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Method for Securing Hardware Design Intellectual Property When Publishing in Virtual Worlds

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000191426D
Original Publication Date: 2010-Jan-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2010-Jan-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 24K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Companies are beginning to place design or part information in virtual worlds. There is a risk that someone could take the description of the object and use it to manufacture the part for themselves or for re-selling as a third party. This publication presents an invention that can automatically transform 3D design information in a public space so that it cannot be illegally appropriated by a third party.

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Method for Securing Hardware Design Intellectual Property When Publishing in Virtual Worlds

When companies place design information in a virtual world they place that information at risk. For example, part information can be placed in a virtual world to allow users to browse an object and order replacement parts however a third-party could take that information and create their own parts. As an example of how easily parts can be duplicated once the CAD data is made available, here is an example of a discussion about how parts could be duplicated: http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3036 . Home fabrication machinery is currently uncommon; however, this type of machinery may be more and more common to home users in the future. Larger companies, of course, have more sophisticated options they could use to duplicate and manufacture parts.

One possible solution to this theft and counterfeit risk is to allow users to view only a 2D representation of an object. However, the disadvantage in this approach is that the user is unable to take advantage of the 3D representation in order to easily locate a part or part information. Another solution would be to encrypt the part data and decrypt it when it is displayed. A disadvantage with this approach is that the part data will be available on the client and for some popular virtual worlds today the source code would be open to create a client that could decrypt and save this information.

This invention creates small, random distortions of parts so that their design data cannot be copied. Any part made from the distorted data would be useless. But because the distortions were small the part would still be recognizable.

The invention would work in the following manner:

The part information owner would upload the CAD data for one or more parts.

1.

The owner would...