In July 2017 the European Patent Office granted a patent to Afilias Technologies that was originally filed in 2008. This is quite a milestone for us—the application has survived objections from anonymous third parties and a much tougher patent regime than has applied in recent years.
The patent in question, EP2245836 A2, is core to the operation of DeviceAtlas and is the reason why our solution is the fastest one out there, while preserving a very small memory footprint and data file. DeviceAtlas delivers speed, accuracy and efficiency—we don’t force you to choose.
The same core algorithm is also protected by a US patent US9185182 B2, granted in 2015.
What does the new patent protect?
This patent covers the operation of our core device recognition algorithm, in use since 2008. In more detail, it describes the method by which we take input evidence and resolve it to a particular device. The input evidence is typically in the form of HTTP headers, with the user-agent header carrying the most useful information. Our algorithm operates on device data arranged in a trie structure with the HTTP headers as the keys into this trie. Our patent covers both the overall trie walk process as well as the idea of accumulating properties during the walk. A further innovation covered by out patent is a method for ensuring "masked" details stored deeper in the trie are not overlooked.
Once a particular device has been resolved its properties can be looked up in a separate table of values and returned to the application.
Why is this important?
In the device intelligence world speed is everything, but accuracy can never be sacrificed. Our patented algorithm allows us to achieve both aims without tradeoffs by combining some uniquely useful characteristics:
- It is extremely fast
- It allows for perfect accuracy
- It has a very light memory and data file footprint
These characteristics of our algorithm represent the core values of the DeviceAtlas product and team. We could never stand over a product that allows you to choose speed or accuracy, or one that forces you to chose between different compromises depending on your use case.
What this means
In Afilias Technologies we like to spend the time to do things properly. This extends to IP rights. DeviceAtlas already stands over our data sources to ensure that our customers are protected from litigation. Now we can do the same for our API technology.
This patent grant means that customers using DeviceAtlas can rest assured that our API is highly extensible and will never interfere with existing deployments. Our core API technology is now secured by patent in most jurisdictions and thus our customers’ investment in our product is protected.