(12) United States Patent (io) Patent No.: US 6,937,729 B2
Akins, III et al. (45) Date of Patent: *Aug. 30,2005
(54) REPRESENTING ENTITLEMENTS TO
SERVICE IN A CONDITIONAL ACCESS
(75) Inventors: Glendon L. Akins, III, Gainesville, GA
(US); Robert O. Banker, Cumming,
GA (US); Michael S. Palgon, Atlanta,
GA (US); Howard G. Pinder,
Norcross, GA (US); Anthony J.
Wasilewski, Alpharetta, GA (US)
(73) Assignee: Scientific-Atlanta, Inc., Lawrenceville,
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
U.S.C. 154(b) by 732 days.
This patent is subject to a terminal dis-
(21) Appl. No.: 09/930,901
(22) Filed: Aug. 16, 2001
(65) Prior Publication Data
US 2001/0053226 Al Dec. 20, 2001
Related U.S. Application Data
(63) Continuation of application No. 09/487,076, filed on Jan. 19, 2000, now Pat. No. 6,292,568, which is a continuation of application No. 09/126,783, filed on Jul. 31, 1998, now abandoned, and a continuation-in-part of application No. 09/111,958, filed on Jul. 8, 1998, now abandoned, and a continuation-in-part of application No. 08/767,535, filed on Dec. 16, 1996, now Pat. No. 6,005,938, and a continuationin-part of application No. 08/580,759, filed on Dec. 29, 1995, now Pat. No. 5,870,474, and a continuation-in-part of application No. 08/415,617, filed on Apr. 3, 1995, now Pat. No. 5,742,677.
(60) Provisional application No. 60/054,575, filed on Aug. 1, 1997, provisional application No. 60/054,578, filed on Aug. 1, 1997, and provisional application No. 60/007,962, filed on Dec. 4, 1995.
(51) Int. CI.7 H04N 7/167
A cable television system provides conditional access to services. The cable television system includes a headend from which service "instances", or programs, are broadcast and a plurality of set top units for receiving the instances and selectively decrypting the instances for display to system subscribers. The service instances are encrypted using public and/or private keys provided by service providers or central authorization agents. Keys used by the set tops for selective decryption may also be public or private in nature, and such keys may be reassigned at different times to provide a cable television system in which piracy concerns are minimized.
45 Claims, 21 Drawing Sheets