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 Microsoft, the first patent addresses hierarchical trusted code for content protection in computers. Assigned to ContentGuard, the second patent addresses ways of managing and assigning consequential rights to documents.
6,976,175, "Hierarchical trusted code for content protection in computers, " assigned to Microsoft.
An architecture for protecting premium content in a nonsecure computer environment executes only a small number of code modules in a secure memory. The modules are arranged in a hierarchy of trust, where a module names other modules that it is willing to trust, and those modules in turn name other modules that they are willing to trust. A secure loader loads a security manager that oversees a number of content-providing modules for manipulating the content. A memory manager assigns permissions to various pages of the secure memory. The memory has rings of different security. The security model can be extended to program modules and other devices on the computer's bus, such as DMA controllers and peripherals.
6,976,009, "Method and apparatus for assigning consequential rights to documents and documents having such rights," assigned to ContentGuard Holdings.
Through the use of digital rights management, one or more conditional or consequential rights can be associated with a document. The conditional or consequential rights are activated by one or more trigger events that allow or restrict access to one or more documents by one or more users.