GB2429078A - Authentication system - Google Patents

Authentication system Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2429078A
GB2429078A GB0513598A GB0513598A GB2429078A GB 2429078 A GB2429078 A GB 2429078A GB 0513598 A GB0513598 A GB 0513598A GB 0513598 A GB0513598 A GB 0513598A GB 2429078 A GB2429078 A GB 2429078A
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Prior art keywords
originator
identification code
repository
authenticator
code
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GB0513598D0 (en
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Thierry Powis De Tenbossche
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Individual
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Individual
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Priority to GB0513598A priority Critical patent/GB2429078A/en
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING OR COUNTING
    • G06QINFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING OR COUNTING
    • G06QINFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q10/00Administration; Management
    • G06Q10/08Logistics, e.g. warehousing, loading or distribution; Inventory or stock management
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING OR COUNTING
    • G06QINFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY [ICT] SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL OR SUPERVISORY PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q50/00Systems or methods specially adapted for specific business sectors, e.g. utilities or tourism
    • G06Q50/10Services
    • G06Q50/18Legal services; Handling legal documents

Abstract

A system for authenticating goods or documents requires the use of an identification code that has three components, namely a unique code identifying the originator of the goods or documents, a core number that is unique to the individual object to be authenticated, and a control code that is generated by the action of an algorithm on the originator identifier and core number and which is not predictable. An authenticator submits the identification code for validation and identifies the originator of the object in their possession from a list of potential originators generated by a repository. Authentication can be undertaken over the internet or using mobile phones etc with a central repository.

Description

AUTHENTICATION SYSTEM
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
1] The present invention is directed to a system and method for authenticating objects such as goods or documents and, more particularly, to a system and method for authentication that involves the use of coded indications on the objects that may be used to verify the manufacturer, brand owner or supplier of the objects and to enable the detection of counterfeit or fake objects.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
2] The production of counterfeit/fake goods and documents is a growing problem of worldwide importance. In many instances the problem manifests itself in the supply of substandard goods to the market e.g. pharmaceuticals or spare parts for aircrafts, with potential serious life threatening consequences for the end user and loss of reputation for the genuine manufacturer. In other instances the problem manifests itself in the supply of counterfeit copies to the market of such products as music CD's and DVD's. In this instance the problem is loss or revenue to the original rights holders and their agents and loss of reputation. In other instances the problem is the supply of genuine products into markets where the supplier is not licensed e.g. grey or parallel imports; this activity resulting in price erosion and loss of revenue for the rights holder * : in the particular market. **** * S **S S
3] Given these problems it is not uncommon for goods or documents to * . carry some form of information that can be used to validate the item. In the most basic * " of cases this may be a trade mark or other indication of origin or may be a serial :. number. However, such indications, whilst being useful may be easily reproduced or * tampered with by counterfeiters allowing them to redistribute or resell items or to apply * 30 misappropriated indications to fake items.
4] There have been many attempts to overcome these problems and to provide methods and systems of authentication to identify counterfeits and fakes. The key objective being to develop methods and systems that are so robust that they deter counterfeiting activity. In the main these systems and methods have been designed to be implemented and used by the manufacturers or their distributors/retailers. There are very few methods and systems that may be used with ease by manufacturers, their distributors and retailers, and also by the ultimate customer e.g. general public in order to authenticate purchased/supplied items. , the currently available methods and systems are too complex, or they require specialist equipment and/or they are easy to replicate thus negating their usefulness for anti-counterfeiting. Some systems that rely solely on database verification are susceptible to failure once the data source has been compromised.
5] Published U.S. Application number US 2004/0034579 discloses a method to prevent the sale of counterfeit products which utilizes bar code technology in combination with random number generation and the World Wide Web.
6] U.S. Pat. No. 6,623,041 discloses a method for discerning false from genuine, the method using the intrinsic stochastic structural vein of the material object.
7] U.S. Pat. No. 5,367,148 discloses a method for counterfeit detection that utilizes an ID number with at least one random portion. The system requires storage of all ID numbers on generation so that the ID numbers as stored may be used for latter validation. The problem with this approach is that the database could be stolen or compromised providing a complete list of all ID numbers issued and also . : :* requires highly robust database systems. S...
8] Published U.S. Application number US 2004/0103023 discloses a * :* : :* 25 coupon barcode internet verification system.
