Patexia Contest




Patexia is looking for descriptions of a media proxy router sitting outside a firewall-protected network to securely forward data packets from an unsecured network, such as the Internet, across the firewall, and to a destination inside the protected network.

Submitted documents describing this system must be:

  • filed or published before 08/17/2002
  • not on the known references list

The entire submission must describe a media proxy router where:

  • the router sits outside the firewall-protected network
  • can request the firewall to create a forwarding port, or “pinhole”
  • store the forwarding port or pinhole address on the router itself
  • replace the address header with the pinhole address for of any packet heading into the protected network from an unsecured network, such as the Internet

This contest is for a prior art search for US Patent 8,607,323, with a focus on claims 1, 8, and 14.

Defined Terms

Pinhole: is a communication port, also referred to as an IP port, that the network entity designates for sending information packets out of the network and also receiving information packets (e.g. responses) into the network during a communication session.  See the ‘323 patent, col. 3, ll. 14-18. Typically the address of the pinhole is stored in the media proxy router. The advantage of this arrangement is that it allows a firewall to open temporarily to permit only desired communications to pass through the firewall (since only those information packets will have the address of the pinhole) while maintaining the blockage of unwanted communications.

A media proxy router: is a network entity that performs IP address translation on signaling/media information packets. This is the definition provided in the specification of the ‘323 patent at column 1, lines 47-49.

An information packet: means a packet containing data.

A first destination address designation: means a label designating a first address to which data can be sent. The first destination address designation is not limited to the address of the Media Proxy Router, it is broader. The Soft Switch and the Media Proxy Router do not have to communicate over the internet (see, e.g., the ‘323 patent at col. 6, lines 61-64 and claim 15).

Correlate the first destination address designation with a second address designation using a data element stored in the media proxy router: means to establish relationships between addresses (viz. the first destination address and the second address) based on an element stored at the media proxy router.

An address of a pinhole in the firewall: means the location (i.e. address in the network) of a pinhole in the firewall.

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1Is the reference either a US patent filed, a foreign patent published, or a non-patent document published before August 17th, 2002? T/F
2Does the reference show a media proxy router that (1) sits outside a firewall-protected network to (2) securely forward data packets from an unsecured network, such as the Internet, into the protected network? 50
3Does the reference show the media proxy router has a network interface that is directly connected to the firewall to signal the creation of a pinhole address (or forwarding port) to allow for secure data transmissions across the firewall? 10
4(3a) Does the reference further show the network interface receives a signal back from the firewall with the address for the pinhole communication port? 5
5Does the reference show that when a data packet arrives at the media proxy router from an unsecured network, such as the Internet, the media proxy router (1) locally looks up the address for the pinhole port, (2) overwrites the packet address header with the pinhole port address, and (3) transmits the modified packet through the network interface across the firewall to its destination? 35

Additional Notes

Prior Art Search

This is a Prior Art Search contest aimed at determining if a patent idea was known and publicly available before a patent was filed.

+5 bonus points will be awarded for non-patent literature and for foreign language references.

This contest will close on Sunday, July 26th, 2015 at 11:59 PM PST.

Please review the Contest Rules. For more information on how to submit to this Contest type, please read the Intro to Prior Art Search page.