US20070006267A1 - Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products - Google Patents

Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20070006267A1
US20070006267A1 US11/531,353 US53135306A US2007006267A1 US 20070006267 A1 US20070006267 A1 US 20070006267A1 US 53135306 A US53135306 A US 53135306A US 2007006267 A1 US2007006267 A1 US 2007006267A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
product
program
information
entertainment program
viewer
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11/531,353
Inventor
Jay Walker
James Jorasch
Sanjay Jindal
Thomas Sparico
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Jorasch James A
Original Assignee
Walker Jay S
Jorasch James A
Jindal Sanjay K
Sparico Thomas M
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US08/831,968 priority Critical patent/US6131086A/en
Priority to US51196800A priority
Application filed by Walker Jay S, Jorasch James A, Jindal Sanjay K, Sparico Thomas M filed Critical Walker Jay S
Priority to US11/531,353 priority patent/US20070006267A1/en
Publication of US20070006267A1 publication Critical patent/US20070006267A1/en
Assigned to IGT reassignment IGT LICENSE (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: WALKER DIGITAL GAMING HOLDING, LLC, WALKER DIGITAL GAMING, LLC, WALKER DIGITAL, LLC, WDG EQUITY, LLC
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

Links

Images

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • G06Q30/0601Electronic shopping
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • G06Q30/0601Electronic shopping
    • G06Q30/0613Third-party assisted
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • G06Q30/0601Electronic shopping
    • G06Q30/0623Item investigation
    • G06Q30/0625Directed, with specific intent or strategy
    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06QDATA PROCESSING SYSTEMS OR METHODS, SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES; SYSTEMS OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR ADMINISTRATIVE, COMMERCIAL, FINANCIAL, MANAGERIAL, SUPERVISORY OR FORECASTING PURPOSES, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • G06Q30/00Commerce, e.g. shopping or e-commerce
    • G06Q30/06Buying, selling or leasing transactions
    • G06Q30/0601Electronic shopping
    • G06Q30/0633Lists, e.g. purchase orders, compilation or processing
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N21/00Selective content distribution, e.g. interactive television or video on demand [VOD]
    • H04N21/40Client devices specifically adapted for the reception of or interaction with content, e.g. set-top-box [STB]; Operations thereof
    • H04N21/47End-user applications
    • H04N21/488Data services, e.g. news ticker
    • H04N21/4882Data services, e.g. news ticker for displaying messages, e.g. warnings, reminders

