Tuesdays the Patent Office issues new patents. Both of today's Spotlight Patents concern aspects of digital watermarking. Assigned to IBM, the first patent addresses techniques for virtual world embedded security watermarking. Assigned to AT&T, the second patent addresses techniques for using third-party watermarks.
8,489,883, "Virtual world embedded security watermarking," assigned to IBM.
A method, apparatus, and program product are provided for using watermarks to embed security features on avatars in a virtual world. A watermark engine receives security information for an avatar in a virtual world. The watermark engine creates a watermark for the avatar using the security information and associates the watermark with the avatar. The watermark may comprise at least one of: security preferences for the avatar, contact information for an owner of the avatar, and graphical information to cause alteration of the avatar when the avatar is recorded.
8,489,882, "Third-party watermarking," assigned to AT&T.
A "third-party watermark" is inserted into a file or files uploaded by a client to a "storing party" such as a file backup server. The third-party watermark may contain information about the upload itself, such as time and date of the upload and the identity of the client. The third-party watermark may also contain authentication information received from the client or elsewhere that establishes that the client is in proper possession of the file, e.g., it is not a "bootlegged" copy.