CESNET acquires first European patent

Prague, 12 January 2015. On 3 December 2014, the European Patent Office (EPO) issued patent deed EP2227911 (A2) for a Device for Multicast of Optical Signals in the Internet and Other Networks, (see http://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=EP&NR=2227911A2&KC=A2&FT=D).

The device is already protected in the Czech Republic as patent No. 300811 issued by the Industrial Property Office on 12 August 2009 and is available on the market as the Czech Light® Multicast Switch (CLM). In the United States of America, the device is protected by U.S. Patent 8,582,967 of 12 November 2013.

The European Patent Office is stricter in awarding patents than the USPTO. In summary, it can be said that the US patents are “single-round” while the EU patents are “double-round”. For these reasons, acquiring a European patent is generally considered to be more difficult (see, e.g., http://www.iusmentis.com/patents/uspto-epodiff/). However, acquiring a US patent is not easy at all. Acquisition of a European patent is seen as all the greater achievement. It is further proof of CESNET’s excellent research and development work in the area of optical networks and photonics, particularly in the sphere of fully optical signal processing with optical switches and amplifiers.

Devices such as the Czech Light® Multicast Switch, as well as other advanced photonic devices in the Czech Light® family, promise great opportunities in developing and implementation of new applications, such as time transmission with sub-nanosecond accuracy or transmission of very stable frequencies. Another advantage of the Czech Light® photonic devices is lower energy consumption compared to conventional electronic elements such as packet switches or routers. Photonics can offer much more than a purely electronic solution, including but not limited to switching of flows at a capacity of nearly 10 Tbps at a consumption of 100 mW, or transmission of time with a stability of picoseconds over distances of more than a thousand kilometres (see, e.g. http://czechlight.cesnet.cz/documents/publications/transmission-systems/2012/PS_Tridentcom12_2.pdf).

The CLM enables dynamic multicast of input optical signals across the full spectrum of wavelengths used for data transmission. It is particularly convenient for distributing very fast data flows since it works absolutely independently of signal rate or modulation, as well as for transmission of signals requiring accurate timing since its delay is constant and independent of the number of multicasts and the numbers of signals being switched.

The device belongs to the Czech Light® family of advanced photonic devices for transmitting and processing of optical signals, developed by the CESNET association. In addition to the CLM, the following other devices in the Czech Light® family are commercially available:

  • CLA optical amplifiers
  • CLS optical fibre switches
  • advanced elements for wave channel work: CL-ROADM reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers and CL-WSS wave-sensitive switches

The CESNET association applies this set to the implementation of the CEF concept (Customer Empowered Fiber; see https://www.cesnet.cz/cesnet/events/cef2014/?lang=en) and the “fibre-to-user” concept. This technology also makes it possible to share the capacity of optical fibres and enables CESNET to offer other advanced services such as lambda services and photonic services (see more information on these concepts and services). The identification is also protected with the CZECH LIGHT registered trademark.

The CESNET Association was founded by Czech universities and the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in 1996. It is engaged in research and development in information and communication technologies and builds and develops the CESNET national e-infrastructure for research and education. With its research activities and accomplishments, CESNET represents the Czech Republic in international projects, most notably the pan-European GÉANT network building project and grid projects (EGI.eu), and participates actively in their implementation.

Last change: 14.1.2015