Pre-Grant Publication Number: 20070136608
Collaborate on the process of community review for this application. Posting will not be forwarded to the USPTO. Flagging a post as an ACTION ITEM signals further research. Flagging SPAM and ABUSE helps to manage discussion. Placing double brackets around a reference to a claim or prior art will create a hyperlink to the original ex. [[claim 1]] and [[prior art 2]].

Please review the Community Code of Conduct prior to posting

Discussion (24)
  Facilitator's Comment     Action Item
  Show without Noise
morris jones (over 3 years ago)
The percentages are not specified, and could be zero or 100%. This would then clearly be like transferring music from Apple Itunes, storing it on my computer, and then transferring it to an IPOD.

I have also used ATM machines that will work while offline, and then transfer the activities when they go back online. The offline transaction part has been done before, and may be "obvious".

The early Pay per View Cable TV boxes had a phone line for the back channel. They allowed watching the content, and then at night called home with the billing information. Some of the money went to the cable company, and some went to the content provider. This may be close art for the claim.
Tom Condon (over 3 years ago)
In addition to the previous comment, if you connect the two digital machines to make the transfer of the digital media directly from one to another (as the patent application implies) the machines are then "on line" - connected to a network. A small network, but a network. Also, in order to electronically transfer the balances to the copyright owner and the "first user" one of them will need to connect to the internet, which takes it out of the "off line" category.

So this is either unworkable or improperly defined.
Tom Condon (over 3 years ago)
Regarding Claim 00001
A method, comprising:
performing a secure off-line transfer of a digital media content from a
first media playback device of a first user to a second media playback
device of a second user for a price via an off-line transaction;
securely storing a proof of the off-line transaction; providing a first
percentage of the price to an owner of a copyright of the digital media
content based on the stored proof; and providing a second percentage of
the price to the first user based on the stored proof.

This is no different from a cash sale of a CD over the counter in a
store after the purchaser has listened to it on the store's player then
the purchaser placing it into his/her own player for listening.

performing a secure off-line transfer = handing over the item purchased
of a digital media content = CD from a first media playback device = CD
player of a first user = store to a second media playback device = CD
player of a second user = purchaser for a price via an off-line
transaction; = cash sale securely storing a proof of the off-line
transaction; = saving the sales receipt providing a first percentage of
the price = royalty paid by the CD manufacturer to an owner of a
copyright = music writer/arranger/producer of the digital media content
= song recorded digitally based on the stored proof = sales price on
sales slip and providing a second percentage of the price = profit to
the first user = store based on the stored proof = sales slip/record

So, as best I can tell they seem to have claimed to have invented over-the-counter sales. Hmm. Despite millennia of prior art.
Tom Condon (over 3 years ago)
Hmm. Now *I* have to reply to myself to clarify because I don't know how to edit. Lesson: Never post at the end of a long day...

The third (jumbled) paragraph should read:

1. "performing a secure off-line transfer" = handing over the item purchased
2. "of a digital media content" = CD
3. "from a first media playback device" = CD player
4. "of a first user" = store
5. "to a second media playback device" = CD player
6. "of a second user" = purchaser
7. "for a price via an off-line transaction;" = cash sale
8. "securely storing a proof of the off-line transaction;" = saving the sales receipt
9. "providing a first percentage of the price" = royalty paid by the CD manufacturer
10. "to an owner of a copyright" = music writer/arranger/producer
11. "of the digital media content" = song recorded digitally
12. " based on the stored proof" = sales price on sales slip
13. "and providing a second percentage of the price" = profit
14. "to the first user" = store
15. "based on the stored proof" = sales slip/record
Bill Kenney (over 3 years ago)
Description says:

"As shown in FIG. 1, most, if not all, economic
ecosystems for digital media are based upon
on-line systems"

Correct me if I am wrong but the longest running
economic ecosystem for digital media is the Red Book
CD. That being invented in the 80's. Therefore
the suppsition in the first paragraph of the
Description is flawed.
Fabian Fagerholm (over 3 years ago)
This application does not seem to have much originality. Basically, I would break it down into X parts:

1. Sending of digital media content (files) from one device to another.
2. An accounting system that credits the sending user (royalty) and the copyright owner (payment), and debits the receiving user.
3. Considerations when the devices are not within reach of a network. (They can only network between each other.)
4. Data communications encryption, authentication and authorization.
5. DRM.
6. Media player (software) on the user devices.
7. Management system (software) that handles the accounting (economy) aspects.
8. Actions to be taken in special cases, eg. detection of downloads that have not been paid for.

