On Tuesdays the USPTO issues new patents. Both of today's Spotlight Patents address aspects of digital rights management. Assigned to Sprint, the first patent concerns techniques for controlling playout of media. Assigned to Nokia, the second patent concerns techniques for distributing service information and digital rights for broadcast data.
8,121,295, "Method, apparatus, and system for controlling playout of media," assigned to Sprint.
To manage playout of digital media by a media player, a wireless communication device (WCD) will include partitioned data storage including discrete partitions having distributor-modules corresponding with various media distributors, and including a digital rights management (DRM) controller. When the media player seeks to play media, it will request a DRM key from the WCD. The DRM controller may then identify the appropriate distributor-module and request the key from the distributor-module. If the distributor-module possesses the key, it will return it for transmission to the media player. Otherwise, the distributor-module may engage in secure communication with a provisioning system to obtain the DRM key and may then return the key. Upon receipt of the key, the media player may then play the media.
8,121,291, "Apparatus, system, method and computer program product for distributing service information and digital rights for broadcast data," assigned to Nokia (FI)
An apparatus, system method and computer program product configured to transmit data over a broadcast network. The data is encrypted and decoded using a decryption key available to terminals in combination with a digital rights object. A media guide is broadcast to the terminals. Information from the media guide is also stored by a request handling means in order to ensure that information, such as pricing information, broadcast to the terminals is synchronized with information used to register a terminal as a subscriber. A request is sent from a terminal to the broadcast network through a second network. Authentication information identifying the terminal may be included in the request without manual input from a user of the terminal. Authentication information is extracted from a component or added to the message by a component of the second network. The digital rights object is then sent to the terminal via the second network.