Abstract

To allow viewers to easily purchase products shown in entertainment programs, the viewers call an operator terminal. The operator terminal is networked to a central controller, which is also networked to remote terminals. Remote terminal operators enter data about props used in programs, copies of which are to be offered for sale. These remote terminals transmit this data to the central controller for storage in a database. Operators at the operator terminals can access the data stored at the central controller to respond calls from viewers seeking to purchase products.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates to a method and system for allowing viewers to purchase products shown on television shows. More particularly, the invention relates to a method and system for allowing television viewers to purchase products which appear on entertainment program-type television shows.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • Television programs dedicated solely to selling merchandise, or sales programs, have been broadcast on television and other broadcast media. One example of such sales programs includes, “infomercials,” which are essentially lengthy paid commercials. Also, narrative television programs, in which scenes that showcase products available for sale are intermittently frozen while commercial sales of those products are undertaken, have been broadcast.
  • In recent years, sales programs have become increasingly commonplace. This is largely attributable to the wide availability of cable television, which provides access to many more channels, and therefore programming choices, than would otherwise be available. Indeed, cable channels such as the “Home Shopping Network,” are devoted solely to selling merchandise.
  • In addition to broadcasted television, promotional video tapes have also been used to specifically sell merchandise. Automobile manufacturers, for example, distribute video tapes containing product information to potential customers.
  • Sales programs, however, do not constitute the most prevalent type of programming. Far more widespread are programs whose primary objective is to entertain. Entertainment programs, which include such programs as soap operas, sitcoms, dramas, and sporting events, generate revenue primarily by selling advertising time dispersed throughout broadcasts of the programs. Thus, while entertainment programs are supported by advertising, the artistic contents of entertainment programs are directed solely to entertaining viewers, and not to soliciting sales of merchandise as they are with sales programs.
  • Because entertainment programs are typically not produced with the intent of selling merchandise, a potentially lucrative source of revenue has gone unrealized. Television viewers may find themselves interested in purchasing products which are the same brand or design as props seen in entertainment programs. However, the demand for these products has not yet been satisfied. Revenue from sales of such products could improve the financial success of an entertainment program. Manufacturers would pay to have their products used in popular shows. Further, the producer could charge a fee for each product ordered that was identified from their show. This could increase revenues as well as lessen the program's dependency on advertising. As a result, products could experience greater freedom of artistic content, increasing the variety of entertainment programs available to the public.
  • Present sales mechanisms are not effective for selling products that are related to entertainment programs. For example, while catalogs are presently used to sell souvenir merchandise such as t-shirts and coffee mugs, they do not sell products similar to television props. For example, a program viewer cannot buy the Armani suit that Frasier was wearing on the Jun. 30, 1996 episode. These products gain much appeal from their association with the program actors. The present invention provides viewers with a sense of immediate gratification through making the products readily available.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Systems consistent with the present invention allow viewers of an entertainment program to purchase products used in the program. Information about products is stored in databases that can be accessed by operators based on viewer supplied information.
  • To achieve these and other advantages, a product sales system consistent with the present invention comprises a system for allowing a viewer to purchase products shown in an entertainment program. The system includes means for storing in a database product information relating to a product shown in the entertainment program. Means are provided for receiving from the viewer a request about the product shown in the entertainment program, the request containing a subset of the product information. Also included are means for identifying the product information in the database using the subset of the product information, and means for sending to the viewer the identified information about the product.
  • In another aspect, the invention includes a system for allowing entertainment program viewers to purchase products shown in an entertainment program. The system includes a remote terminal for entering product data about a product used in the entertainment program. A central controller, coupled to the remote terminal, receives and stores the entered product data from the remote terminal. An operator terminal, coupled to the central controller, accesses from the central controller information about the product used in the entertainment program.
  • Both the foregoing general description and the following Detailed Description are exemplary and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The accompanying drawings provide a further understanding of the invention and, together with the Detailed Description, explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:
  • FIG. 1 is a block diagram of the product sales system consistent with the invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of central controller 110 shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 is a block diagram of remote terminal 150 shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4 is a block diagram of operator terminal 140 shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 5 illustrates sample records from program database 262 stored in data storage device 260 shown in FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 6 illustrates sample records from product database 263 stored in data storage device 260 shown in FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 7 illustrates sample records from vendor database 264 stored in data storage device 260 shown in FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 8 illustrates sample records from order database 265 stored in data storage device 260 shown in FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 9 is a flow diagram representing a method for the operation of, remote terminal 150 shown in FIG. 3;
  • FIG. 10 is a flow diagram representing a method for processing data in central controller 110 of FIG. 2; and
  • FIGS. 11 a-11 b are flow diagrams representing a method for processing a viewers' orders consistent with this invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Introduction
  • Systems consistent with this invention allow viewers of an entertainment program to purchase products seen on these programs. The term “entertainment program,” as used in the specification, refers to programs whose primary purpose is to entertain, and not to sell products or services. Examples of “entertainment programs” include soap operas, sitcoms, dramas, sporting events, and movies. An entertainment program may be transmitted over any transmission media, such as wireless transmission, cable, or the Internet, or stored on a storage media, such as video tape or laser disk. Further, an entertainment program may be displayed on any broadcast media, such as television. The term “prop” refers to an item actually used on an entertainment program. The term “product” refers to merchandise similar to a prop. By similar it is meant that the product is visually and/or functionally indistinguishable from the prop. The product may or not be the same brand and/or make and model of the prop, but will not be the actual prop used in the show. This includes but is not limited to clothing, furniture, electronic goods, jewelry, cars, sporting goods and the like. The term product is not restricted to physical goods, but also includes services such as vacations or tickets to sporting events or shows. Additionally, videos of the episode would also be available for sale through this service.
  • In one such system, a central controller stores information about products available for sale. Before an entertainment program is broadcasted, viewers are shown a telephone number that they can call to find out whether certain products used in the program are available for sale. Calling this telephone number connects viewers to an operator who queries them regarding products they are interested in purchasing. The operator then compares the information provided by the viewers with information stored in the central controller's database to identify the particular products each viewer would each like to purchase. The database is organized to allow the operator to access information with only a minimal amount of information describing the product. The operator may also provide viewers with information about products other than those the viewers asked about. If the viewers are interested in purchasing a product at this point, an order is placed for the product through the operator.
