This morning I was browsing through some patents. The first one I looked at is Patent No. 8,185,967 issued to Digimarc and titled a Method and apparatus for content management. The patent claims priority to a series of continuations that lead back to a provisional application filed in 1999. And, the gist of the invention appears to be a technological method for enforcing a licensing agreement that limits the number of times a video is accessed by users.
The patent's claim 1 includes two basic steps: (1) maintaining a list of identifiers associated with previously accessed A/V items; and (2) restricting access to those A/V items. The claim includes a limitation that the steps occur using “electronic memory” and a “programmed electronic processor” that are part of a “portable device.”
Claim 1 reads as follows:
1. A method comprising:
utilizing electronic memory housed in a portable device, maintaining a listing of up to N identifiers associated with previously accessed audio or video items, where N is an integer, and where each previously accessed audio or video item has an identifier associated therewith;
utilizing a programmed electronic processor housed in the portable device, i) restricting access to an encountered audio or video item if an identifier associated with the encountered audio or video item is one of the N identifiers associated with the previously accessed audio or video items, or ii) limiting a number of content items each with a different user identifier associated therewith that can be accessed in a certain amount of time.