* [0009] Published U.S. Application number US 2004/0172537 discloses a system and method for tracking and authenticating items through use of the World * Wide Web.
S.....
* 30 [0010] GB 2,383,776 discloses a label system for packaging that may be used to verify authenticity, detect tampering, or enable tracking.
[00111 Whilst there has been various attempts in the art to provide methods and systems for authentication and exposure of counterfeits there is a continuing need for new methods and systems that afford ease of use and increased security. The methods and system of the present invention address this need and are particularly applicable for use with mass produced objects e.g. goods and/or documents that are mass produced to be essentially identical to each other. The method and system enables early warning of counterfeit products entering the market, which may be acted upon by manufacturers to give early warning to the public that potentially dangerous products are on the market and/or that counterfeits are being circulated, encouraging consumers to authenticate their goods using the system and method. The system and method has the potential to enhance the reputation of brand owners by providing increased confidence in brand authenticity. The ability to offer quality information to the public concerning a suspected problem with a product and to allow the public to assist with easy authentication of such products is valuable for a manufacturer or brand owner. It means that they do not have to act in such a defensive manner when either a warning needs to be given to the general public or a product recall is required. The robustness of the system means that the general public can easily and effectively assist with these situations. The method and system can improve the efficiency and effectiveness in the detection of counterfeit activity as all purchasers of objects and members of the supply chain have any opportunity to verify authentication. Previous anti-counterfeit authentication systems and methods rely heavily on policing by originator representatives or by the authorities or through the receipt of the limited number of customer complaints. This is a serious problem as large quantities of counterfeit objects remain undetected using these methods and systems.
:.: . SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION * S.. * . S.. S
* 25 [0012] The system and method of the present invention as described herein * utilizes the principle of uniqueness for counterfeit detection and deterrence. In * : * accordance with the invention, each genuine object is assigned a different authorized :. identification code that is unique for that object. Counterfeit activity is detected when * parties in the supply chain including the end consumer attempt to authenticate the S.....
* 30 objects using the identification codes through an authentication process. At the same time using the same process, if the object is not counterfeit or fake, the consumer or enquirer is reassured that the object is authentic. One of the key aspects of this system and method is that the enquirer or consumer after submission of the identification code to the central repository is presented with information that enables the originator of the object to be verified by the enquirer. A further key aspect is the identification codes generated by the repository are not stored in any database in the repository for subsequent authentication; the repository simply requires the algorithm and correlation between originator identifiers and originators to enable authentication.
(0013] Thus, the present invention is directed to a system and method for authenticating objects. An object of the present invention for example is to provide a flexible way for a user, especially a purchasing member of the general public, to authenticate objects through a query to a centralized repository using a unique identification code supplied with the object.
4] A further objective of the present invention is to provide a robust system in which multiple originators e.g. manufacturers of products and owners of product brands can have their products verified as authentic through a centralized repository without having to manage their own product authentication systems. The originators do not need to maintain and manage their own monitoring system or databases and need only be involved when a counterfeiting activity is identified by the system. Although not preferred, it is however possible that the system and method could be utilized by a single originator or group of originators e.g. a trade body or for example a government agency. It is envisaged that the method and system may be arranged such that government agencies e.g. customs or the police or investigators employed by the originator may make enquires to the repository without triggering any authentication threshold for any particular identification code. In this way the system and method may be used by such agencies or investigators to regularly monitor the object supply chain. .. S
* 25 [0015] The system of the present invention utilizes a central repository which: * :" stores certain information pertaining to the identification codes and how they relate to * the originator and/or the originators products and/or such information as the geographical point of market entry for the objects; computer systems having the ability * to run algorithm's pertaining to generation of the identification code; databases recording information pertaining to attempted identification code validations, the number of attempted validations and storage of validated identification codes; and the central repository being easily accessible to originators, other organizations in the supply chain and members of the public via for example the internet, point of sale consoles, warehouse management systems, analogue and digital telecommunication systems, mobile phones and/or personal digital assistants, using SMS technology etc. It is also possible that authentication could be undertaken via use of a call centre.
6] One attractive feature of the system and method of the present invention is that the centralized repository does not utilize a full database of valid identification codes that have been issued for authentication of those codes. The database stores information correlating any one originator and/or product with the originator identifier component used in the identification code but not the final code.
