Equinix has been granted a patent for an IoT access control exchange system. The system allows for the generation of verifiable credentials to grant access to IoT devices, using a Decentralized Identifier (DID). The IoT exchange hub acts as an Identity Hub, registering DIDs for IoT devices. The system enables organizations to obtain data from IoT devices by contacting the device owner agent and obtaining a verifiable credential with a request for access. The access request is then submitted to the IoT exchange hub, which enforces the access request or submits the verifiable credential to the devices for them to enforce access. The system ensures authentication and privacy preservation through the use of DIDs. GlobalData’s report on Equinix gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Equinix, VPN tunneling was a key innovation area identified from patents. Equinix's grant share as of September 2023 was 55%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

The patent is granted for an iot access control exchange

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Equinix Inc

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11777932B1) describes a system for managing access to Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The system includes an IoT device owner agent, an IoT access customer agent, and an IoT exchange hub.

The IoT device owner agent is responsible for managing access to multiple IoT devices. The IoT access customer agent sends an access request to the IoT device owner agent, including request properties such as a privacy preserving parameter. In response to the access request, the IoT device owner agent receives a verifiable credential identifier and formats the verifiable credential according to the request properties. The verifiable credential includes a decentralized identifier that identifies the IoT device. The IoT device owner agent then provides the verifiable credential to the IoT access customer agent.

The IoT exchange hub plays a crucial role in the system. It receives a request for the verifiable credential identifier from the IoT device owner agent, allocates the verifiable credential with the decentralized identifier, and provides the identifier to the IoT device owner agent. Additionally, the IoT exchange hub receives data requests and control requests from the IoT access customer agent. It authenticates the decentralized identifier of the IoT access customer agent, verifies the verifiable credential, and forwards the requests to the IoT device if they are valid.

The system also includes privacy preserving parameters that determine how data and control streams are handled. If the privacy preserving parameter indicates that a data stream or control stream should not be filtered for private information, the IoT device bypasses the IoT exchange hub and directly sends data to or receives controls from the IoT access customer agent. However, if the privacy preserving parameter indicates that a data stream should be filtered for private information, the IoT exchange hub postprocesses the data and forwards it to the IoT access customer agent. Similarly, if the privacy preserving parameter indicates that a control stream should be filtered for private information, the IoT exchange hub preprocesses the control stream and sends it to the IoT device.

The patent also describes an IoT exchange hub and an IoT device owner agent as separate components. The IoT exchange hub receives the verifiable credential from the IoT access customer agent, authenticates and verifies it, and provides a control stream source location or a data sink location to the IoT device. The IoT device owner agent receives the access request from the IoT access customer agent, requests a verifiable credential identifier from the IoT exchange hub, formats the verifiable credential, and provides it to the IoT access customer agent. The IoT device owner agent can also request a signature for the verifiable credential from an authorizing party and add it to the credential before providing it to the IoT access customer agent.

In summary, the granted patent describes a system for managing access to IoT devices, involving an IoT device owner agent, an IoT access customer agent, and an IoT exchange hub. The system includes privacy preserving parameters that determine how data and control streams are handled, and the IoT exchange hub plays a crucial role in authenticating and verifying verifiable credentials.

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GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.