New patents are issued by the USPTO on Tuesdays. Both of this week's Spotlight Patents concern aspects of conditional access systems used in cable and satellite media distribution systems. Assigned to Cox Communications, the first patent addresses techniques for emulating cable services delivery. Assigned to Time Warner Cable, the second patent concerns techniques for control of data and content protection mechanisms across a network using a download delivery paradigm.
9,929,870, "Conditional access network handler emulator," assigned to Cox Communications.
Methods and systems for emulating cable services delivery are disclosed. One system includes a conditional access network handler emulator comprising a conditional access network handler simulator addressable by one or more applications within an emulation environment. The conditional access network handler emulator also includes a library of conditional access configuration data accessible to a conditional access network handler simulator, the configuration data unassociated with a physical cable card.
9,923,883, "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.