Thursdays the USPTO publishes new patent applications. Both of today's Spotlight applications address various aspects of DRM. Both are assigned to NBC Universal. The first application discloses techniques for DRM copy sharing system. The second discloses a DRM flexible continued usage system.
20080148363, "Digital rights management copy sharing system and method," assigned to NBC Universal.
A digital rights management (DRM) system allows a user to purchase, license or otherwise obtain digital content and to play the content on a first device. An application operative on the device implements DRM rules that allow the user to share the content with other devices so long as a total number of simultaneously accessible copies is below a preset limit. The application updates a local registry of content and devices enabled to play the content. The local registry is synchronized with a registry at the content provider when the device is on-line.
20080147556, "Digital rights management flexible continued usage system and method," assigned to NBC Universal.
A digital rights management (DRM) scheme enables a user having a valid license to digital content to create one or more copies of the content. The number of copies is limited by the DRM scheme. However, if the user is not connected or connectable to the content provider or licensing party when additional copies are desired, the user is permitted to create one or more additional copies without deleting or disabling other copies even though the additional copies exceed the number otherwise permitted by the DRM scheme. The number of such "float" copies may be limited. Rights to such additional copies may be withdrawn during a subsequent connection session between the user and the content provider.