DigitalContainers Receives "Tracking Electronic Content" Patent

(June 28, 2004) –DigitalContainers has received approval from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a second patent, Tracking Electronic Content, U.S. Patent No. 6,751,670**.
DigitalContainers’ Tracking Electronic Content patent describes a system whereby a secure digital content file persistently reports the identification of, and provides information about, any new user that attempts to access the content. With the granting of the Tracking Electronic Content patent, DigitalContainers has obtained what amounts to the “Superdistribution” patent for the Internet and distributed networks.

The central concept of this patent is that access to electronic content can be tracked as the content is passed from user to user, whether they send the content over the Internet, peer-to-peer networks, e-mail or using physical media. The tracking function is accomplished by transmitting notification information back to an Internet address that is pre-determined by the original sender of the content as each successive user attempts to access the electronic content. The notification information can include any of the following:

  • The user's name and email address
  • Payment information
  • Demographic data collected from user interactively
  • System or network identification information derived from user's computer

Once the notification information has been successfully received, access to the content is then selectively granted based on previously defined criteria.

The system described in Tracking Electronic Content ties into the token authorization / payment processing concept specified in the company’s previously granted patent, Regulating Access to Digital Content (U.S. Patent No. 6,389,541). Regulating Access to Digital Content describes a process whereby access to digital content, such as text, video, and music, is based on the completion of an authorization process before access to the protected content is granted. When the two patented systems are used together, they provide a secure, lightweight architecture for superdistribution of all types of digital content.
** Please note the patent is incorrectly named “Tracking Electronic Component” on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office web site.