Part 1: hardly original; Bluetooth and Infrared systems are already capable of doing this.
Part 2: prior art exists (submitted).
Part 3: these are obvious technical issues common to disconnected operation in transactional databases; the application does not even solve any interesting issues here.
Part 4: there is tons of prior art; this is an area where most problems are already solved, and certainly this application solves none of the problems, it merely lists existing capabilities of data communications security.
Part 5: like security, nothing new here; the application merely lists existing capabilities.
Part 6: only a simple description of capabilities which can be found in many media players. Also, there is prior art.
Part 7: see part 6.
Part 8: can you patent the decision to allow customers to pay retroactively if they have received content that hasn't been paid for? Can you patent the decision to play, upon detection of such material, media content discouraging the user from continuing its use without paying? That is not an invention.

I have found and attached some prior art.
Tom Evans (over 3 years ago)
In general this looks to be not-original when compared to Project Xanadju, the first hypertext , by Ted Nelson, founded in 1960. See: for intro, current and past primary sources.

The 17 original rules of Xanadu include online, off line, payments, etf.
Can any of this patent pass KSR with all of this for common knowledge?

1. Every Xanadu server is uniquely and securely identified.
2. Every Xanadu server can be operated independently or in a network.
3. Every user is uniquely and securely identified.
4. Every user can search, retrieve, create and store documents.
5. Every document can consist of any number of parts each of which may be of any data type.
6. Every document can contain links of any type including virtual copies ("transclusions") to any other document in the system accessible to its owner.
7. Links are visible and can be followed from all endpoints.
8. Permission to link to a document is explicitly granted by the act of publication.
9. Every document can contain a royalty mechanism at any desired degree of granularity to ensure payment on any portion accessed, including virtual copies ("transclusions") of all or part of the document.
10. Every document is uniquely and securely identified.
11. Every document can have secure access controls.
12. Every document can be rapidly searched, stored and retrieved without user knowledge of where it is physically stored.
13. Every document is automatically moved to physical storage appropriate to its frequency of access from any given location.
14. Every document is automatically stored redundantly to maintain availability even in case of a disaster.
15. Every Xanadu service provider can charge their users at any rate they choose for the storage, retrieval and publishing of documents.
16. Every transaction is secure and auditable only by the parties to that transaction.
17. The Xanadu client-server communication protocol is an openly published standard. Third-party software development and integration is encouraged.[1]
Eduard de Jong (over 3 years ago)
Claims 1-18 all have very little merit obviouly without inventiveness and enablement often waving concepts as "off-line" and "electronic content" to hide the fact that the claims decribe common practice in business. The only claims of possibly some substance are claims 19,20,21.
Eduard de Jong (over 3 years ago)
Regarding Claim 00009 it is clear that the full transcation as claimed in Claim 1 is inherently not actually off-line in that it requires a completeness step claimed here to efecitively transfer allacted percentages of the sales proceeds to their intended recipients. Therefor this claim indicates that a system as claimed in Claim 1 can not be build (lack of enablement on a logical basis). However, adding the transfer of value to intended recipients does not establish an inventiv element as that has been done in commerce since the dawn of mankind.
Eduard de Jong (over 3 years ago)
Regarding Claim 00006 it lacks incentiveness as the secured communication protocol as claimed is widely used in diffrent variations, e.g. specified by TLS (RFC2246). Establishing session ids in the opening protocol is also common practice. Applying a secure communication proticol to an electronci commerce transaction is common practice.
Eduard de Jong (over 3 years ago)
Regarding Claim 00002 it lacks inventivenss as applying cryptography to an electronic sales protocol to enhance its security has been decribed in tha past 20+ year in many places, Prior Art Reference 1 specifies a standard for one such protocol.
As decribed in Prior Art Reference 1 teh protocol can be used to purchase anything, including digital content, so applying it as claimed here is foreseen in this European standard.
Eduard de Jong (over 3 years ago)
Regarding Claim 00001 it lacks any inventiveness as none of the steps are new either alone or in combination:
Step 1 claims the transfer of content between two devices in a secure fashion which is commomnly done using SSL or VPN. The concept of off-line is meaningless, as may be demonstarted by two devices communicting via VPN as they are conceptually de-coupled from the net, and cannot serve to introduce an invenmtive aspect. Step two claims the secure storage of a transction receipt, this is commonly done in a cash register at a point of sale. Steps three and four describe partioning proceeds to different interested parties in a sale, this is common practice in many sale transaction, for example in auction houses or consignment shops. These aparticular steps can be performed in cash which is fully off-line (in the truest sense!).
Eduard de Jong (over 3 years ago)
Regarding Claim 00008, it is completely covered by Claim 00001 one: that describes two devices performing an excange of content as a electronic purchase transaction. It adds no new elements.
Eduard de Jong (over 3 years ago)
Regarding Claim 00003: It lacks any inventivense as it describes a standard 3 step electornic payment protocol as was standardized by EN1046 (1997?) (of which i was one of the authors).
Eduard de Jong (over 3 years ago)
correction (i can't edit my own comment!!!, and it got submitted without me explicitly doing it!! while adding the prior art data):
The number is EN1546, 1994.
Eckhart Köppen (over 3 years ago)
This looks very much like the "Transaction Tracking" mechanism of the Open Mobile Alliance DRM 2.0 standard:

