Browse Prior Art Database

Location based licensing enforcement

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022405D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Mar-12
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Mar-12
Document File: 1 page(s) / 26K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

As the cost of distribution of drops (via internet ...) it can be very beneficial for software and entertainment companies if they can license their products in such a way that the license is only valid for certain locations. This restricted licensing can be used to lower cost and increase volumes. For example one would be able to purchase a movie which would have a license that would make it work only at their home and the cost would be much lower than the DVD one buys at a retail store. Companies could give software licenses to schools for free because they would know for sure that the software would not work outside the school.

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Location based licensing enforcement

To enforce location based licensing, devices (computers, DVD players...) would have a GPS chip in them. The licensing mechanism would be such that the product would only work on devices that have this GPS chip as it would be possible to verify the location during use of the product .

Devices would have a GPS chip embedded in them. When purchasing software over then internet one would by a locational license and give their GPS coordinates to be included in the license certificate. These products would then only work on devices in the location embedded in the license certificate.

A GPS chip (without an interface) by itself is quite cheap. In this scenario it does not even have to be a very fast chip.

This mechanism would easily extended to other hardware devices (routers, servers, medical equipment) when most of the cost is borne upfront (development) and the manufacturing cost is quite low. For HW devices this licensing would ensure that used products do not flood the market (like the dot com bust). Further it makes any stolen equipment useless.

Another application of this technology would be in satellite system receivers, where one would not have to connect phone lines to all their receivers at home since their location could be verified via GPS to ensure they are in the same location.

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