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Systems and methods for secure transaction management and electronic rights protection

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Title: Systems and methods for secure transaction management and electronic rights protection.
Abstract: The present invention provides systems and methods for secure transaction management and electronic rights protection. Electronic appliances such as computers equipped in accordance with the present invention help to ensure that information is accessed and used only in authorized ways, and maintain the integrity, availability, and/or confidentiality of the information. Such electronic appliances provide a distributed virtual distribution environment (VDE) that may enforce a secure chain of handling and control, for example, to control and/or meter or otherwise monitor use of electronically stored or disseminated information. Such a virtual distribution environment may be used to protect rights of various participants in electronic commerce and other electronic or electronic-facilitated transactions. Distributed and other operating systems, environments and architectures, such as, for example, those using tamper-resistant hardware-based processors, may establish security at each node. These techniques may be used to support an all-electronic information distribution, for example, utilizing the “electronic highway.” ...


Browse recent Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP patents - Washington, DC, US
Inventors: Karl L. Ginter, Victor H. Shear, Francis J. Spahn, David M. Van Wie
USPTO Applicaton #: #20110022520 - Class: 705 51 (USPTO) - 01/27/11 - Class 705 
Data Processing: Financial, Business Practice, Management, Or Cost/price Determination > Business Processing Using Cryptography >Usage Protection Of Distributed Data Files

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20110022520, Systems and methods for secure transaction management and electronic rights protection.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a divisional application of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/438,953, filed May 22, 2006, which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/157,061, filed May 30, 2002 (now U.S. Pat. No. 7,051,212), which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/389,967, filed Sep. 3, 1999 (now U.S. Pat. No. 6,427,140), which is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 08/778,256, filed Jan. 8, 1997 (now U.S. Pat. No. 5,949,876), which is a divisional of U.S. application Ser. No. 08/388,107, filed Feb. 13, 1995 (abandoned), all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

FIELD(S) OF THE INVENTION(S)

This invention generally relates to computer and/or electronic security.

More particularly, this invention relates to systems and techniques for secure transaction management. This invention also relates to computer-based and other electronic appliance-based technologies that help to ensure that information is accessed and/or otherwise used only in authorized ways, and maintains the integrity, availability, and/or confidentiality of such information and processes related to such use.

The invention also relates to systems and methods for protecting rights of various participants in electronic commerce and other electronic or electronically-facilitated transactions.

The invention also relates to secure chains of handling and control for both information content and information employed to regulate the use of such content and consequences of such use. It also relates to systems and techniques that manage, including meter and/or limit and/or otherwise monitor use of electronically stored and/or disseminated information. The invention particularly relates to transactions, conduct and arrangements that make use of, including consequences of use of, such systems and/or techniques.

The invention also relates to distributed and other operating systems, environments and architectures. It also generally relates to secure architectures, including, for example, tamper-resistant hardware-based processors, that can be used to establish security at each node of a distributed system.

BACKGROUND AND

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION(S)

Telecommunications, financial transactions, government processes, business operations, entertainment, and personal business productivity all now depend on electronic appliances. Millions of these electronic appliances have been electronically connected together. These interconnected electronic appliances comprise what is increasingly called the “information highway.” Many businesses, academicians, and government leaders are concerned about how to protect the rights of citizens and organizations who use this information (also “electronic” or “digital”) highway.

Electronic Content

Today, virtually anything that can be represented by words, numbers, graphics, or system of commands and instructions can be formatted into electronic digital information. Television, cable, satellite transmissions, and on-line services transmitted over telephone lines, compete to distribute digital information and entertainment to homes and businesses. The owners and marketers of this content include software developers, motion picture and recording companies, publishers of books, magazines, and newspapers, and information database providers. The popularization of on-line services has also enabled the individual personal computer user to participate as a content provider. It is estimated that the worldwide market for electronic information in 1992 was approximately $40 billion and is expected to grow to $200 billion by 1997, according to Microsoft Corporation. The present invention can materially enhance the revenue of content providers, lower the distribution costs and the costs for content, better support advertising and usage information gathering, and better satisfy the needs of electronic information users. These improvements can lead to a significant increase in the amount and variety of electronic information and the methods by which such information is distributed.

