New pending patent applications are published by the USPTO on Thursdays. Both of this week's Spotlight Applications concern aspects of conditional access systems often deployed in cable television systems. Assigned to Apple, the first application discloses techniques for provision of a lease for streaming content. Assigned to Time Warner Cable, the second application discloses techniques for content protection mechanisms across a network using a download delivery paradigm.
20160359816, "Provision of a lease for streaming content," assigned to Apple.
This application relates to embodiments for providing a content stream to a device from a content server based on a protocol that is established between the device and an account server. The account server can initiate a session with the device and provide the device with a list of channels available for a user account associated with the device. When a channel is selected at the device, conditional access information can be provided from the account server to the device, which can thereafter relay the conditional access information to the content server. The content server can use the conditional access information to verify that the device has the appropriate permission to receive streaming content. In this way, because the conditional access information originates at the account server, permission to access streaming content can be managed by correspondence between the account server and the device, rather than the content server.
20160301677, "Downloadable security and protection methods and apparatus," assigned to Time Warner Cable.
Methods and apparatus for control of data and content protection mechanisms across a network using a download delivery paradigm. In one embodiment, conditional access (CA), digital rights management (DRM), and trusted domain (TD) security policies are delivered, configured and enforced with respect to consumer premises equipment (CPE) within a cable television network. A trusted domain is established within the user's premises within which content access, distribution, and reproduction can be controlled remotely by the network operator. The content may be distributed to secure or non-secure "output" domains consistent with the security policies enforced by secure CA, DRM, and TD clients running within the trusted domain. Legacy and retail CPE models are also supported. A network security architecture comprising an authentication proxy (AP), provisioning system (MPS), and conditional access system (CAS) is also disclosed, which can interface with a trusted authority (TA) for cryptographic element management and CPE/user device authentication.