Apparatus for licensing software applications

  • US 6,173,446 B1
  • Filed: 02/02/1999
  • Issued: 01/09/2001
  • Est. Priority Date: 02/02/1999
  • Status: Expired due to Term
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First Claim
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1. An apparatus for monitoring software usage for a computer program used intermittently by a plurality of users using the program on computers on a network comprising:

  • a network of computers capable of running at least portions of a computer program, the usage of which is to be monitored, one of the computers in the network acting as a node that monitors usage of the program by active users in the network, said monitoring node programmed to determine active usage of the program by users on various incidents involving the program, the incidents being configured to take place at two or more computers on the network or to involve two or more users at a single computer, active usage being defined as actual real time participation by a participant in an incident and non-real time benefits from incidents involving a user that has participated or is expected to participate in the incident and thereby be deemed a participant, ascertain the total number of unique participants actively using the program for ongoing incidents at a given time, compare the ascertained total number with an authorized number, and issue a signal if the ascertained total number exceeds the authorized number.

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