Tuesdays the PTO issues new patents. Both of these week's Spotlight Patents concern aspects of digital rights management. Assigned to Apple, the first patent addresses techniques for digital rights management for computer program code. Assigned to Microsoft, the second patent addresses techniques for secure time source operations for digital rights management.
8,650,127, "Digital rights management for computer program code," assigned to Apple.
A digital rights management ("DRM") system is described that seeks to restrict the use and execution of certain computer program code to those hardware systems or platforms authorized by the provider of the protected software. To this end, certain computer programs (or portions thereof) are provided to authorized users in an encrypted format. When a "protected" program is to be executed, it is retrieved and stored in its encrypted format in operating system memory where it is accessible to operating system level routines (e.g., a file read operation). It is also decrypted and placed in another memory such that only the process executing the protected program has ready access to it.
8,646,096, "Secure time source operations for digital rights management," assigned to Microsoft.
Various embodiments utilize hardware-enforced boundaries to provide various aspects of digital rights management or DRM in an open computing environment. Against the backdrop of these hardware-enforced boundaries, DRM provisioning techniques are employed to provision such things as keys and DRM software code in a secure and robust way. Further, at least some embodiments utilize secure time provisioning techniques to provision time to the computing environment, as well as techniques that provide for robustly secure storage.