The originators identifier is presented in combination with a core number e.g. product serial number to a secret algorithm in the repository to generate a control code, which in combination with the originators identifier and core number defines the complete identification code. Thus the identification code consists of thee components that are interrelated; the fist is the originators identifier assigned by the repository, the second is the core number that could include information identifying which algorithm is used and again assigned by the repository and the third component is the algorithm generated control code. The first two components are known, selected and assigned and the third component, the control code, is generated by the use of the secret algorithm. During the authentication process the algorithm is used to act upon the identification code to confirm that all three components are interrelated. The user is in effect submitting three key identifiers when authenticating the identification number; the first is the originator identifier, the second is the core number and the third is the control code that links the two previous components; all three being necessary for authentication using the algorithm. It is an important aspect of the present invention :: :* that the authentication is via use of the algorithm and not by verification against identification codes stored in the repository database. In addition this unique submission procedure is combined with a further step of originator authentication which * : will be described further herein. The repository database will also contain identification : * codes that have already been submitted for authentication or have been listed for other reasons e.g. stolen identification numbers or unused identification numbers. Because $..I the database does not include a full list of issued identification codes if it is stolen it is of little use to third parties as they could only use listed pre-submitted or stolen codes that would trigger rejection if an attempt was made to use them.
7] One of the advantages of the system and method of the present invention is that the identification code is relatively simple to use and can be used by customers/suppliers and intermediaries worldwide. A further advantage is that no specialist equipment needs to be used by the authenticator. All that is required is a simple data entry device e.g. a keyboard at for example a computer terminal or a digital phone system or a mobile phone and in addition a means for viewing information generated from the centralized repository during the authentication process or to receive such information e.g. via a call centre. A further advantage of the system of the present invention is that the originators e.g. manufacturers may be notified by the centralized repository automatically when a code failure occurs. It is also possible that more than one component of the supply chain may be notified e.g. manufacturer and distributor. In many instances brand owners who have a vested interest in protecting their brand may be notified. In many circumstances the brand owners are not manufacturers or distributors of the objects themselves but license others to manufacture and/or distribute the objects. The system and method may be used as part of a product registration activity or process. In this situation valuable additional information may be obtained about the purchaser of the object, the nature of the object, the retail outlet or supplier of the object at the same time as authentication.
Authentication may precede product registration in which case the authenticator is directed to contact the originator or authorities if the object is not authenticated and/or is requested to submit additional data to assist with tracking down counterfeit operations. In another approach authentication may occur after product registration thus capturing valuable information before the authenticator is informed that the object is counterfeit; the authenticator then being directed to contact the originator or supply :. : additional information if the object is counterfeit. * * S...
* 25 [0018] A further advantage of the present invention is that due to the * * robustness of the system it may be used beneficially when there is little or no evidence * of the counterfeit object remaining after use. This could be for example where a counterfeit drug has been used and all that remains is the blister pack or other packaging associated with the drug. Because no sample of the drug remains it cannot es.*** be tested itself to determine authenticity. Here if the identification code, method and system of the present invention are used it is possible to authenticate the drug. This is extremely useful as it may either identify that a counterfeit drug has been supplied or that there has been an unexpected allergic reaction to the drug or that the manufacturer's process has produced a rogue batch of drug. The robust authentication method and system of the present invention can therefore have benefits other than detecting counterfeits.
9] Whilst it is envisaged and preferred that the system is operated by a single centralized and secure repository it may also be operated at originator level, by a trade body or for example by a brand owner who does not manufacture the object.
0] Thus in one embodiment of the present invention there is provided a method for authenticating objects comprising:: a. in a data repository, b. selecting and assigning a unique originators identifier to an originator, selecting a unique core number e.g. serial number, and subjecting both of these in combination to a secret algorithm held in the repository to generate a control code, combining the originator identifier, core number and control code to produce an identification code, c. storing the originators identifier and its correlation with the originator in a database in the repository, d. associating the identification code with an authentic object, e. subsequently authenticating the object in a first stage authentication by presenting the identification code via a data input device to the data repository in which an algorithm validates the identification code, : * . on successful first stage authentication the repository in a second stage :::.:. authentication seeks further input from the authenticator as to the **** originator associated with the object to be authenticated, * :* : :* g. the repository verifying the originator identified by the authenticator against the originator revealed from identification code validation by the algorithm * *. h. the repository notifying the authenticator that the object is authentic if * : ** * 30 the correct originator is identified or i. the repository notifying the authenticator and the originator or another party that the object has not been authenticated.
