New patents are published by the USPTO on Tuesdays. This week's Spotlight Patents continue the theme of blockchains (distributed ledgers, smart contracts) and rights management broadly construed. Assigned to Farmobile, the first patent addresses techniques for distributed transaction-based security and tracking of agricultural machine and agronomic data. Assigned to General Electric, the second patent addresses techniques for blockchain verification of network security service.
10,491,608, "Distributed transaction-based security and tracking of agricultural machine and agronomic data," assigned to Farmobile LLC,
Embodiments provide for distributed transaction-based provenance tracking of agricultural data, secured access to authorized user accounts, auditability of the data, and transactional oversight of the data when exchanged between user accounts. A distributed ledger network including a primary node and a plurality of secondary nodes can store transactions generated based on various operations on or associated with agricultural data, including the certification of select portions of agricultural data collected by a data collection device, commands received from client devices associated with user accounts purchasing or licensing the agricultural data, and detected attempts to access the agricultural data, among other things. The primary node provides a variety of security features that can ensure that the agricultural data is protected, remains auditable by tracking the provenance of the agricultural data, and cannot be subjected to unauthorized sale, each feature having ironclad reliability based on immutable transactions stored on a distributed ledger.
10,489,597, "Blockchain verification of network security service," assigned to General Electric.
According to some embodiments, a system may include a communication port to exchange information with a client device associated with an industrial control system. A network security server coupled to the communication port may include a computer processor adapted to provide a network security service for the client device. The computer processor may further be adapted to record security information about the client device via a blockchain verification process (e.g., by registering a validation result within a distributed ledger). The network security service might comprise, for example, an integrity attestation service providing software verification for the client device.