The US Patent Office
issues new patents on Tuesdays. Issued patents and published
applications may be early indicators of the kinds of issues being
addressed by inventors and/or the companies for whom they work. Here
are two recent patents relating to rights management. The first
describes key management relating to optical disk or other recording mechanism assigned to Sony Corporation.
Assigned to Digimarc, the second concerns linking documents through watermarking. Watermarking is a form of steaganography or "hidden writing" and entails hiding an invisible message in an image, audio, or other form of communication. The watermarked message may concern copyright ownership and/or use rules.
In the right column of these pages is an extensive list of companies providing and/or using watermarking technologies.
6,882,987, "Methods and apparatus for transmitting and receiving a decoding key encoded with specific information to decode encrypted information of a record medium," assigned to Sony Corporation.
A data recording apparatus capable of preventing easily copying of information is disclosed with which, even if information is copied, the copied information cannot be reproduced, the data recording apparatus having a terminal to which encoder ID specific for the data recording apparatus is input, a recording unit for recording at least the encoder ID on an optical disk, and an encoding circuit for, in accordance with the encoder ID, encoding data supplied through a terminal and required to be recorded so that encoded data is, together with the encoder ID, recorded on the optical disk.
6,869,023, "Linking documents through digital watermarking," assigned to Digimarc.
The present invention relates to linking documents through digital watermarking. In one implementation, an identification document is embedded with a first digital watermark. The first digital watermark includes a first identifier. Before issuing a second document, like a boarding pass or ticket, the first identifier is extracted from the identification document. The first identifier is manipulated or altered to produce a second identifier. The second identifier, however, remains related to the first identifier. The second document is embedded with a second digital watermark including the second identifier. Thus, the identification document and the second document are linked through the first and second watermark identifiers.