News Column

"Computer Application Security" in Patent Application Approval Process

August 7, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- A patent application by the inventor Conforti, Carl J. (Berkley, MA), filed on January 16, 2014, was made available online on July 24, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application has not been assigned to a company or institution.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Consumer electronic devices are ubiquitous in today's society. The advances in and proliferation of computer technology have resulted in consumers have computing power at their disposal in a variety of forms including desktop computers, laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. In recent years, there has been a significant proliferation of computer applications, or 'apps,' that can be run on the computing devices for all manner of reasons, e.g., gaming, banking, shopping, reserving airline tickets, playing music, watching videos, communicating with others, accessing emails and other personal information, etc. Often, these apps use information and/or perform functions that the owner of the computing device would prefer to be kept private while being easily accessible. For example, shopping applications could be used to make purchases that are charged to the owner's credit card account. To inhibit access to applications, many computing devices provide for password protection, requiring the entry of a password in order to access the computing device or a particular application to be run on the computing device. Such password requirements may take the form of a login screen requiring the password before access to any features of the computing device are provided, or the display of a password screen prompting the entry of a password in response to selection of an application. It is common to use icons to access a program or a security log-in process with selection (input) of an icon causing a change in a screen graphical image (output). The new image prompts the user for a security code (input) to access a new screen graphical image (output) that may be a primary access to the program."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "An example of a method of providing restricted access to computer application information via a computing device includes: displaying a limited-access icon on a display of the computing device, the limited-access icon including a function indicator and code-entry segments that can be selected by a user of the computing device, each of the code-entry segments including a visual indicator; receiving a selection sequence of user selections of selected ones of the code-entry segments; and performing a limited-access function corresponding to the function indicator in response to the selection sequence corresponding to an authorized sequence.

"Implementations of such a method may include one or more of the following features. The code-entry segments are disposed adjacent to and outside a perimeter of the function indicator. At least one of the code-entry segments overlays the function indicator. The function indicator is an indication of the computer application and performing the limited-access function includes starting the computer application. There is more than one authorized selection sequence and more than one limited-access function corresponding to the function indicator, and performing the limited-access function includes performing the limited-access function that corresponds to the selection sequence. The function indicator is a portion of a page of the computer application and performing the limited-access function includes displaying information indicated by the function indicator or initiating an operation, within the computer application, indicated by the function indicator. The method further includes, in response to selecting the function indicator, associating the code-entry segments with the function indicator and displaying the code-entry segments with the function indicator as the limited-access icon. At least one of the visual indicators changes in response to the computing device receiving a selection of at least one of the code-entry segments by the user.

"An example of a computing device includes: display means for displaying a limited-access icon, the limited-access icon including a function indicator and code-entry segments that can be selected by a user of the computing device, each of the code-entry segments including a visual indicator; selection means for receiving a selection sequence of user selections of selected ones of the code-entry segments; and access means for performing a limited-access function corresponding to the function indicator in response to the selection sequence corresponding to an authorized sequence.

"Implementations of such a computing device may include one or more of the following features. The display means are for displaying the code-entry segments outside a perimeter of the function indicator. The display means are for displaying the code-entry segments such that at least one of the code-entry segments overlays the function indicator. The function indicator is an indication of the computer application and the limited-access function includes starting the computer application. There is more than one authorized selection sequence and more than one limited-access function corresponding to the function indicator, and the access means are for performing the limited-access function that corresponds to the selection sequence.

"An example of a computer program product stored on a non-transitory, processor-readable medium includes instructions for causing a processor to: cause a display to display a limited-access icon, the limited-access icon including a function indicator and code-entry segments that can be selected, each of the code-entry segments including a visual indicator; receive a selection sequence of selections of selected ones of the code-entry segments; and perform a limited-access function corresponding to the function indicator in response to the selection sequence corresponding to an authorized sequence.

"Implementations of such a computer program product may include one or more of the following features. The instructions are configured to cause the processor to cause the display to display the code-entry segments adjacent to and outside a perimeter of the function indicator. The instructions are configured to cause the processor to cause the display to display least one of the code-entry segments overlaying the function indicator. The function indicator is an indication of the computer application and the instructions configured to cause the processor to perform the limited-access function are configured to cause the processor to start the computer application. There is more than one authorized selection sequence and more than one limited-access function corresponding to the function indicator, and the instructions configured to cause the processor to perform the limited-access function are configured to cause the processor to perform the limited-access function that corresponds to the selection sequence. The function indicator is a portion of a page of the computer application and the instructions configured to cause the processor to perform the limited-access function are configured to cause the processor to display information indicated by the function indicator or initiate an operation, within the computer application, indicated by the function indicator. The instructions further include instructions configured to cause the processor to, in response to receiving an indication of a selection of the function indicator, associate the code-entry segments with the function indicator and cause the display to display the code-entry segments with the function indicator as the limited-access icon.

"Items and/or techniques described herein may provide one or more of the following capabilities, as well as other capabilities not mentioned. An application access code may be entered without first attempting to launch the application. An application access code may be prompted and entered without displaying a separate access code screen. Cloud computing may benefit from the use of more efficient security access for computing devices and support coding that can be easily accessed through a graphical image icon or application. Reducing or eliminating multiple steps of selecting an icon, entering a password, and producing a response to the password, and corresponding computing required to implement or facilitate the steps, may improve speed and reduce risk of error in accessing secured applications. Access to information within a computer application may be conveniently restricted. Functions within a computer application may have restricted access. Other capabilities may be provided and not every implementation according to the disclosure must provide any, let alone all, of the capabilities discussed. Further, it may be possible for an effect noted above to be achieved by means other than that noted, and a noted item/technique may not necessarily yield the noted effect.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1 is a simplified, partially-block, diagram of a user interacting with computing devices in communication with a server.

"FIG. 2 is a block diagram of one of the computing devices shown in FIG. 1.

"FIG. 3 is a block functional diagram of portions of the computing device shown in FIG. 2.

"FIG. 4 is a sample, simplified screen shot of a display of the computing device shown in FIG. 2 showing an example of a limited-access icon.

"FIGS. 5A-5G are simplified diagrams of example limited-access (security-access) icons.

"FIG. 6 is another sample, simplified screen shot of a display of the computing device shown in FIG. 2 showing another example of a limited-access icon.

"FIG. 7 is a block flow diagram of a process of providing restricted access to a computer application via a computing device."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Conforti, Carl J. Computer Application Security. Filed January 16, 2014 and posted July 24, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=44&p=1&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140717.PD.&OS=PD/20140717&RS=PD/20140717

Keywords for this news article include: Patents.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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