p2pnet.net News:- ContentGuard, which describes itself as a “leading holder of Digital Rights Management (DRM) intellectual property,” says it’s added five new DRM patents to its “broad” patent portfolio.
Time Warner and Microsoft recently teamed up to buy most of Xerox Corp’s ContentGuard.
“The U.S. patent 6,824,051 describes a rights management system for managing the use of items by authorized users who are part of an access list,” says a ContentGuard statement.
“The three patents issued by the European Patent Office, EP 1 335 260 B1, EP 1 335 261 B1, and EP 1 335 262 B1, cover the control of access to content with more than one part. Tailored usage rights may be created for different parts of the content and a user is permitted to access the respective parts of the content only in accordance with those usage rights.
“Patent 3610350 issued by the Japanese Patent Office concerns managing digital content within a transportable storage device in accordance with assigned usage rights.”
Under Microsoft’s and Time Warner’s joint ownership, “ContentGuard may have both the incentives and the ability to use its IPR portfolio to put Microsoft’s rivals in the DRM solutions market at a competitive disadvantage,” says the European Commission.
So, “instead of rubber-stamping the deal, the EU opened an in-depth probe,” says Internetnews.com. “The investigation had a December 22 deadline.”
The European Commission launched an investigation into M & TW’s control of ContentGuard Holdings Inc, and in November, Thomson bought a 33% voting stake in the company.
“Thomson, a Parisian company whose brands include RCA, Technicolor and Grass Valley, said it could make the deal more palatable to the EU,” says Internetnews.com.
Its story also points out that that at the beginning of December, “European Union antitrust regulators called a timeout of their antitrust investigation”.
Dutch ban – CONTENTGUARD AWARDED FIVE NEW DIGITAL RIGHTS MANAGEMENT PATENTS, ContentGuard, December 20, 2004
competitive disadvantage - MS ContentGuard deal, p2pnet, November 10, 2004
rubber-stamping - EU Holds on ContentGuard Deal, Internetnews.com, December 2, 2004