On Tuesdays the USPTO publishes newly issued patents. Both of today's Spotlight Patents address various aspects of Digital Rights Management. Assigned to Intertrust, the first patent is divisional (same specification, different claims or statements of the inventions) of the clearinghouse specification that concerns, generally speaking, back end services in support of various DRM-enabled business models. Assigned to Sony, the second patent concerns techniques for enabling usage of content at a receiver which does not have a copying function even if copyright protection is provided.
An integrated, modular array of administrative and support services are provided for electronic commerce and electronic rights and transaction management. These administrative and support services supply a secure foundation for conducting transaction-related capabilities functioning over electronic network-s, and can also be adapted to the specific needs of electronic commerce value chains. In one embodiment, a Distributed Commerce Utility having a secure, programmable, distributed architecture provides administrative and support services. The Distributed Commerce Utility may comprise a number of Commerce Utility Systems. These Commerce Utility Systems provide a web of infrastructure support available to, and reusable by, the entire electronic community and/or many of its participants. Different support functions can be collected together in hierarchical and/or networked relationships to suit various business models or other objectives. Modular support functions can combined in different arrays to form different Commerce Utility Systems for different design implementations and purposes.
7,418,735, "Transmitter, signal transmitting method, and data distributing system for transferring a content signal or processing copyright protection on a content signal," assigned to Sony (JP).
To enable usage of content at a receiver which does not have a copying function even if copyright protection is provided. Model names of receivers not having a copying funtion are held in an authentication processing circuit of a transmitter. When a model name obtained from a connected receiver is held, regardless of whether the content is copyright protected, a signal selection circuit selects a terminal a side, a switch is turned on, and an unencrypted signal is transmitted. When a change of the receiver is detected by a hot plug detection or plug and play function at a processing circuit during the signal transfer of copyright protected content without providing copyright protection, the selection circuit selects a terminal b side or the switch is turned off to suspend the transfer of the non-copyright protected signal. The information indicating the receiver is held in a tamper-proof updateable manner.