Distributed Media Delivery
Imagine a library of every movie, every TV show, and every song ever created legally accessible on your computer, TV or mobile device. Distributed media delivery can overcome the bandwidth limits plaguing content suppliers.
Distributed media delivery would substantially decrease the costs of distribution of feature films, documentary and any other type of digital media. This will allow low budget documentaries or film projects to distribute their work and receive sales revenue. Similar to what iTunes did for independent music artists.
Several companies including Amazon and Netflix offer a sizable selection of movies on demand, but it is by no stretch of the imagination all encompassing. The bandwidth issues that limit the number of titles available can also cause issues, as Netflix found out in December of 2012 when it’s service when down due to too many requests.
There are also file sharing sites providing pirated versions of media, but the vast majority of people would rather play by the rules and not break copyright laws.
The primary goal of this project is to raise enough support from funders to continue working with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to grant this patent. There have been several office actions and appeals over the past several years. Each round costs between $2000 and $7000, and I’ve reached my limit on resources. Stretch goals are $500,000 and $1,200,000.
In order to continue the fight I need your help. The three options I currently have are:
1) Request a rehearing of the latest appeal. Costs about $2,000.
2) File a continuation which would not be reviewed for about 2 years. – Costs about $2500-3000 and the process has already taken several years out of the life of the patent.
3) File a continuation with the accelerated examination option which would be reviewed within 1 year. – Costs about $5000 due to a fee imposed by the USPTO.
The preferred course of action is to file a request for a rehearing of the latest appeal and then file an accelerated examination. The $4,000 funding goal includes the percentage received by, Indiegogo and PayPal, and the cost of funder ‘Thank You’ perks.
Stretch Goals: Let’s imagine this project ‘Goes Pebble’ beyond my wildest dreams…
$500,000 – I will put the old team back together with a mix of some new developers to create the software package that would make the invention a reality.
$1,200,000 – I will begin designs for a set top box that will be a standalone unit to connect to any TV. This will allow integration into your existing home theater.
The ultimate goal is to create a new tool to deliver an unlimited digital media library in a more economical manner than is currently available.
I thought it good to make fun of the whole process of being rejected by the patent office by making “I am not a REJECT” merchandise. They can be used for anytime your boss, your wife or husband, friend or family tell you ‘No’.
Helios® Magnetic Levitating “I am not a REJECT” pen
"I am not a REJECT" T-shirt
"I am not a REJECT" Sticker
Many years ago a friend was working for a company which was creating a tool to deliver a wide variety of movies to subscribers in digital format. He indicated that they had an insurmountable problem of limited bandwidth. There is a bandwidth bottleneck at the supplier end limiting the number of titles available. Imagine thousands of people ordering thousands of different videos at the same time… They simply couldn’t supply the bandwidth.
I started thinking about how to overcome this limitation, eventually it hit me… move the bulk of the data sent to the customer downstream past the bottleneck.
What if the movie, or any other type of digital file, is chopped into small segments. Each segment is then sent to a subscriber’s hard drive (there would be redundancy for each segment). A central server tracks who has each segment. When someone orders a movie the request is sent to the server, the server sends instructions to the proper subscribers who have stored the segments of the movie, the subscribers’ segments is sent to the customer who has ordered the movie. When all segments have arrived to the customer’s hard drive, the movie will be available for viewing.
Two very important features of this invention are due to the central server holding information on where the segments are located. The first feature of this method is that it preserves copyrights. Without placing an order, any individual subscriber does not have a complete movie on their hard drive. Even if someone is able to hack in and view the content on their hard drive, they are only able to view little snippets of movies. Another feature of the invention is the ability for the provider to have clean records of orders and control over content to ensure proper billing.
To start the process of creating and implementing a distributed media delivery system I wrote and with the assistance of a gifted patent attorney I applied for a patent with the US Patent and Trademark office. I also wrote a business plan and started speaking with investors. I even had a meeting set up with one of the largest video rental companies in the world. But less than a week before our meeting, he sold his interest in the company. If he didn’t, I have little doubt the company would not have gone bankrupt and you’d have decentralized media distribution on your computer, and satellite or cable box.
I have been in contact with several Fortune 100 companies about licensing the technology. I’ve been told they will not license a patent application and I should contact them when the patent is granted.
After the meeting with the video company’s CEO was cancelled, I had to change strategy. The dot-com bubble burst and most venture capital dried up; so my focus went to securing the patent. The patent has dragged on through office actions (rejection of claims) and responses, to appeals and appeals of appeals. The arguments continue to be rejected. However I believe the rejections are based on a misunderstanding of what the invention teaches, and a misinterpretation of alleged prior art.
Here’s a link to my pending application Decentralized Media Delivery # 20040216164.
The base argument lies in the interpretation of Bushmitch US Patent #5,928,331.
Bushmitch teaches a way to overcome bandwidth limitations at the receiver end. It has to with a broadcast of streaming video and allows a video to be reconstructed without all the components of the video being received. It follows the assumption that if you’re watching live streaming video or a stored and broadcast streaming video, degradation of the video and audio quality is an acceptable tradeoff to keeping up with the live feed.
My invention does not degrade the quality of the video or audio. The difference to the end user is illustrated by comparing a rope to a chain. A rope (Bushmitch) can still function although it is not as strong (lower quality video) while a chain (my invention) will not work with a missing link.
The two inventions teach completely opposite methods of addressing a media delivery bottleneck.
Two other patents are listed as prior art to my invention:
Novak US Patent Application # 2003/0097655:
The Novak invention teaches a method of set top boxes to verify subscriptions for content utilizing an encrypted access key card.Not applicable to may patent.
He US Patent #6,557,042:
The He invention teaches a method rating segments of a video and making the top votes segment as the preview in a system displaying multiple videos. Not applicable to my invention.
With your help David (me) can overcome the objections of Goliath (the US Patent and Trademark Office).
I have written and been granted 3 patents. My patent attorney corrected grammar, clarified my ramblings, wrote the claims, and submitted successful arguments to the USPTO.
Levitation of Objects Using Magnetic Force #7,671,712
To see the application of this patent go no further than the rewards for this project. The Helios magnetic levitating pens are one product that has come out playing with magnets and this patent. Magnets are really cool!
Mobile Telecommunication Device for Simultaneously Transmitting and Receiving Sound and Image Data #6,847,334
This patent describes an embedded computer which sends images of x-rays, MRI’s, patient injuries, etc. over standard phone lines while allowing real time voice and image manipulation. At the time it was pretty cool technology, but between in the 16 months it took to go from idea to production laptop prices dropped from $6,000 to $3,000 and the internet went from ‘avoid at all costs’ to the holy grail. The software based internet solution we shifted towards would have been ground breaking. We got about halfway through development and ran out of funding. With the dot com bubble burst the venture capital funding disappeared. Sound familiar? Over 10 years later and the telemedicine companies are finally catching up with the features of patient-doctor-caregiver interaction and portability of patient data implementing with our software solution.
Computer Input Device Having Multiple Multi-Dimensional Detection Devices #6,184,869
This patent was granted, however we did not fight for all of our claims. This was a big mistake and I do not want to repeat it again. We would have had a very valuable patent had we kept fighting. A patent with similar claims to the ones we were pursuing was granted after ours. I venture to guess he is retired somewhere on a beach. The original invention was a mouse, with a trackball on the top side. This was expanded to include all multiple multi-dimensional input devices. The Microsoft® Intellimouse® would have fallen under the umbrella of the original claims.
Live and Learn…