1] In one embodiment after step (e) the repository communicates any discrepancy to the authenticator and the originator, In a further embodiment the second stage authentication (f) requires presentation of a list to the authenticator that includes the originator correlating with the assigned originator identifier from the submitted identification code along with a number of alternative originators and an option for the authenticator to indicate that the originator on the object being authenticated is not listed and the authenticator selecting from the list the originator identified on the object being authenticated or the option that the expected originator is not listed. In a further embodiment the second stage authentication (f) requires the authenticator to submit the originator associated with the object to be authenticated to the repository. It is to be understood that in the present invention the originator information that may be submitted could be any information associated with the object to be authenticated including: the manufacturer name, model, geographical source and similar identifiers. The exact nature of the identifier is at the discretion of the originator.
2] In a preferred embodiment any identification codes that are submitted for authentication are stored in the repository. This includes submitted identification codes that have been validated or submitted identification codes that have not been found to be valid upon submission. Also included are any identification codes that have been lost in transit to originators or stolen identification codes or redundant identification codes. Thus if identification codes are stored under these circumstances then in a further aspect of the present invention the identification code is checked to : * determine if the same identification code has previously been submitted to the :*:.. repository for authentication in relation to an object or is listed as invalid, whereby at **.* least one of the objects with said same identifying code may be identified as an * :* : :* unauthorized object, and/or said same identifying code may be flagged or stored in a list to facilitate identification of additional possible unauthorized objects with said same identifying code, and/or a said object's submitted identifying code may be checked to see whether it has been previously flagged or stored in a list in the repository, whereby * : * 30 an unauthorized object may be identified.
3] In accordance with another aspect of the invention there is provided, a method of designating an object as authorized comprising: selecting a unique originator identifier, selecting a unique core number and combing these to form an identification code that includes a control code generated by an algorithm acting upon the originator identifier and the core number and associating the identification code with an authorized object.
4] In accordance with another aspect of the invention there is provided a system for identifying an unauthorized object from a set of authorized objects, each authorized object of said set having an identification code associated therewith of which a component, being the control code, has been calculated using an algorithm dependent on an originator identifier and a core number, the system comprising: repository means for securely storing said originator identifier and correlation with originator, means within the repository for generating identification codes; means for submitting the identification code from an object to the repository for authentication of the object; and means for automatically detecting when submitted identification codes include components that are different from the components calculated using said algorithm and means to determine during authentication that the originator identifier is incompatible with the object being authenticated, whereby an unauthorized object is identified.
5] In accordance with yet another aspect of the invention there is provided a plurality of genuine essentially identical objects each having authorized identification codes associated therewith, the associated identification codes being useful for indicating authenticity of each object, the identification codes including an originator identifier unique to the originator, a distinct core number comprised of at least enough * *** digits to uniquely identify the object, and a control code having been generated by the :::.:. action of an algorithm on the originator identifier and the core number. S...
* : *: :* [0026] In a further aspect the present invention provides a method of *:. designating at least one of many essentially identical and identifiable objects as authorized the method comprising: providing an originator identifier for the originator of the object and a unique core number; using the originator identifier and the core : * * 30 number with an algorithm to calculate a control code that cannot be anticipated for said object; and associating the originator identifier, the core number and the control code together as an identification code with said object.
7] The objects of the present invention may be manufactured goods or documents. In the case of manufactured goods the goods may be high value luxury goods or they may low value consumable products such as for example Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). With goods the object identifier may be the manufacturer and/or the type of product and/or further details of the product e.g. model type or product range. So for example there could be one or more originator identifiers associated with the product; the first could be related to the manufacturer e.g. SONY, the second could be related to the product type e.g. a television and the third could be related to the model type e.g. plasma. The documents may be any type of document that it is worth authenticating. The documents could be official documents such as for example passports; here the originator identifier or identifiers could be linked to specific information content of the document e.g. the sex of the recipient, address, age etc. The document could for example be linked to the provision of a service e.g. a concert, where the document could be a ticket and in which case the originator identifier could be linked to the artist performing at the concert and/or perhaps the venue for the concert. For more general documents the originator identifier may be a company on such documents e.g. letterheads or financial instruments e.g. high denomination bonds. The documents could for example be banknotes.