OMA DRM 2.0 has been specified from 2003 to 2006, and transaction tracking was discussed early on - the mailing list archives and meeting minutes should contain enough references.
Patent Reviewerguy (over 3 years ago)
Perhaps it is my lack of professional knowledge but this patent seems far too vague to explain what it indends. All I've understood from it is that it's an online product that claims to be offline via a bluetooth style device....if I understand correctly. Can someone provide an accurate layman's summary of what this is intended to do?
Brian Regence (over 3 years ago)
The patent mentions Weedshare, a"Superdistribution" system developed by Shared Media Licensing Inc in 2003.

The economic methods around paying a percentage to both the copyright owner and a seller/distributor as an incentive originated with SML and are not original to Microsoft. The consumer version of the SML technology known as Weedshare was available from 2003 until April 2007 when they shutdown. The Superdistribution platform was built on the Microsoft Windows Media Player DRM.

Some background info on SML Inc and Weedshare is here:

SuperDistribution was originally developed and a patent filed by John Beezer, president of Shared Media Licensing. Microsoft knows about this prior art, because they signed a patent non-assertion agreement with SML Inc in 2006.

The Weedshare model was an online model but extending the identical model to work offline is obvious.
Steven Pearson (over 3 years ago)
I'm not able to locate the mentioned patent or a published patent application. Do you by any chance have the number or other specifics to search on? If you believe that there is a prior model that is identical except in one facet, that could be relevant prior art if there was public documentation. If you or someone associated with Weedshare has access to same, upload it here in the Prior Art category!
Kahscho __ (over 3 years ago)
Weedshare looks dead on. Let's submit some articles describing Weedshare that are dated prior to Dec. 2004 -- which will qualify as prior publications under Section 102(b).
Giordano Beretta (over 3 years ago)
I believe the application has merit. The information in the Peer to Patent system does not include references to related art, so it is not clear how much due diligence was carried out by the inventors. The proposed system has several points in common — although the specific algorithms may be different — with MPEG-21 Part 4—IPMP (Intellectual Property Management and Protection). In fact, the problems this application is addressing are very similar to those discussed in MPEG-21 Part 1—Vision.

MPEG-21 is on-line, so it is not prior art for this patent application. However, MPEG-21 Part 4 was in its final form by the end of 2003, so the claims in this patent application should be checked against related MPEG claims. I do not have familiarity with the MPEG-21 patent literature, so I am not able to offer specific comments.
Gerald McBrearty (over 3 years ago)
On-line publications or anything posted on the internet that everyone can see is acceptable prior art. So MPEG-21 would be considered prior art.
Brian Densmore (over 3 years ago)
How is a method of "making a sale" and "recording that sale" innovative? Every cash register in WalMart does this now. You buy a 4 pack of Energize "D" batteries, at a Wlamart register, and this sale is recorded securely off-line into a Walmart database, and inventory is then updated. How could anyone consider this non-obvious?
Brian Densmore (over 3 years ago)
Here I am replying to my own post, because I see no way to edit it. Prior art for this will be hard to come by because of the terminology of the application, but This is basically an extension of an on-line purchase of music through something such as Napster. Claim 3 is the only claim that has any originality in that it would incorporate new communication between two electronic media devices, but Computers can already do this via a LAN. So I could: build two computers with DVD players, connect them to a network, install a SQL database on both of them to record the event of copying of any song or movie, calculate a percent owed to the "copyee" from the "copier", and a dollar figure owed to the copyright holder, and that would be an application of the proposed patent. This is exactly what those download sites do now except they are "on-line" as opposed to off-line. So the only change here is from on-line to off-line. Which could be considered non-obvious, for the simple fact that why would anyone want to do this off-line when it is easier on-line? Of course, this could also be described as buying a CD from Walmart; where Walmart sells you a copy of the latest SnoopDog CD from SONY(or whoever), records that sale in it's off-line computers and pays the copyright owner for it. The only thing missing is the digital devices.