The Patent of the Month (or “Yes, It’s Mine. No You Can’t Touch It.”)

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By way of Things Magazine, we ran across Idea’s 21‘s “Patent of the Month” feature, curated by the British Library’s Steve Van Dulken. Besides really liking his first name, he’s got a great batch of essays here about all kinds of interesting things. Mostly stories about inventive product design, but also stuff like an ode to product placement in the new James Bond film. But how is that a patent? Here’s a bit of that:

Out of curiosity I went to WIPO’s excellent database, Patentscope…and asked for any mentions in the full text of PCT applications of “James Bond.” There were 45, many of which by their titles sound very relevant to the secret agent (“Electronic mail-based adventure game and method of operation,” “Flying all-terrain vehicle”). One looked quite intriguing: Philips’ WO 06/077536, “Automatic generation of trailers containing product placements.”

The patent specification suggests that trailers for the films could be used to get around this problem, using automatic generators on “home media servers.” Such generators do not ensure that the product placement content stays without deliberate editing. The product placements data segments are tagged within the “superset” of data in the production stage to ensure that they will remain in altered versions. This provides “a better service to the providers of the product placement data.”