8] The system and method of the present invention may in fact be used by originators or interested parties in the supply chain or government to monitor in a global way the supply, movement and purchase of goods and documents. For example the originator could in a short time frame observe the effects of advertising campaigns as the identification codes are registered after purchase. The system and method L: :* could be used to monitor globally the patterns of returned products to provide an early * * ** warning of quality problems or perhaps rogue batches of goods in the market etc. The method and system may therefore be used for activities other than anti-counterfeiting. * ** * * * * S.
*. [0029] In the present invention the database of used identification codes may be retained for a limited period if desired for example for a period of years or months after a particular algorithm has been changed or the when the vast majority of codes * : 30 associated with a particular algorithm in a given set have been authenticated.
0] In a further aspect once the authentication process has been completed the authenticator may be provided with useful information, advertising or warnings about the object that had been authenticated. For example in the case of a pharmaceutical product it could be further information concerning the safe use of the product.
1] Additional advantages, objects, and features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and in part will become apparent to those having ordinary skill in the art upon examination of the following or may be learned from practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention may be realized and attained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims hereof as well as the appended drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
2] The invention is illustrated by way of example and not limitation in the figures of the accompanying drawings in which like references, if any, indicate like parts, and in which: [0033] FIG. I is a flow chart illustrating the process for generating objects with identification codes; [0034] FIG. 2 is a flow chart illustrating the steps performed in authenticating an object having an identification code, and
L: :* DETAILED DESCRIPTION * *
5] The system and method of the present invention utilizes an identification : : :* code that is derived from an originator identifier and a core number that is unique to a *. particular object. These two components are then used with an algorithm to generate a control code that together with these two components will produce an identification * .* code. The following example illustrates the form and method of generation of an : 30 identification code.
6] Firstly unique originator codes are generated for the originators: ORIGINATOR A = 123 ORIGINATOR B = 124 ORIGINATOR C = 125 ORIGINATOR D = 126 ORIGINATOR E = 127 [0037] Then for the relevant originator e.g. ORIGINATOR A, each object is assigned a unique core number e.g. 456789 (simplified for illustration purposes). Then the originator identifier and core number are used with an algorithm to calculate the control code. For example the simple algorithm code be (a) divide the core code by the originator identifier e. g. 454789/123 = 371 3.731707. Then take the first three numbers after the decimal point to be the control code e.g. 731. The various components combined produce the identification code: Originator identifier = 123 Core Number = 456789 Control code = 731 Identification code = 123 456789 731 [0038] When the identification code is presented to the data repository for authentication the repository knows the algorithm and is able to check the calculation to confirm that the identification code is one produced by the algorithm and identifies an originator identifier. The originator identifier may then be presented to the authenticator along with a list of other originator identifiers and an option to identify that : ,**. the originator is not listed so that the authenticator may identify that the object in their :::.:. possession is authentic. So for example the identification code described above may S.. 25 present the following list to the authenticator when they submit the identification code * to the repository:
S
ORIGINATOR A
ORIGINATOR B
ORIGINATORC
ORIGINATOR D
ORIGINATOR E
ORIGINATOR NOT LISTED
9] On presentation of this list if the authenticator selects ORIGINATOR A as the originator of the object in their possession then thiscorresponds to the ORIGINATOR A indicated by the action of the algorithm on the identification code and the object is identified as authentic unless the identification number has previously been submitted for authentication or is listed as stolen or returned by the originator. If however the authenticator were to select ORIGINATOR D or ORIGINATOR NOT LISTED then this would flag the object in their possession as not being authentic. In this example once the authentication process has been completed the identification code is stored in the repository database irrespective of the outcome of the authentication process. In an alternative embodiment once the originator identifier has been confirmed by the algorithm checking the submitted identification code the authenticator is simply requested to submit the identify of the originator of the object in their possession. This submission is then compared to the originator linked with the originator identifier revealed on checking of the identification code by the algorithm.
This is an alternative to presenting a list of possible originators.
0] In a further aspect of the present invention the repository utilizes a counter routine to record the number of attempts made to authenticate goods using the same identification code. This counter may record the number of valid authentications up to a predetermined maximum before the originator and authenticator are informed of a potential fake object.
: *. [0041] In a further variation the originator identifier could in fact be correlated S.. S * . * with any information that the originator desired to be used for authentication. For * 25 example the originator identifier could be linked to manufacturer name, location, * : : :* product group, model etc e.g. ORIGINATOR A, UK SPECIFICATION, PLASMA TV.
