The assignee for this patent application is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "There are various techniques available to control the use of text, graphics, computer aided designs and other electronic documents. In many circumstances, it is desirable to ensure that a given document can only be used by one or more specific persons. Additional limitations on use are also often desirable. For example, a particular person's use of a document may be limited with respect to time of use such that that person can only use the document until a specified date. As another example, a person's use of a document may be limited with respect to type of use such that the person can view the document but cannot edit, copy, or print the document.
"Documents are commonly encrypted to ensure that unauthorized persons cannot access the contents of the document. Distribution of the encryption keys that allow use of such encrypted documents can be controlled in various ways. Such encryption keys can, for example, be maintained at a separate network location and accessed by remote client devices when an authorized person attempts to use a document. The client device can send the person's credentials to a remote server, receive an encryption key from the remote server, and use that key to access the document. The person using the client device may be unaware of this process and may not have access to the provided encryption key. For example, the person may simply enter a username and password and the client device application may use that information to access the server, obtain the key, and open the document for the person to use. The remote server may have also provided particular policy information that defines how that person may use the document. The client device may receive this policy information and enforce the policy details, for example, by preventing the person from editing the document.
"Existing servers that maintain document encryption key and policy detail information for documents require the storage and use of information about each individual document. For example, a database is used to store one or more records for each document that identifies whether a particular person has access to the document and defines the particular uses for which the person has permissions. One deficiency of such systems is that they can require a large amount of storage and communication. The storage and communication requirements can require significant resources particularly in circumstances in which the number of documents and persons is very large. As a particular example, if a service provider sends out monthly statements to hundreds of millions of customers where each such document requires a record in a database, the volume of storage and communication can be particularly burdensome."
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "One exemplary embodiment involves receiving a request for a document key for accessing a document on a client device. The request comprises a user identity identifying a requester requesting access to the document. The request also comprises information about the document. The exemplary embodiment further involves determining, at a server, whether access to the document by the requester is permitted. And, the exemplary embodiment further involves, if access to the document is permitted computing, at the server, the document key using the user identity and using the information about the document. The document key is document specific and, prior to the computing of the document key, the document key is not stored for access by the server. The exemplary embodiment further involves responding to the request by providing the document key for use in accessing the document on the client device.
"These illustrative features are mentioned not to limit or define the disclosure, but to provide examples to aid understanding thereof. Additional embodiments are discussed in the Detailed Description, and further description is provided there. Advantages offered by one or more of the various embodiments may be further understood by examining this specification or by practicing one or more embodiments presented.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
"These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present disclosure are better understood when the following Detailed Description is read with reference to the accompanying drawings, where:
"FIG. 1 is a block diagram depicting exemplary computing devices in an exemplary computing environment for implementing certain embodiments; and
"FIG. 2 is a flow chart illustrating an exemplary method of a flow of communications between electronic devices in the circumstance of a client device securing a document;
"FIG. 3 is a flow chart illustrating an exemplary method of controlling access to a document; and
"FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating an exemplary method of determining whether access to a document by the requester is permitted."
For more information, see this patent application: Herbach, Jonathan; Kumar, Dharmendra. Systems and Methods for Controlling Electronic Document Use. Filed
Keywords for this news article include: Information Technology,
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