Cryptography (ancient Greek: krypto for “hidden, secret” and grafie for “write, script”) is a branch of cryptology and deals with the encryption of information. In addition to cryptography, cryptology also includes cryptanalysis, which deals with decrypting encrypted messages. Cryptanalysis is the more demanding field.
Already 3000 years ago cryptography was used in ancient Egypt. These rather simple encryption methods were refined over time and their complexity grew with the available means – paper and pencil, mechanical calculating machines and cipher machines like the Enigma up to today’s modern computers and supercomputers. In the past, cryptography was mainly used by the military and secret services, but today – as almost everyone has a computer or smartphone – it has become a necessity in daily life and is used, e.g. to encrypt an e-mail or to set up a secure SSL/TLS- connection over the Internet. Cryptography also plays an outstanding role in the entire field of data and computer security, including cyber security.
Developments in the field of cryptography also pose a challenge in patent law. Such inventions must be assessed and formulated according to the special standards for computer-implemented inventions. Inventions in this field have already been awarded the European Inventor Prize. Several of our patent attorneys have broad experience and expert knowledge in this field, in particular due to many years of service for the corresponding research groups of the IBM Research Laboratory in Rueschlikon, and are therefore able to perform this challenging task with in a highly professional way.