On Tuesdays the USPTO issues new patents. Both of today's Spotlight Patents address aspects of digital rights management. Assigned to Adobe, the first patent concerns techniques for the dynamic enabling of functionality in electronic document readers. Assigned to IBM, the second patent concerns universal DRM support for devices.
8,151,114, "Dynamic enabling of functionality in electronic document readers," assigned to Adobe.
Methods and apparatus, including computer program products, implementing and using techniques for digital rights management. In one aspect, a method is provided. The method includes receiving an electronic document, where the electronic document includes one or more content items, a set of usage rights defining one or more features to be enabled when the document is read by an electronic document reader, and a stored representation. The method further includes generating a representation of invariant content items of the electronic document, comparing the generated representation with the stored representation, and enabling features corresponding to the set of usage rights in the electronic document only if the generated representation and the stored representation are identical, where the features are features performed by the electronic document reader on the electronic document.
8,156,049, "Universal DRM support for devices," assigned to IBM.
Embodiments of the present invention allow a system or client device to process multiple Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems and formats using a universal DRM client. The universal DRM client can operate based on a universal license so that it may use the same DRM scheme or format used by the content provider. A DRM system may then build a universal license that includes information for gaining access to the content in the DRM package. In turn, a DRM package and the universal license may be provided to the universal client. Based on the information in the universal license, the client device can access the protected content even if it does not have the specific client program code for the DRM format used originally by the content provider.