New patents are issued by the USPTO on Tuesdays. Both of today's Spotlight Patents concern aspects of digital rights management. Assigned to Intertrust, the first of today's patents addresses techniques for protecting electronic content from the time it is packaged through the time it is experienced by an end user. Assigned to Konica Minolta Laboratories, the second patent addresses techniques for rights management integrated with email transmission of documents.
9,098,682, "Data protection systems and methods," assigned to Intertrust Technologies.
Systems and methods are provided for protecting electronic content from the time it is packaged through the time it is experienced by an end user. Protection against content misuse is accomplished using a combination of encryption, watermark screening, detection of invalid content processing software and hardware, and/or detection of invalid content flows. Encryption protects the secrecy of content while it is being transferred or stored. Watermark screening protects against the unauthorized use of content. Watermark screening is provided by invoking a filter module to examine content for the presence of a watermark before the content is delivered to output hardware or software. The filter module is operable to prevent delivery of the content to the output hardware or software if it detects a predefined protection mark. Invalid content processing software is detected by a monitoring mechanism that validates the software involved in processing protected electronic content. Invalid content flows can be detected by scanning the information passed across system interfaces for the attempted transfer of bit patterns that were released from an application and/or a piece of content management software.
9,106,621, "Rights management system and method integrated with email transmission of documents," assigned to Konica Minolta Laboratories.
A rights management system and method allow users to easily associate rights management policies with documents send via email from a client (e.g. a computer or scanner). The client transmits email recipient information, including the attention type ("to," "cc" or "bcc") for each recipient, to a rights management server. The server stores multiple rights management policies each specifying access rights (e.g. view, edit, print) granted to specified users, and stores an attention-right rule defining a correspondence between access rights and attention types. Based on the recipient information from the client, and applying the attention-rights rule, the server selects an appropriate policy or creates a new one if an appropriate policy does not exist, and transmits the policy, a document ID and an encryption key to the client. The client encrypts the document, adds metadata to the document, and sends the email with the attached document to a mail server.