Patent Number: 6,169,976

Title: Method and apparatus for regulating the use of licensed products

Abstract: In one aspect, a method for activating, installing, and regulating use of a licensed product is disclosed. A customer licenses or buys a licensed product from a distributor. The distributor registers information describing the customer, the licensed product, and other information about the transaction at a database maintained by the licensor, manufacturer, or developer of the licensed product. The licensor communicates information describing the transaction to the customer, and the distributor ships media containing the licensed product to the customer. The customer connects to the database through a server and requests the licensed product to be activated, providing the information that describes the transaction in its request. In response, the server of the licensor generates encrypted key information that uniquely identifies the customer, the licensed product, and a license level or other information about the maximum permitted extent of use of the licensed product. The customer installs the licensed product and provides the key information during the installation process. The licensed product is then executed and the appropriate license level is enforced based on the key information.

Inventors: Colosso; Juan Carlos (Santa Clara, CA)

Assignee: enCommerce, Inc.

International Classification: G06F 21/00 (20060101); G05F 017/60 ()

Expiration Date: 01/02/2018