New patents are issued by the USPTO on Tuesdays. Both of today's Spotlight Patents concern aspects of blockchains (distributed ledgers, smart contracts) and rights management broadly construed. Assigned to Amazon, the first patent addresses techniques for immutable cryptographically secured ledger-backed databases. Assigned to Blockchain ASICs, the second patent addresses techniques for a cryptographic ASIC with onboard permanent context storage and exchange.
10,614,239, "Immutable cryptographically secured ledger-backed databases," assigned to Amazon.
A database table, such as may be implemented by a non-relational database, is provided to present information and states associated with that information as memorialized in a cryptographically secured ledger. The semantics of the database table elements, as well as the relationships between various objects therein, may be defined and/or enforced by a schema, a database engine, and/or an application layer. For example, the disclosed methods and systems may be used to implement an asset tracking tool that does not require trust of the implementing system for verification of the system's contents.
10,607,030, "Cryptographic ASIC with onboard permanent context storage and exchange," assigned to Blockchain ASICs LLC.
A cryptographic application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and method for autonomously storing context data into a one-time programmable memory in isolation are presented. The stored data describes product environmental history following manufacture, which may assist in assessing of a request for a refund or replacement of a defective product, such as an ASIC. The data may be cryptographically protected for retrieval and validation only by a manufacturer or authorized vendor. In another embodiment, communications between individual integrated circuits in a product may be secured by storing encryption keys as the context data, and exchanging the context data. The context data may be stored during manufacture, or thereafter. Such integrated circuits may be secured against replay attacks that capitalize on loss of context data that occurs when volatile memory is reset through power cycling, and enable inter-chip communications to be managed as are communications between unknown parties in an untrusted network.