On Tuesdays the USPTO issues new patents. Both of today's Spotlight Patents entail the use of digital watermarking. Assigned to SAP (DE), the first patent concerns techniques for electronic signatures. Assigned to Digimarc, the second patent concerns the use of digital watermarking with toy and game applications.
Methods, apparatus, including computer program products, and systems implement and use techniques relating to electronic signatures. In one implementation, a one-way hash is calculated for an electronic document and a digital watermark representing the one-way hash is embedded in a signature document. Based on a user input, the signature document having the embedded digital watermark is altered, and the electronic document is associated with the signature document. The electronic document and the signature document together comprise a signed electronic document. The user input can include biometric information, such as a handwritten signature or a voice recording. For additional security, the one-way hash can be encrypted before a representation of the hash is embedded in the signature document.
7,502,759, "Digital watermarking methods and related toy and game applications," assigned to Digimarc.
The present invention relates to toys and game applications that are enhanced with digital watermarks. In one embodiment, a character card includes a unique identifier in the form of a digital watermark. The identifier is used to link to a database record, which can be updated to reflect changes in game attributes. Some such game attributes include life, character type and name, health, strength, and power levels. The data record can be updated or modified to reflect changes in attributes due to activity or events during a computer software game. The database record can be used by the computer software game to alter or enhance the game. In another embodiment, a toy interacts with toy components or cards via digital watermarks. Digital watermarks enhance games, toys and books in still other embodiments.