US20070179956A1 - Record protection system for networked databases - Google Patents

Record protection system for networked databases Download PDF

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Publication number
US20070179956A1
US20070179956A1 US11334246 US33424606A US2007179956A1 US 20070179956 A1 US20070179956 A1 US 20070179956A1 US 11334246 US11334246 US 11334246 US 33424606 A US33424606 A US 33424606A US 2007179956 A1 US2007179956 A1 US 2007179956A1
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Prior art keywords
data
client
system according
record
data record
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11334246
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Wesley Whitmyer
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WhitServe LLC
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WhitServe LLC
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30286Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor in structured data stores
    • G06F17/30345Update requests
    • G06F17/30348Concurrency control
    • G06F17/30359Pessimistic concurrency control approaches, e.g. locking, multiple versions without time stamps
    • G06F17/30362Locking methods, e.g. distributed locking, locking implementation details
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30286Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor in structured data stores
    • G06F17/30345Update requests
    • G06F17/30371Ensuring data consistency and integrity
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F17/00Digital computing or data processing equipment or methods, specially adapted for specific functions
    • G06F17/30Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor
    • G06F17/30286Information retrieval; Database structures therefor ; File system structures therefor in structured data stores
    • G06F17/30386Retrieval requests

Abstract

A record protection system for a networked database is provided. The system includes a client, a host processor accessible by the client via a telecommunications network, a database accessible by the host processor and containing at least one data record, software executing on the host processor for receiving data from the client for one or more fields of the data record, software executing on the processor for receiving data from a source, software executing on the host processor for comparing the data received from the client to the data received from the source, and software executing on the host processor to prevent editing of the data record by the client if the at least a portion of the data received from the client matches the data received from the source.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to network-based data processing and storage, and more particularly to a system and method for protecting data records in Internet-based databases.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Internet-based application service providers, so-called “ASPs” are known and provide the advantage that hardware and software maintenance and upgrades are centrally managed by a third party. The ASP model has been further extended to include web-hosted databases. For example, an ASP may provide a client with a backup database for duplicate storage of client data records. Further, an ASP or any other host may maintain a client's active database, and/or sensitive data therein, and allow the client to remotely store and edit data records to the database via the Internet. Thus, a client/user may log in to his web-hosted database via a web browser on his LAN/computer and create or manipulate data records in real time.
  • However, one difficulty faced when one or more users of a particular client are accessing a web-hosted database is preventing errors in the creation of new data records and in edits to existing data records. The problem is further complicated when the completion of a particular field of a data record triggers the storage and/or edit of related data in the data record. For example, a user may have automatic permissions to enter and edit data in the web-hosted database. Upon completing a particular field of a data record, additional fields of the data record may be automatically populated based on the entered data. There is then a risk that the user or another user having edit permissions may accidentally or erroneously edit the particular field and/or the automatically generated data.
  • What is desired, therefore, is a system and method for locking data records in networked or web-hosted databases. Further desired is a system and method for locking a data record upon the occurrence of specified trigger.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According, it is an object of the present invention to provide a system and method for automatically locking a data record in a networked database upon the completion of a verification step.
  • It is a further object of the present invention to provide the system and method wherein the lock may be reversed or modified by a host or client administrator.
  • These and other objectives are achieved by providing a record protection system for a networked database, including a client, a host processor accessible by said client via the Internet, a database accessible by said host processor and containing at least one data record, software executing on said host processor for receiving data from said client for one or more fields of the data record, software executing on said processor for receiving data from a source, software executing on said host processor for comparing the data received from said client to the data received from the source, and software executing on said host processor to prevent editing of the data record by said client if at least a portion of the data received from said client matches the data received from the source.
