be v1 available on SCRIBD from 2005 but I don't have a subscription: http://www.scribd.com/doc/58860137/insteondetails

share|improve this answer
add comment

Wi-Fi tethering with WEP or any other Wi-Fi security on a cellular phone meets the criteria of "A gateway device for transmitting signals between an IP network and a radio frequency network that uses a secure data connection to communicate with the IP network;"

That is, the cell phone mediates between a radio frequency network, and a potentially secure Wi-Fi network.

The only difference then is applying the same idea to mesh.

This makes applying the same to mesh networks as being obvious to a skilled practitioner.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.