Fox Entertainment Group (Patent): IPO 16 Jul 2013

IPO The inventions of both applications concern the secure distribution of digital media content – and in particular the secure distribution of digital feature films to trusted digital cinema outlets. A digital cinema master is transformed into encrypted digital cinema packages, which can then be distributed and viewed at remote locations. A packaging platform, with access to a digital encryption key platform, generates one or more encrypted files. These encrypted files may comprise various components of the film, such as picture, sound, reel number, subtitles in a certain language etc, and they are generated based upon booking information from the outlet in question. This information is obtained via an interface with a booking component. Together, these encrypted files make up a version of the film to be distributed to the outlet in question.
The hearing officer followed the steps set out in Aerotel in order to determine whether the inventions were excluded from patentability. He concluded that the contribution made by the inventions lay not in providing a new or more secure digital media distribution system overall, but in a different way of generating encryption keys within such a system. In GB10, encryptions keys are automatically generated in response to booking information and are for specific viewings on specific trusted equipment. In GB13, they are automatically generated in response to a packaging request from an authorised user or terminal. He found that the automatic encryption processing, based on particular data, is no more than the operation of a computer program per se. However, he did not agree that the automatic encryption process amounted to a scheme, rule or method for doing business. The applications were refused.

Dr J E Porter
[2013] UKIntelP o28613, O/286/13

Intellectual Property

Updated: 23 November 2021; Ref: scu.517158