  • Further provided is a method for protecting data records in a networked database, including the steps of receiving data from a client via a telecommunications network for one or more fields of a data record, determining whether at least a portion of the data matches data received from a source, storing matched data in the data record, and locking the data record to prevent future editing by the client.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of a record protection system for a networked database according to the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a method of protecting data records in a networked database employable by the system shown in FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a method of protecting data records in a networked database employable by the system shown in FIG. 1.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a schematic diagram of a record protection system according the present invention. The system includes a host processor 100. The host processor 100 may be any processor, controller or server for executing one or more software applications. The host processor 100 may be in communication with any number of databases, such as the database 110. The database 110 includes a plurality of data records, e.g., data record 112 and data record 114.
  • The host processor 100 further includes software for receiving data and edits 104 for storage in the database 110. The data 104 may be received from a client 120, or any number of users 122 associated with the client 120, via a communications network (not shown). The communications network may be any network, such as the Internet or an Intranet. In a preferred embodiment, a user 122 remotely accesses the database 110 via a web interface on a client computer.
  • As shown, the host processor 100 receives data 104 from the client 120 and/or any user 122. The data 104 may be data for initiating the creation of a new data record or proposed edits to an existing data record (e.g., 112). In one embodiment, the host (i.e., host processor 100 and host database 110) may be a provider of a service for maintaining U.S. patents (e.g., paying patent maintenance fees) for any number of clients 120. Therefore, the host processor 100 may receive data related to new patents for which maintenance is desired (e.g., identified by verification information 142 or data records in a verification database 140) or updates and/or edits to an existing patent data record stored in the host database 110. As one of ordinary skill in the art will understand, the host has an interest in the client 120 being able to input its own data to save the time and labor required to populate the database 110. However, the host must ensure that the correct patent is identified and further that no user 122 of the client 120 erroneously enters data identifying an incorrect patent. Failure to ensure the accuracy of entered data may lead to the host failing to pay a maintenance fee or paying a maintenance fee on the wrong patent.
  • The system further includes any number of verification databases 140 (e.g., or sources). The verification databases 140 may include verification information 142 and/or data records to verify the data and edits 104 provided by the client 120. In some embodiments, the verification databases 140 include information related to any number of potential data records to be created in the host database 110. For example, if the database 110 includes data records of patents owned by one or more clients, one of the verification databases 140 may include information related to substantially all U.S. and/or foreign patents and patent applications. For example, the verification databases 140 may include the United States Patent and Trademark database, the European Patent Office database, etc. Therefore, when a client 120 attempts to create a new data record regarding a patent, the host processor 100 may query the verification databases 140 and attempt to verify and/or match at least a portion of the received data and edits 104 with verification information 142 retrieved from the verification databases 140 prior to creating or storing the new data record.
  • Upon receipt of data and edits 104, the host processor 100 may initiate the creation of a new data record in the host database 110. The host processor 100 may then query the verification databases 140 (discussed below) to determine possible matches to the received data 104. For example, in the practice of maintaining of patent data records, the client 120 may provide a patent number, a filing date, and/or issue data of a U.S. patent. The host processor 100 may then identify one or more data records (e.g., relating to patents) in the verification databases 140 corresponding to this received data. In some embodiments, the host processor 100 may also identify and/or access any number of existing data records 116 in the host database 110 identified by the data and edits 104. For example, if a client 120 enters data corresponding to an existing data record, the system may prompt the client 120 (e.g., via a web interface) to determine whether the client 120 is either attempting to edit the existing data record 116 or erroneously attempting to create a duplicate data record.
  • As shown in FIG. 1, the system includes a software means 128 for locking one or more data records. For example, the host processor 100 may lock a particular data record to prevent any further edits to the data record, e.g., following a verification step or matching of data. In some embodiments, the verification step or verification may require that a user 122 first complete a particular field and/or a set number of fields of data. For example, the user 122 may complete data fields for a particular data record via the web interface. The host processor 100 may require at least three separate identifying pieces of data to be entered prior to updating or creating the data record. Once each of the particular number of required data fields are verified and/or matched to a single data record and/or set of verification information 142 in the verification databases 140, the data is stored in the host database 110 and the corresponding data record(s) locked. In some embodiments, the system may allow the user 122 to continue to complete any number of data fields until at least a predetermined number of the data fields match or identify the same verification information 142. The predetermined amount may be based on a data sensitivity factor, a fixed number of data fields, and/or a host or client preference.
  • In some embodiments, data entered by a user 122 via a web interface may be stored in temporary storage of the system prior to the data is being verified. For example, a user 122 may enter data and edits 104 with the appearance of the data being stored or added to a particular data record (e.g., 112). However, the system may store the data (and lock the record) only after the entered data is verified.
