The US Patent Office issues new patents on Tuesdays. Issued patents and published applications may be early indicators of the kinds of issues being addressed by inventors and/or the companies for whom they work. Assigned to ContentGuard, the first patent addresses the assignment of consequential rights. Assigned to Hewlett Packard, the second patent addresses chain of custody. Gil Grissom take note ;)
6,963,858, "Method and apparatus for assigning consequential rights to documents and documents having such rights," assigned to ContentGuard Holdings.
A rights management system including one or more consequential rights associated with digital content, and specifying a manner of use of the digital content, a right management module that enforces the rights permitting use of the digital content in accordance with the rights upon occurrence of a consequential event. The consequential event is based on another usage right. In one embodiment, the consequential event is the exercise, expiration, or possession of another usage right.
6,963,973, "Chain of custody system and method," assigned to Hewlett Packard.
An unimpeachable chain of custody system and method includes a confirmation authentication system that facilitates receiving and storing a communication signal that is indicative of an evidentiary item captured at a determined location and at a determined time. The confirmation authentication system and method further facilitates generating and transmitting a chain of custody confirmation signal to a transportable input system that the communication signal has been authenticated and stored for subsequent retrieval. The transportable input system includes a positioning device and a communication device that cooperate to facilitates generating and transmitting the communication signal in response to receiving the chain of custody confirmation signal. The transportable input system further facilitates generating an authentication signal that the communication signal was generated by the input system at about the determined location and at about the determined time so that the integrity of the received evidentiary item cannot be impeached.