Patexia. Contest

CONTEST

Competed
Prize
$3,500
DEADLINE
This contest is closed.
Winner

Simon Sunatori

technology
Runner Up

Roopa V

technology
Runner Up

Yogesh Bansal

technology
Runner Up

Daniel Porter

technology
Runner Up

Bhaskar_K

technology
Runner Up

Saurabh Sharma

technology
Runner Up

Paton Paton

technology
Runner Up

Dayan S

technology

Problem

Patexia contests ask you to find, submit, and explain references that respond to our research criteria. If you are new, see patent and prior art basics and tips for Patexia's prior art contests, and refer to the submission notes below. The following questions will help you understand specifically what we are looking for in this study.

In this contest we are seeking prior art; published examples of an idea or invention before a specific date.

Problem Definition
Patexia seeks prior art for US Patent 5,579,222 (‘222), titled “Distributed license administration system using a local policy server to communicate with a license server and control execution of computer programs.” This patent allegedly describes a type of concurrent licensing system for licensing application programs.

We are searching for two separate features. Providing prior art for either one (or both) of these features will satisfy the contest. The client is particularly interested in computer source code, manuals, descriptions, user guides, white papers, technical articles, and foreign (not U.S.) patents published before November 27th, 1991.

The ‘222 Patent does not actually claim or cover the features described below. Rather, the client is seeking prior art to respond to its opponent’s (incorrect) reading of the ‘222 Patent. The client is also seeking prior art from a universe broader than that covered by the ‘222 Patent, in an effort to capture all potentially relevant art. No one should interpret these features as the client’s belief or understanding of the ‘222 Patent itself.

Description of Feature 1 (Questions 1-12)
Feature 1 concerns a particular computer system architecture for concurrent licensing (see Figure 1 below).

A node is designated on the network to act as a license server and to grant/deny licenses to users running application programs on their computers. Each user computer on the network (only one user computer shown in Figure 1) contains the following three elements:

  1. An application program which requires a license to be able to run;
  2. A database containing data specifying conditions under which usage of the application program is permitted; and.
  3. A computer program (sometimes referred to as a daemon) running as a separate process from the application program. The computer program interfaces with the application program and the database on the node, and further/then/also assists the license server in granting/denying a license to the application according to the following setup:
    1. If the user’s computer has a connection to the network, the computer program makes a request for a license from the license server, on behalf of the application program, and the license server determines whether the application program can run.
    2. If the user’s computer does not have a connection to the network, the computer program determines whether the application program can run. The computer program consults the database for conditions to determine if the user can be granted a license on a temporary basis (e.g., a grace period). The following are examples of a computer program granting/denying permission when the node is disconnected from the network:

      Example 1: if the database condition requires that the user has used the application program in the last 24 hours, and the user has not used the application program in the last 24 hours, the computer program will deny the temporary license (assuming no connection to the network). On the other hand, if the application program has been used in the last 24 hours, the computer program will grant the temporary license.

      Example 2: if the database condition is that the user must have at least the title of a vice president of the company, and the user is identified as the vice president, the computer program will grant the license. On the other hand, if the user is identified as an engineer, the computer program will deny the license.

Concurrent Licensing System

Figure 1

Description of Feature 2 (Questions 13-15)
Feature 2 describes a concurrent licensing system where the user can “borrow” a license from the license server. After the license has been borrowed, the user can disconnect his computer (e.g., a laptop) from the network and can run the application program for as long as the borrowed license is valid (e.g., for 3 days).

For example, an engineer in the U.S. may need to travel to Japan for work but must be able to utilize a CAD application program that is under concurrent license administration. Before

disconnecting his computer from the network, the engineer requests to borrow a license from the license server. If the borrowed license is granted, the engineer will be able to use the CAD application program even though he is not connected to the network.

Questions
To enter the contest, Patexia’s system will ask you the following questions. Contestants should focus their search by locating sources which answer these questions, and submitting a concise explanation of why the source(s) respond to a particular question. This explanation should specifically indicate where in the reference we can find the required supporting information. If you do not provide an adequate explanation on how to locate the desired information in your reference, you will not get credit and will not be eligible for contest prizes.

Entries must answer all contest questions. Please refer to the contest description for definitions of “computer program”, “application program”, “licensing server”, … All sources must be clearly dated or they will not be considered.