  • In a preferred embodiment, a locked data record may only be edited if unlocked by an administrator, e.g., via the transmission of an unlock request 126/152. The administrator may be a client administrator 124 or host administrator 150, shown in FIG. 1. If a data record is unlocked, additional data and edits may be received. Otherwise, the data record may remain locked.
  • If the data and edits 104 provided by the user 122 are identifiable to more than one set of verification information 142 or existing data record, the host processor 100 may provide the client 120 (or user 122) with a report of possible matches 130 (e.g., prompt, display, email, etc). For example, the user 122 may enter a correct patent filing date but an incorrect patent number. Based on the data entered and stored client data/preferences, the system may query any number of databases (e.g., verification databases 140 and/or host database 110) to determine potential sets of verification information 142 (e.g., patents) or existing data records to which the user 122 is referring. For example, knowing the filing date and assignee (e.g., the client), the host processor 100 may be able to determine one or two potential patents filed on that day matching some of the entered data. The host processor 100 may then prompt the user 122 via the web interface to select the intended information or record from a list of possible matches. Upon the user 122's selection 132, the data record may be locked.
  • The verification databases 140 shown in FIG. 1 may further include information to supplement the data and edits 104 of a newly created or existing data record. Upon a user 122 providing a minimum amount of data to verify the data and identify a particular U.S. (or foreign) patent, the host processor 100 may query the verification databases 140 and retrieve the remaining data necessary to create the new data record and/or related records 144 to supplement the data 104 provided by the user 122. For example, should the user 122 provide a patent number and filing date identifying a particular patent, the host processor 100 may lock the data record and access the verification databases 140 to determine an issue date and/or schedule of maintenance fee due dates. Further, the host processor 100 may identify all related patents (e.g., parent applications, continuations, divisionals, foreign filings, etc). The host processor 100 may then prompt or generate a report 130 to ask the user 122 if they wish to create data records for the related patents. The system may further link the related data records.
  • FIG. 2 shows a schematic diagram of a method for protecting a data record in a networked database according to the present invention. The method is described with respect to the system show in FIG. 1. However, one of ordinary skill in the art will understand that the method may be implemented in other systems and devices. The method includes a first step 201 of providing data to add (or edit) a data record by a client and/or user. For example, a user 122 may provide data 104 to input fields via a web interface to create a new data record. As discussed above, in some embodiments the user 122 may be given the appearance of creating or editing a data record via the web interface, however the data record may not be edited until the verification step is completed. Data and edits 104 provided by the user/client are next received by the host processor (step 203).
  • Following (or during) the receipt of data from the user, the host processor 100 attempts to verify or match the data (step 205). In some embodiments, the host processor 100 may require that a predetermined number of data fields be completed by the user. The host processor 100 may then query verification databases 140 (and/or database 110) to verify the data in the data fields. If the data is verified (e.g., matched to a particular set of verification information 142 or record), the data and edits may be stored in the host database (step 207). The data record is then locked to prevent further edits (step 209). As discussed above, the host processor 100 may then automatically populate additional data fields of the data record based on the verified data or create additional related data records.
  • FIG. 3 shows a method of creating or editing a data record in a networked database employable by the system shown in FIG. 1. In a first step, data and/or edits are received by the host (e.g., from a client and/or client computer). The client may, for example, enter data to several data fields via a web interface. It is contemplated that some of the data may be incorrect and/or in an improper form. Therefore, the system may require that a predetermined number of data fields be filled out prior to identifying the single data record to which it pertains. If the data entered in the data fields is sufficient to match the data to a single set of verification information (or data record) from a source or database (step 303), the data may be stored and the record locked (step 311). If the data provided by the client is insufficient to identify a single record, the system may identify possible matches and report the possible matches to the client (step 305-307). The client may then select the one record to which it was referring (step 309) and the data may be stored in the appropriate data record.
  • Advantages of the present invention include the provision of a system and method to maintain sensitive data records for a client while minimizing the risk of an employee of the client accidentally modifying the data. The present invention allows a client to perform their own data entry while ensuring that the data is accurate. The present invention is particularly useful for an entity providing the service of paying patent maintenance fees on behalf of a plurality of clients.
  • Although the invention has been described with reference to a particular arrangement of parts, features, and the like, these are not intended to exhaust all possible arrangements or features, and indeed many modifications and variations will be ascertainable to those of skill in the art.

