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A system for automatically identifying downloaded software Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022114D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Feb-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Feb-25
Document File: 1 page(s) / 42K

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During the last few years, the internet has gained popularity both among private users and within government, academic, and business organizations. Increasingly, the web has become one of the major media for distribution of software. End-users download software packages and install them on their PCs / workstations. In large organizations, this creates a challenge from both the maintenance and the legal perspectives. From the standpoint of an IT department, freely downloaded SW increases the diversity of PCs and workstations in the organization and with it the cost of maintaining these workstations / PCs. Legally, some of the freely available SW should not be downloaded because of IP / license concerns. The current practice in large organizations is either to ignore the problems discussed above, risking IT and legal difficulties, or to require a per-case managerial decision for any downloaded SW package. Obviously, this can place a significant burden on IT and legal departments. This invention aims at automating some of the process related to approving a SW package download by an end-user.

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A system for automatically identifying downloaded software

The invention is based on attaching a unique package / license identifier to SW packages that are available for download from the internet, and on a system that can identify and use this ID. The identifying system is installed either as part of an organization-wide firewall or on the PC / workstation used by an end-user for downloading a SW package.

    Before a SW package is downloaded, the system will extract its package / license identifier, and look it up in an organizational database. If the identifier appears in the database, the user will be allowed to proceed to download the SW. In such cases, users can also be referred to usage instructions and limitations set by their organization. If the identifier is unknown to the system, the IT / legal departments can be automatically notified, and the download operation would not be allowed to continue. Once the relevant department takes the necessary action, end-users would be notified that they can (or cannot) download the requested SW.

There are several advantages to using the invention:

Reduced legal costs, as a legal department would not have to review a large number of specific requests for downloading SW. For the same reasons, reduced cost of IT. Improving the efficiency of end-users, by reducing the time they have to invest in communicating with IT / legal / managerial functions.

As described above, the invention includes:

An identifier attached to a SW...