Thursdays the UPSTO publishes new patent applications. Both of today's Spotlight applications address various uses of watermarking. Assigned to Digimarc, the first application discloses techniques for embedding auxiliary information within original data. Assigned to Sony, the second application discloses techniques for data decoding and commerce.
20080040811,"Method and Apparatus for Embedding Auxiliary Information Within Original Data," assigned to Digimarc.
This patent application is generally related to watermarking and steganography. In one implementation, a method of embedding auxiliary information within original data is provided. The original data is divided into a series of groups, with each group in the series of groups associated with a value. The method includes: investigating a first group to determine a presence of a local masking opportunity; and if there exists a presence of a local masking opportunity with the first group, embedding data by setting a value of one or more groups in a neighborhood of the first group, including the first group, in accordance with a value associated with at least a portion of the auxiliary data. Other implementations and embodiments are provided as well.
20080046370, "Data decoding apparatus and method, charge information processing apparatus and method, data reproducing apparatus and method, electronic money, electronic use right, and terminal apparatus," assigned to Sony (JP).
Reproduction data is supplied to a decoder and encryption is decoded. A reproducing conditions label is detected by a reproducing conditions label detecting unit. Compression encoding is decoded by a decompressor. A watermark detecting unit discriminates whether the reproducing conditions label has been falsified or not. In a listening right counter, each time the reproduction data is decoded, listening right data is changed. The listening right data transmitted from a prepaid data charger by an antenna and a communicating module is stored into a memory unit. An encrypting module and a decoding module are provided in the communicating module. In a watermark adding unit, a watermark is added to output data. The data is converted into an analog output by a D/A converter and outputted to the outside.