On Tuesdays the USPTO issues new patents.Both of today's Spotlight Patents concern aspects of digital watermarking. Assigned to Wisteria Trading, the first patent concerns Optimization methods for the insertion, protection, and detection of digital watermarks in digital data. Assigned to Thomson Licensing (FR), the second patent concerns techniques for determining whether or not a reference pattern is present in a received and possibly watermarked signal.
8,281,140, "Optimization methods for the insertion, protection, and detection of digital watermarks in digital data," assigned to Wisteria Trading, Inc.
Disclosed herein are methods and systems for encoding digital watermarks into content signals. Also disclosed are systems and methods for detecting and/or verifying digital watermarks in content signals. According to one embodiment, a system for encoding of digital watermark information includes: a window identifier for identifying a sample window in the signal; an interval calculator for determining a quantization interval of the sample window; and a sampler for normalizing the sample window to provide normalized samples. According to another embodiment, a system for pre-analyzing a digital signal for encoding at least one digital watermark using a digital filter is disclosed. According to another embodiment, a method for pre-analyzing a digital signal for encoding digital watermarks comprises: (1) providing a digital signal; (2) providing a digital filter to be applied to the digital signal; and (3) identifying an area of the digital signal that will be affected by the digital filter based on at least one measurable difference between the digital signal and a counterpart of the digital signal selected from the group consisting of the digital signal as transmitted, the digital signal as stored in a medium, and the digital signal as played backed. According to another embodiment, a method for encoding a watermark in a content signal includes the steps of (1) splitting a watermark bit stream; and (2) encoding at least half of the watermark bit stream in the content signal using inverted instances of the watermark bit stream. Other methods and systems for encoding/decoding digital watermarks are also disclosed.
8,281,137, "Method and apparatus for determining whether or not a reference pattern is present in a received and possibly watermarked signal," assigned to Thomson Licensing (FR).
Many watermarking systems make use of correlation for calculating a detection metric, which means that several reference patterns are generated at encoder side and one or more of them are embedded inside the content signal, dependent on the message to be embedded. To decode the embedded message, it is necessary to discover which reference pattern was embedded at encoder side by correlating the known reference patterns with the content signal. In the case where watermarked audio is emitted by a loudspeaker and then captured with a microphone, the received signal echoes are used for watermark detection instead of treating them as noise by integrating the correlation values resulting from echoes into the main correlation peak, thereby using correlation result amplitude values located within a predetermined neighborhood of a correlation result peak amplitude value and exceeding a predetermined threshold.