Thursdays the USPTO publishes new patent applications. Both of today's Spotlight patent applications disclose various aspects of using watermarks. Assigned to IBM, the first application addresses techniques for contents border detection, monitoring, and contents location detection. Assigned to Digimarc, the second application addresses techniques for processing content objects.
20080052516, "Contents Border Detection Apparatus, Monitoring Method, and Contents Location Detection Method and Program and Storage Medium Therefor," assigned to IBM.
It is one object of the present invention to employ multiple methods for identifying contents borders based on a digital watermark detected in contents, so as to provide both high reliability and precision for the identification of contents border locations. A contents border detection apparatus comprises: a digital watermark detector 11, for detecting a digital watermark embedded in contents for which a time element is provided; and a border detector 12, for detecting border locations for the contents corresponding to the state of the digital watermark detected by the digital watermark detector 11, wherein the border detector 12 includes first border specification means, for specifying the border locations for the contents based on information, written in the digital watermark, that is detected by the digital watermark detector 11, and second border specification means, for specifying the border locations for the contents based on bit patterns embedded as the digital watermark, wherein the border locations for the contents are detected by using the process results obtained both by the first and the second border specification means.
20080049971, "Systems And Methods For Processing Content Objects," assigned to Digimarc.
Watermark encoders and decoders can be integrated into operating systems, Internet browsers, media players, and other applications and devices. Such integration enables the watermark-enabled application or device to provide additional functionality and information available via the watermark. The watermark, for example, may link to metadata or actions related to a media object. To exploit this watermark enabled functionality, the integrated application uses a watermark decoder to access the related metadata and actions. The user interface of the integrated application is enhanced to present metadata and actions linked via the watermark. Similarly, watermark encoders may be integrated into applications to convert media objects into enhanced, watermarked objects. A variety of other arrangements and features are also detailed. Many arrangements can be implemented using object identifiers other than watermarks.