*:. The system and method is flexible enough to accommodate such variations. Other examples include expiry date for objects e.g. perishable goods such as drugs. * S..
* : 30 [0042] It is envisaged that the identification code, with use of an appropriate algorithm, could be generated to include an identifier within the identification code for the algorithm used. In this embodiment the repository could contain a plurality of different algorithms even very large numbers of algorithms. There could also be a requirement that more than one algorithm is used to prepare the final identification code. The presence of a plurality of algorithms in the repository and/or the use of multiple algorithms in identification code generation enhances the security of the system. In addition the fact that there is no database that includes all thee key components of the identification code and that the originator identifiers may be in a separate database from the repository database all enhances the security level of the system.
3] The repository database includes identification codes that have been submitted for authentication or have been listed as stolen or unused for whatever reason. Also included in the database is a list of originator identifiers and their correlation with originators. The database does not have a record of generated identification code, or generated control codes or core numbers. The information on core numbers is stored in a separate database so as to keep a record of which sequences of core numbers have been provided to the repository for generation of identification codes. The database of core numbers is not correlated with a list or separate database of identification codes. When a new sequence of identification codes are required the originator or their agent submits a list of core numbers to the repository and receives in return a list of identification codes without correlation. Thus in one embodiment of the invention the originator will not know their originator identifier, or the correlation of their core numbers with the generated control codes or the algorithm that has been used. This makes the system highly secure.
4] The general process of identification code generation as described : above is illustrated in the flow diagram of Figure 1. S..
* [0045] In Figure 2 the general process for authentication is illustrated in a flow *:. diagram. The authenticator has in their possession an object with an identification code. The authenticator is able to submit the identification code to the repository for authentication by the repository via various communication tools. One of the preferred communication tools is via a computer terminal with access to the internet. The repository receives the identification code and the request for authentication and the detailed authentication process is started. The authentication process has two key authentication stages. In this example in a first stage the identification code is validated; firstly the repository determines if the identification code is on the repository list of previously used or invalid identification codes and if this is the case then notifies the originator and the authenticator. Then the repository checks to determine if the submission is in excess of a predetermined submission threshold for the submitted identification code. It is envisaged that the same identification codes may be used more than once e.g. when the goods are very high value and multiple authentications are required as for example with a motor vehicle. There may be a submission threshold used to enable the authenticator to make a number of mistakes in data entry.
Typically this is limited to three attempts in most authentication or password based systems. It is possible to limit multiple/repeat submissions to a time window e.g. multiple attempts at authentication being limited to a period of 24 hours from the first attempt. In the present example if there is a threshold and it is exceeded the originator and authenticator are notified. The next step in this example is for the identification code to be further validated via use of the secret algorithm. This step checks the inherent authenticity of the identification code itself. The algorithm will highlight if there is any incompatibility between the various components of the identification code. If the code itself is invalid then the originator and authenticator are notified and the invalid code is added to the list of invalid codes in the repository database. These various steps constitute the first stage of authentication and may be carried out in the sequence as described in this example or the sequence may be varied. After the first stage is completed the repository moves onto the second stage of authentication which utilizes information validated in the first stage e.g. originator identifier and also requires further input form the authenticator. The repository takes the originator identified from the first stage and presents, to the authenticator, the corresponding originator within a .: :* list of other originators and the option to indicate that the object in there possession * : :: :* does not identify an originator on the presented list. This is an important stage of authentication as the authenticator is able to make the final confirmation that the object * : . is authentic by linking the originator identified from the submitted identification code :. with that indicated on or in association with the object. If the object is authentic the authenticator is informed and the originator may be informed if desired. A failed authentication is also communicated to the authenticator and the originator. : 30
6] The system and method of the present invention may utilize a plurality of identification codes in association with an object. For example there may be identification codes that are provided for use by the customer e.g. the identification code is on the object or supplied with the object, and in addition there may be identification codes supplied for the retailer or supplier and/or distributor. Each member of the supply chain may independently authenticate the object as it progresses through the supply chain. This can be very useful for identifying surprising discontinuities in the supply chain and therefore the possibility of illegitimate activity associated with the supply chain. In one example a combination of identification codes could be used that are linked to each other by use of an appropriate algorithm and coding by the repository. If the codes are authenticated in the correct supply chain sequence this is validated at each stage of authentication. If an attempt is made to authenticate out of sequence then the originator and/or the supply chain along with the authenticator are notified. This could be useful in identifying infiltration of supply chains with counterfeit objects or redirection of objects out of the approved supply chain.
