Yesterday Widevine Technologies, a provider of downloadable content protection, forensic watermarking and digital copy protection solutions, announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademarking Office issued the company a new patent for selectively encrypting multimedia content.

The new patent covers unique techniques for applying encryption to multimedia content so that it remains secure during storage in a VOD server, NPVR, Client PVR or PC hard drive. Seattle-based Widevine said in a press release that the new patent uniquely provides the capability of digital ad insertion on encrypted content.

The encryption technique is agnostic to network transport and enables the use of a single encryption method for secure content distribution over cable, telco, satellite, mobile and Internet to any set top box, PVR, PC or mobile device.

Cable operators could take a hard look at Widevine’s portfolio, which is up for licensing, to solve its downloadable conditional access system (DCAS) mandate from the Federal Communications Commission. Cable operators are currently looking for separate, downloadable security to set-top boxes to meet the FCC’s mandate for a lower cost solution.
 
"This portfolio enables service operators to license solutions that enable the secure delivery of broadcast, video-on-demand, streamed media and file downloads in multiple formats," said Widevine CEO Brian Baker, in a prepared statement. "In a global marketplace where multimedia content must move freely and securely to a wide range of consumer devices, Widevine has acquired the necessary intellectual property rights for service providers to continue operating in the patent-laden world of DRM."

The portfolio covers a range of DCAS and DRM techniques operators need to enable delivery of multiple content formats to multiple devices across an IP-based network.

"The cable industry, Consumer Electronics Association and FCC have struggled for many years to deliver separable security techniques and eliminate the conditional access duopoly that exists today," said Glenn Morten, Widevine’s CTO, in a press release. "The duopoly has prevented consumers from using their device of choice – purchased at retail – to view content from their service operator. Content protection solutions must enable content to be acquired and consumed as the user desires."

Widevine’s intellectual property portfolio now comprises seven issued U.S. and international patents, with 254 claims. Widevine has more than 45 other patents pending in the USPTO and international pipelines. – Mike Robuck

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