  1. Has the source(s) been published before November 27th, 1991?
  2. Does this source describe a concurrent licensing system?
  3. Is the computer program local (i.e. on the user’s computer)?
  4. Is the computer program running independently of the application program?
  5. Does the computer program communicate with the license server on behalf of the application program?
  6. Is there a database containing data specifying conditions under which usage of the application program is permitted?
  7. Is the database local (i.e. on the user’s computer)?
  8. Does the computer program communicate with the database?
  9. Does the computer program, when the user’s computer is connected to the network, communicate with the license server on behalf of the application program to request a license?
  10. Does the computer program, when the user’s computer is not connected to the network, determine itself (without input from the license server) whether the application program should be granted a license?
  11. Is the license granted according to question 10 (if any) done so on a temporary basis?
  12. Is the license granted according to question 10 (if any) done so by consulting a database?
  13. Does the concurrent licensing system have the capability to borrow a license?
  14. Does the concurrent licensing system work in such a way that when a user’s computer is disconnected from the network, the user’s computer can still run the application program?
  15. Does the concurrent licensing system work in such a way that if a user’s computer requests a license and then is disconnected from the network, the user’s computer can still run the application program?
  16. [user survey question] Can you provide us with more information regarding your qualifications to enter this contest? (no reference needed, simply a short list of any relevant background or qualifications)
  17. [user survey question] Can you provide us with more information regarding the time you spent researching this contests? (no reference needed, simply an estimate of the time spent researching this particular contest)
  18. [user survey question] Can you provide us with more information regarding the resources and databases you searched for this information? (no reference needed, simply a short list of any sources you used to research this contest)
Have a question about this contest? Ask a Question

Questions

#QuestionValue
1Has the source(s) been published before November 27th, 1991? 0
2Does this source describe a concurrent licensing system? 0
3Is the computer program local (i.e. on the user’s computer)? 0
4Is the computer program running independently of the application program? 0
5Does the computer program communicate with the license server on behalf of the application program? 0
6Is there a database containing data specifying conditions under which usage of the application program is permitted? 0
7Is the database local (i.e. on the user’s computer)? 0
8Does the computer program communicate with the database? 0
9Does the computer program, when the user’s computer is connected to the network, communicate with the license server on behalf of the application program to request a license? 0
10Does the computer program, when the user’s computer is not connected to the network, determine itself (without input from the license server) whether the application program should be granted a license? 0
11Is the license granted according to question 10 (if any) done so on a temporary basis? 0
12Is the license granted according to question 10 (if any) done so by consulting a database? 0
13Does the concurrent licensing system have the capability to borrow a license? 0
14Does the concurrent licensing system work in such a way that when a user’s computer is disconnected from the network, the user’s computer can still run the application program? 0
15Does the concurrent licensing system work in such a way that if a user’s computer requests a license and then is disconnected from the network, the user’s computer can still run the application program? 0
16[user survey question] Can you provide us with more information regarding your qualifications to enter this contest? (no reference needed, simply a short list of any relevant background or qualifications) 0
17[user survey question] Can you provide us with more information regarding the time you spent researching this contests? (no reference needed, simply an estimate of the time spent researching this particular contest) 0
18[user survey question] Can you provide us with more information regarding the resources and databases you searched for this information? (no reference needed, simply a short list of any sources you used to research this contest) 0

Additional Notes

Submission Notes:

  • Submission deadline is 11:59pm September 1st 2013.
  • If you were referred, the referral prize ($350) will be paid to the refering user from the 80% winner award (see selection criteria and prize distribution).
  • Contest entries will be judged based on the number of questions answered and the quality of each question’s explanation, favoring earlier submissions in the event of a tie. Non-winning entries correctly answering all questions will also be considered for a contest prize.
  • Entries must be in English.
  • You should answer all the questions (yes or no) based on your references and clearly explain supporting information about how each reference supports each question. If you do not provide an adequate explanation you will not get credit and will not be eligible for contest prizes.
  • In case you are submitting foreign references, please provide a translation of key sections in the explanation box.
  • Please use “Ask a Question” to post general questions or feedback about the contest to the community.
  • For specific questions, you can contact us directly by email at contests@patexia.com.
  • All submissions are subject to Patexia's contest legal terms. Failure to follow these rules may lead to disqualification from the contest.

Selection Criteria and Prize Distribution
Patexia will evaluate each response to ensure each question has been satisfactorily answered. We will determine the contest winner and runners-up based first on the number of correct "yes" responses and second on the order responses were submitted. We will award 80% of the contest prize to the winning submission, and will distribute the remaining 20% among the qualifying runners-up. If the winning entry was referred by another user, a $350 referral prize will be subtracted from the 80% winner's award. Winner selection is based on community responses to Patexia's research questions and does not constitute a legal opinion on patent validity or related litigation.

Known References
PLEASE DO NOT SUBMIT ANY US PATENTS

CN100449562C
DE102004060784A1
EP1174785A2
WO1997030575A2
WO1998027478A2
WO1999062017A1
WO2001079970A2
WO2002061538A2
WO2003063044A2
WO2004109470A2
WO2007146941A2

  • Olson et al, "Concurrent Access Licensing," Unix Review vol. 6, No. 9, Sep. 1988, pp. 67-74.2.