7] It is also possible to have identification codes that are covert and are only exposed when the object is dismantled or partially destroyed to aid authentication.
This may be useful for utilizing product servicing organizations to identify counterfeits that have not been authenticated by the final consumer. For example car repair or servicing operations maybe able to authenticate worn or removed parts from vehicles as authentic or counterfeit. * S. * S S see S * 5S* * S * SS * S S 5..
S S. * a * SSS : 30

Claims (45)

1. A method for identifying authorized and unauthorized objects comprising: a) in a data repository, b) selecting and assigning a unique originators identifier to an originator, selecting a unique core number e. g. serial number, and subjecting both of these in combination to a secret algorithm held in the repository to generate a control code, combining the originator identifier, core number and control code to produce an identification code, C) storing the originators identifier and its correlation with the originator in a database in the repository, d) associating the identification code with an authentic object, e) subsequently authenticating the object in a first stage authentication by presenting the identification code via a data input device to the data repository in which an algorithm validates the identification code, f) on successful first stage authentication the repository in a second stage authentication seeks further input from the authenticator as to the originator associated with the object to be authenticated, g) the repository verifying the originator identified by the authenticator against the originator revealed from identification code validation by the algorithm : * h) the repository notifying the authenticator that the object is authentic if :: :1: the correct originator is identified or S...
I) the repository notifying the authenticator and the originator or another : *: : party that the object has not been authenticated. I..
2. The method of claim I wherein after step (e) the repository communicates any : 30 discrepancy to the authenticator and the originator,
3. The method of claim I wherein the second stage authentication (f) requires presentation of a list to the authenticator that includes the originator correlating with the assigned originator identifier from the submitted identification code along with a number of alternative originators and an option for the authenticator to indicate that the originator on the object being authenticated is not listed and the authenticator selecting from the list the originator identified on the object being authenticated or the option that the expected originator is not listed..
4. The method of claim I wherein the second stage authentication (f) requires the authenticator to submit the originator associated with the object to be authenticated to the repository.
5. A method of designating an object as authorized comprising: selecting a unique originator identifier, selecting a unique core number and combing these to form an identification code that includes a control code generated by an algorithm acting upon the originator identifier and the core number and associating the identification code with an authorized object.
6. A method as claimed in claim I wherein the identification code is checked to determine if the same identification code has previously been submitted to the repository for authentication in relation to an object or is listed as invalid, whereby at least one of the objects with said same identifying code may be identified as an unauthorized object, and/or said same identifying code may be flagged or stored in a list to facilitate identification of additional possible unauthorized objects with said same identifying code, and/or a said object's submitted identifying code may be checked to see whether it has been previously flagged or stored in a list in the repository, whereby * : an unauthorized object may be identified. S... * . S...
7. A system for identifying an unauthorized object from a set of authorized * : : :* objects, each authorized object of said set having a unique identification code * associated therewith of which a component, being the control code, has been calculated using an algorithm dependent on an originator identifier and a core number, the system comprising: repository means for securely storing said originator identifier * : 30 and correlation with originator, means within the repository for generating identification codes; means for submitting the identification code from an object to the repository for authentication of the object; and means for automatically detecting when submitted identification codes include components that are different from the components calculated using said algorithm and means to determine during authentication that the originator identifier is incompatible with the object being authenticated, whereby an unauthorized object is identified.
8. A plurality of genuine essentially identical objects each having a unique authorized identification codes associated therewith, the associated identification codes being useful for indicating authenticity of each object, the identification codes including an originator identifier unique to the originator, a distinct core number comprised of at least enough digits to uniquely identify the object, and a control code having been generated by the action of an algorithm on the originator identifier and the core number.
9. A method system or object as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the object has two or more identification codes associated with it.
10. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the means for submission of the identification code by an authenticator includes use of the internet.
11. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the means for submission of the identification code by an authenticator includes use of a call centre.
* :
12. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the ** *** means for submission of the identification code by an authenticator includes use of S...
mobile communications technology. * S. * S S * S.
*:.
13. A method or system as claimed in claim 12 wherein the means for submission of the identification code by an authenticator includes use of a mobile phone.