Claims (29)

  1. 1. A record protection system for a networked database, comprising:
    a client;
    a host processor accessible by said client via a telecommunications network;
    a database accessible by said host processor and containing at least one data record;
    software executing on said host processor for receiving data from said client for one or more fields of the data record;
    software executing on said processor for receiving data from a source;
    software executing on said host processor for comparing the data received from said client to the data received from the source; and
    software executing on said host processor to prevent editing of the data record by said client if at least a portion of the data received from said client matches the data received from the source.
  2. 2. The system according to claim 1, wherein said software to prevent editing further for permitting editing of the data record if the data received from said client does not match the data received from the source.
  3. 3. The system according to claim 1, wherein data received from said client matches if it corresponds to a single data record received from the source.
  4. 4. The system according to claim 1, wherein data received from said client matches if it corresponds to a particular number of data fields of a single data record received from the source.
  5. 5. The system according to claim 1, further comprising:
    software executing on the host processor for storing the matched data in one or more fields of the data record.
  6. 6. The system according to claim 1, further comprising:
    software executing on said host processor for automatically retrieving supplemental data corresponding to the matched data and storing the supplemental data in said database.
  7. 7. The system according to claim 6, wherein at least some of the supplemental data is retrieved from the source.
  8. 8. The system according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the data received from said client and the data received from the source is intellectual property data.
  9. 9. The system according to claim 8, wherein the source is a patent office database.
  10. 10. The system according to claim 1, further comprising:
    a web interface for receiving the data from said client, said web interface including a plurality of input fields.
  11. 11. The system according to claim 10, wherein each of the input fields correspond to one of fields of the data record.
  12. 12. The system according to claim 10, wherein said software for comparing the data compares the data after the completion of a set number of the input fields.
  13. 13. The system according to claim 10, wherein said software for comparing the data compares the data in real time as the data is entered into the input fields by said client.
  14. 14. The system according to claim 1, further comprising:
    software executing on the host processor for generating a report.
  15. 15. The system according to claim 14, wherein the report includes an inquiry generated if the data does not match.
  16. 16. The system according to claim 14, wherein the report includes one or more potential matches for client selection.
  17. 17. The system according to claim 16, wherein said software to prevent editing prevents editing to the data record upon receipt of a match selection from said client.
  18. 18. The system according to claim 14, wherein the report includes one or more suggested additions to matched data.
  19. 19. The system according to claim 14, said software for generating a report further transmitting the report to said client.
  20. 20. The system according to claim 1, further comprising:
    software executing on the host processor for receiving an unlock command indicative of permitting editing of the data record.
  21. 21. The system according to claim 20, wherein the unlock command is received from one of a host administrator or a client administrator.
  22. 22. The system according to claim 1, wherein the data record is a new data record.
  23. 23. The system according to claim 1, wherein the data received from said client includes at least one edit to stored data in the data record.
  24. 24. A method for protecting data records in a networked database, comprising the steps of:
    receiving data from a client via a telecommunications network for one or more fields of a data record;
    determining whether at least a portion of the data matches data received from a source;
    storing matched data in the data record; and
    locking the data record to prevent future editing by the client.
  25. 25. The method according to claim 24, further comprising the steps of:
    generating a report; and
    transmitting the report to the client.
  26. 26. The method according to claim 25, wherein the report includes a one or more possible matches to the data received from the client.
  27. 27. The method according to claim 25, wherein the report includes a suggested addition to the data record.
  28. 28. The method according to claim 24, further comprising the steps of:
    retrieving supplemental data corresponding to the data received from the client; and
    storing the supplemental data in at least one other field of the data record.
  29. 29. The method according to claim 24, further comprising the step of:
    unlocking the data record upon receipt of an unlock command.
US11334246 2006-01-18 2006-01-18 Record protection system for networked databases Abandoned US20070179956A1 (en)

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US20140181060A1 (en) 2014-06-26 application
US8972430B2 (en) 2015-03-03 grant

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