Continental has patented a method to protect time synchronization in a network by monitoring messages related to grandmaster clock changes. If a new clock with better parameters is proposed, a virtual time domain is initiated for verification. If valid, the network device updates its information and sends synchronization messages based on the new clock. GlobalData’s report on Continental gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Continental, Anti-skid tyre treads was a key innovation area identified from patents. Continental's grant share as of April 2024 was 52%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Method for protecting network time synchronization against unauthorized changes

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Continental AG

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11973581B2) discloses a method for protecting time synchronization in a network against unauthorized changes to a grandmaster clock of a base time domain. The method involves monitoring physical communication interfaces for messages related to time synchronization, determining if the messages apply to the base time domain, and verifying the clock parameters proposed by the second network device. If the verification confirms the trustworthiness of the proposed grandmaster clock, the network device updates its information and sends synchronization messages based on the new parameters to the network. The method also includes steps for handling messages that do not apply to the base time domain and ignoring messages that do not announce a new grandmaster clock with improved parameters.

Furthermore, the patent includes claims for network devices and vehicles equipped with systems to protect time synchronization in a network. These devices are configured to monitor communication interfaces, perform checks on incoming messages, and verify clock parameters to ensure the integrity of time synchronization. Additionally, the devices are designed to handle scenarios where separate time domains are proposed, maintain virtual base time domains, and communicate with other network devices to inform them about the trustworthiness of time information. The patent also covers computer-readable mediums storing instructions for executing the method, providing a comprehensive solution for safeguarding time synchronization in network environments against unauthorized changes to the grandmaster clock.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

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.