The inability of conventional products to be shaped to the needs of electronic information providers and users is sharply in contrast to the present invention. Despite the attention devoted by a cross-section of America\'s largest telecommunications, computer, entertainment and information provider companies to some of the problems addressed by the present invention, only the present invention provides commercially secure, effective solutions for configurable, general purpose electronic commerce transaction/distribution control systems.

Controlling Electronic Content

The present invention provides a new kind of “virtual distribution environment” (called “VDE” in this document) that secures, administers, and audits electronic information use. VDE also features fundamentally important capabilities for managing content that travels “across” the “information highway.” These capabilities comprise a rights protection solution that serves all electronic community members. These members include content creators and distributors, financial service providers, end-users, and others. VDE is the first general purpose, configurable, transaction control/rights protection solution for users of computers, other electronic appliances, networks, and the information highway.

A fundamental problem for electronic content providers is extending their ability to control the use of proprietary information. Content providers often need to limit use to authorized activities and amounts. Participants in a business model involving, for example, provision of movies and advertising on optical discs may include actors, directors, script and other writers, musicians, studios, publishers, distributors, retailers, advertisers, credit card services, and content end-users. These participants need the ability to embody their range of agreements and requirements, including use limitations, into an “extended” agreement comprising an overall electronic business model. This extended agreement is represented by electronic content control information that can automatically enforce agreed upon rights and obligations. Under VDE, such an extended agreement may comprise an electronic contract involving all business model participants. Such an agreement may alternatively, or in addition, be made up of electronic agreements between subsets of the business model participants. Through the use of VDE, electronic commerce can function in the same way as traditional commerce—that is commercial relationships regarding products and services can be shaped through the negotiation of one or more agreements between a variety of parties.

Commercial content providers are concerned with ensuring proper compensation for the use of their electronic information. Electronic digital information, for example a CD recording, can today be copied relatively easily and inexpensively. Similarly, unauthorized copying and use of software programs deprives rightful owners of billions of dollars in annual revenue according to the International Intellectual Property Alliance. Content providers and distributors have devised a number of limited function rights protection mechanisms to protect their rights. Authorization passwords and protocols, license servers, “lock/unlock” distribution methods, and non-electronic contractual limitations imposed on users of shrink-wrapped software are a few of the more prevalent content protection schemes. In a commercial context, these efforts are inefficient and limited solutions.

Providers of “electronic currency” have also created protections for their type of content. These systems are not sufficiently adaptable, efficient, nor flexible enough to support the generalized use of electronic currency. Furthermore, they do not provide sophisticated auditing and control configuration capabilities. This means that current electronic currency tools lack the sophistication needed for many real-world financial business models. VDE provides means for anonymous currency and for “conditionally” anonymous currency, wherein currency related activities remain anonymous except under special circumstances.

VDE Control Capabilities

VDE allows the owners and distributors of electronic digital information to reliably bill for, and securely control, audit, and budget the use of, electronic information. It can reliably detect and monitor the use of commercial information products. VDE uses a wide variety of different electronic information delivery means: including, for example, digital networks, digital broadcast, and physical storage media such as optical and magnetic disks. VDE can be used by major network providers, hardware manufacturers, owners of electronic information, providers of such information, and clearinghouses that gather usage information regarding, and bill for the use of, electronic information.

VDE provides comprehensive and configurable transaction management, metering and monitoring technology. It can change how electronic information products are protected, marketed, packaged, and distributed. When used, VDE should result in higher revenues for information providers and greater user satisfaction and value. Use of VDE will normally result in lower usage costs, decreased transaction costs, more efficient access to electronic information, re-usability of rights protection and other transaction management implementations, greatly improved flexibility in the use of secured information, and greater standardization of tools and processes for electronic transaction management. VDE can be used to create an adaptable environment that fulfills the needs of electronic information owners, distributors, and users; financial clearinghouses; and usage information analyzers and resellers.

Rights and Control Information

In general, the present invention can be used to protect the rights of parties who have:

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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20110022520 A1
Publish Date
01/27/2011
Document #
12895423
File Date
09/30/2010
USPTO Class
705 51
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F21/00
Drawings
147


Electronic Commerce


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