ON Thursdays the USPTO publishes new pending patent applications. Both of today's Spotlight Applications concern aspects of DRM. Assigned to IBM, the first application discloses techniques that use DRM for implementing commerce between virtual worlds. Apparently assigned to Cisco, the second application discloses techniques for sharing media content assets between users of a web-based service.
20100121729, "Method, hardware product, and computer program product for implementing commerce between virtual worlds, assigned to IBM.
A virtual business transaction is implemented between a first virtual world and a second virtual world by providing a searchable catalog that includes one or more items each comprising a virtual good, a virtual service, a real good, or a real service. An object representation is stored for each of the items. Each of the stored object representations is associated with metadata comprising any of digital rights metadata, ownership metadata, identity metadata, payment method metadata, or currency detail metadata. A set of transformation algorithms are established that are customized through a rule set. A request is received specifying a copying, modifying, or reselling of an item selected from the items in the searchable catalog. The copying, modifying, or reselling of the item from a first virtual world to a second virtual world is implemented using the set of transformation algorithms. An exchange of virtual currency is implemented between the first virtual world and the second virtual world using the set of transformation algorithms.
20100125511, "Sharing media content assets between users of a web-based service," apparently assigned to Cisco.
In one embodiment, a method comprises receiving a request for access to a media content asset from a first user of a web-based service, the request specifying a second user that has provided access to the media content asset; retrieving, from a user database, a user entry describing attributes associated with the second user; determining whether the user entry includes digital rights metadata for determining whether the second user is licensed to share at least a portion of the media content asset; and selectively providing the first user with access to at least the portion of the media content asset based on determining from the digital rights metadata that the media content asset is licensed to the second user, and determining that the first user is authorized by the second user to access the media content asset.