* : : 30
14. A method or system as claimed in claim 12 wherein the means for submission of the identification code by an authenticator includes use of a personal digital assistant.
15. A method or system as claimed in any one of claims 12 to 14 wherein SMS communication techniques are used.
16. A method or system as claimed in claim 10 wherein the data entry device is a personal computer linked to the Internet.
17. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the number of attempted valid authentications is restricted.
18. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the originator is informed of invalid authentications by the repository.
19. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the repository is operated by an originator or association of originators or government agency.
20. A method system or object as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the identification code includes two or more originator identifiers.
21. A method or system or object as claimed in claim 20 wherein the additional originator identifiers are related to a product and/or product group of the originator and/or the distributor of the object to be authenticated.
22. A method or system or object as claimed in claim 20 wherein the additional * originator identifiers are related to supply chain related information for the object. a... * a S...
23. A method or system or object as claimed in any one of the preceding claims S. wherein the identification code is numeric. **.
24. A method or system or object as claimed in any one of the preceding claims a wherein the identification code is alphanumeric.
S
25. A method or system or object as claimed in any one of claims I to 22 wherein the core number of the identification code is numeric alphanumeric.
26. A method or system or object as claimed in any one of claims I to 22 wherein the core number of the identification code is alphanumeric.
27. A method or system or object as claimed in any one of claims I to 22 wherein originator identifier is numeric.
28. A method or system or object as claimed in any one of claims I to 22 wherein originator identifier is alphanumeric.
29. A method or system or object as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 22 wherein originator identifier is numeric alphanumeric.
30. A method or system or object as claimed in any one of claims I to 22 wherein the control code is alphanumeric.
31. A method or system or object as claimed in any one of claims I to 22 wherein the control code is numeric.
32. A method or system or object as claimed in any one of claims I to 22 wherein the control code is numeric alphanumeric.
33. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the identification code may be removed from the object for authentication.
* :
34. A method of system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the *: :: * identification code may be removed during use of the object.
* *
35. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein there is a plurality of algorithms in the repository. S.
: * 5:
36. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein two * : 30 or more algorithms are used to generate the identification code.
37. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the identification code includes an identifier for the correct algorithm or groups of algorithms to be used in authentication.
38. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the algorithm or algorithms are periodically changed.
39. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein additional information is acquired overtly or covertly from the authenticator during the authentication process.
40. A method or system as claimed in claim 37 wherein the additional information is the IP address for the device linked to the internet and used for submission of the identification code.
41. A method or system as claimed in claim 37 wherein the additional information is obtained using the mobile telecommunications network used for submission of the identification code.
42. A method or system as claimed in claim 39 wherein the additional information is the phone number and/or the location of use of the mobile phone.
43. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein invalid identification codes are stored in the repository database.
44. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein : additional information obtained during authentication, when the identification code is ::: : invalid, is stored with the invalid code in the repository database.
* : :
45. A method or system as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein * : submission of identification codes for authentication is through a website. * * S * a.,
I
*4*SII * S 30
GB0513598A 2005-07-04 2005-07-04 Authentication system Withdrawn GB2429078A (en)

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WO2017165910A1 (en) * 2016-03-31 2017-10-05 Tbsx3 Pty Ltd Tracking system
WO2019178644A1 (en) * 2018-03-21 2019-09-26 Tbsx3 Pty Ltd Item identification and tracking system and data access and governance system

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WO2001088831A2 (en) * 2000-05-12 2001-11-22 Nintendo Of America Inc. Method/apparatus for enabling purchasers to obtain return information to return products via on line transactions

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WO2000046734A2 (en) * 1999-02-04 2000-08-10 Intermec Ip Corporation Method and apparatus for automatic tax verification
WO2001088831A2 (en) * 2000-05-12 2001-11-22 Nintendo Of America Inc. Method/apparatus for enabling purchasers to obtain return information to return products via on line transactions

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GB2459239A (en) * 2007-06-01 2009-10-21 Bright Augustine Simons Product authentication and supply line security system therefor
WO2017165910A1 (en) * 2016-03-31 2017-10-05 Tbsx3 Pty Ltd Tracking system
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WO2019178644A1 (en) * 2018-03-21 2019-09-26 Tbsx3 Pty Ltd Item identification and tracking system and data access and governance system

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