An Extra Layer of Defense - ICAP Ocean Tomo Announces Auction of Technology That Deploys A Defense Shield for Complex Event-Driven State Machines – From Metasphere

Chicago – (March 23, 2011): Developed by Metasphere, Inc. and represented by ICAP Ocean Tomo, this patent portfolio discloses technology that deploys a defense shield for complex event-driven state machines. This portfolio will be available at ICAP Ocean Tomo’s Spring 2011 Live IP Auction March 31st in New York City. 



Advanced state machine formalisms have emerged at the heart of IT to automate business processes and orchestrate workflows (e.g., BizTalk, BPEL, BPMN). However, the rise in expressive power has come at a price. As multiple state-machine based entities or humans interact with each other asynchronously using messages/events, it becomes increasingly difficult to anticipate all possible failure scenarios that can cause operations to falter or cease altogether. The same can be said of internal conflicts that arise across parallel components of a large machine. Counter-measures within a state machine swing into action arguably too late to be effective. Moreover, such measures can greatly complicate and even compromise a design. As might be expected, such complications tend to arise late in a development cycle, leading to costly delays.


Key Characteristics & Benefits

This patent lot discloses the following:

  • Technology that interposes an external layer -- a state-and rule-directed defense shield -- between a running state machine and external sources of stimulus.
  • This layer is configured using declarative state-and-event-specific disposition rules defined by the designer.
  • These rules, together with default disposition rules and additional acceptance rules -- govern the first level response to all inbound events.

·         Events that are expected are typically dispatched to the state machine in proper sequence. All other events are subject to disposition (e.g., defer, discard, re-direct, rewrite, error response) as per applicable rules. Absent an applicable rule, a default disposition is invoked.

  • Disposition rules are encoded in a simple data structure called the disposition matrix.
  • Conflict resolution between a plurality of candidate dispositions of a given event is reduced to a simple algorithm.
  • The technology relies on simple data structures that can be retrofitted into existing designs to improve robustness and is compatible with existing state machine formalisms, resulting in simplified state machine designs that are more agile and robust.
  • The disclosed techniques are useful for developing computer applications related to commercial and enterprise software and have applicability (e.g., UML, State Charts) in additional areas such as game development, embedded systems, and communications equipment and protocols.
  • In summary, this patent portfolio should provide many significant benefits – including automatic event closure (no event unexpected), support for automated event deferral /resubmission, support for synchronized event reception across multiple states, and support for flexible (granular) override of default disposition.


Market Potential

This lot should be of interest to information technology (IT) solution providers, entities developing operating systems and software products and applications, as well as companies manufacturing computer systems (including tablet PCs, laptops, and iPads) and semiconductor devices (e.g., microprocessors and memories).

  • The global markets for enterprise software and tablet PCs are expected to reach $297 billion and $46 billion by 2014.[1][2]
  • The worldwide semiconductor market is estimated to be $314 billion in 2011.[3]


To learn more about the assets available for sale in this portfolio:

Contact Dean Becker of ICAP Ocean Tomo at [email protected]


About ICAP Ocean Tomo LLC

ICAP Ocean Tomo is the intellectual property brokerage division of ICAP and the world’s premier patent auction firm.


About ICAP

ICAP is the world’s premier interdealer broker and provider of post trade services. The Group matches buyers and sellers in the wholesale markets in interest rates, credit, commodities, foreign exchange, emerging markets, equities and equity derivatives through voice and electronic networks. ICAP plc was added to the FTSE 100 Index on 30 June 2006. For more information go to




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