(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,766,305 Bi
Fucarile et al. (45) Date of Patent: Jul. 20,2004
(54) LICENSING SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR FREELY DISTRIBUTED INFORMATION
(75) Inventors: Lori J. Fucarile, Melrose, MA (US);
Susan B. Hoover, Barrington, IL (US);
Murray S. Mazer, Arlington, MA
(US); Mary C. Murphy, Bedford, MA
(US); Stephen A. Ward, Watertown,
MA (US); Patrick J. Lopresti,
Cambridge, MA (US)
Curl Corporation, Cambridge, MA
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 09/267,269
(22) Filed: Mar. 12, 1999
(51) Int. CI.7 G06F 17/60
(52) U.S. CI 705/51; 717/120; 705/1
(58) Field of Search 705/51, 52, 59,
705/1, 57; 717/4, 120
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
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The present invention provides a licensing mechanism allowing for different forms of license for use in an environment of interconnected servers providing content. The invention comprises both methods and a system for licensing individual content based upon the nature of the use, thus facilitating the distribution of content without a license for non-commercial purposes and content with a license for commercial purposes. The system utilizes a special form placed within the content, the form containing either a legal assertion of the non-commercial nature of the use, or an identification of the licensee and other related data. If the form includes an identification of the licensee, a license server may be contacted to validate the license. The invention also includes a licensing tool or server to generate the appropriate form for insertion within the content.
24 Claims, 12 Drawing Sheets