Apple Inc. has filed an updated application with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for a product activation and anti-piracy technology that would give the company the same kind of control over its software as the oft-criticized Windows Genuine Advantage platform provides its rival, Microsoft Corp.
Patent application 20070288886, titled "Run-Time Code Injection To Perform Checks" and dated Dec. 13, spells out a "digital rights management system" that would "restrict execution of that application to specific hardware platforms."
In the application, Apple noted the ease with which digital information can be copied and the just-as-easy way users could break promises not to illegally distribute copies of that data. It also admitted that, in the end, copy-protection schemes such as dongles or encrypting software wouldn't stop pirates on a mission. "There is very little, however, that these approaches can do to thwart a determined user," the patent filing stated.
"Thus, it would be beneficial to provide a mechanism to restrict the execution of one or more applications to a specific hardware platform that is transparent to the user."