  • System Organization
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a block diagram of a system 100 consistent with the present invention. System 100 includes a central controller 110, a viewer interface 120, a telephonic interactive voice response unit (IVRU) 130, a plurality of operator terminals 140, a plurality of remote terminals 150, and a vendor facility 160. Although FIG. 1 shows three operator terminals 140 and three remote terminals 150, any number of these terminals may be connected to central controller 110. Similarly, one viewer interface 120 or multiple viewer interfaces 120 can access each operator terminal 140 through a corresponding IVRU 130. Central controller 110 is linked to operator terminals 140, remote terminals 150, and vendor facility 160 through communication links, such as telephone lines or other data communication lines. IVRU 130 is linked to viewer interface 120 by conventional telephone lines.
  • Central controller 110 receives product data and entertainment program data from remote terminals 150 and stores this data in a memory, as described below. Further, viewer interface 120 transmits a product request to a corresponding IVRU 130 and operator terminal 140, each of which may be located in a call service center. The product request describes a particular product of interest to the viewer, and an operator at operator terminal 140 processes the product request. Terminal 140 then transmits program description data corresponding to the request to central controller 110, which, after accessing the product and program data stored in its memory, transmits product identification data back to operator terminal 140. This data is provided to viewer interface 120. If the viewer decides to purchases a product, controller 110 transmits product order data to vendor facility 160, which then routes the purchased product to the viewer.
  • Central controller 110 preferably includes a digital data processing unit programmed to execute unique functions and operations in accordance with the principles of the invention. Such a digital data processing unit may include conventional hardware, such as the IBM RS 6000. Operator terminals 140 and remote terminals 150 are digital data processing units, such as conventional personal computers configured to carry out the functions and operations described below.
  • Viewer interface 120 preferably comprises a conventional touch-tone telephone, although any device capable of transmitting messages may be employed. In one embodiment viewer interface 120 comprises a conventional personal computer with a modem. The user connects to central controller 110 or operator terminal 140 via the Internet or other appropriate data communication channels.
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing one embodiment of central controller 110. Central controller 110 includes certain standard hardware components, such as central processing unit (CPU) 210, random access memory (RAM) 220, read only memory (ROM) 230, clock 240, communication port 250, and data storage 260. CPU 210 is linked to each of the other listed elements. Communication port 250 interfaces central controller 110 with operator terminal 140, remote terminal 150, and vendor facility 160.
  • Central controller 110 executes one or more programs to perform the functions and operations described below, and stores several databases of data relating to those functions and operations. These databases include program database 262, product database 263, vendor database 264, and order database 265. The programs (described in reference to FIGS. 10 and 11) are preferably stored in storage device 260 and executed by CPU 210. Transaction processor 261 manages the storage and retrieval from the databases in data storage device 260. Transaction processor 261 may comprise a separate conventional microprocessor, as shown in FIG. 2, or may comprise a portion of the operating function of CPU 210.
  • Program database 262 provides a repository of information on entertainment programs on which products available for sale were used. By accessing the information stored in database 262, operator terminal 140 can identify the particular entertainment program the viewer is calling about. FIG. 5 shows a possible organization of database 262 with the following fields for each program: program record number 510; network 515; class 520; program title 525; episode date and time 530; scene data 535; episode status 540; episode title 545; episode plot 550; and special characters 555. A manager of the system assigns program record number 510, which uniquely identifies a particular entertainment program. In one embodiment, program record number 510 could correspond to a program identifying number used in the VCR Plus system. Scene data field 535 includes information identifying a particular program scene in which a prop was used. A sitcom, for example, might have a scene data record describing the activity of the characters in the kitchen if the prop being sold is a kitchen utensil. The remaining fields are self-explanatory. Episode plot field 550 includes information describing the plot of a particular episode of an entertainment program. Special characters field 555 includes data representing, for example, guest characters or persons appearing in a particular episode. In alternative embodiments, program database 262 includes fewer or more fields of program information.
  • Product database 263 provides a table of information on products indexed by a program record number 610, which may be the same as program record number 510. By accessing the information in product database 263, operator terminal 140 can identify the particular product that the viewer is interested in purchasing. As shown in FIG. 6, database 263 preferably includes the following fields on each product offered for sale: program record number 610; product type 615; program identifying data 620; product identifying data 625; product description 630; vendor 635; product cost 640; availability 645; and time code 650. Program and product identifying fields 620 and 625 include information that enables the identification of programs, and products offered for sale on the programs, respectively. Such information describes characteristics of the entertainment programs and associated products. Thus, program identifying data field 620 typically contains information similar to episode plot field 550. Time code field 650 includes a range of time code values corresponding to the time during which the respective product was displayed on the program. Product database 263 further includes information about the type of product for sale (product type 615), and retail information about the product description 630, vendor 635, product cost 640, and availability 645. In practice, product database 263 may include fewer or more fields for product information.
  • Vendor database 264 contains a table of information on the different vendors who supply the products. This table is preferably indexed by various vendor names. The information stored in vendor database 264 reflects information that central controller 110 can access about product vendors when placing orders. In other words, vendor database 264 provides information that may be either provided to viewer interface 120 or used while placing an order with a particular product vendor. FIG. 7 shows a possible organization for vendor information containing the following fields on each registered vendor: vendor name 710; vendor identification number 715; products sold by the vendor 720; location of the vendor 725; and preferred methods of payment 730. The nature of these fields are self-explanatory. In alternative embodiments, vendor database 264 may include more or fewer fields.
  • Order database 265 includes a data file for each order placed by a viewer. FIG. 8 shows a possible organization of database 265 with the following fields for each viewer: viewer name 810; viewer address 815; order tracking number 820; order date 825; order amount 830; product ordered 835; product identification number 840; method of payment used 845; shipping data 850; and vendor used 855 (same as vendor field 710). Product identification number 840 is preferably assigned by vendor 855. The nature of the remaining fields are self-explanatory. Order database 265 may, however, include fewer or more fields for order information.
  • FIG. 3 shows the architecture of remote terminal 150 of system 100. Communication port 350 provides an interface for linking remote terminal 150 to central controller 110. As shown in FIG. 3, remote terminal 150 includes conventional computer components, including CPU 310, which is connected to video driver 320, video terminal 322, data entry unit 324, RAM 330, ROM 340, communication port 350, and data storage device 360. Video terminal 322 is connected to CPU 310 through video driver 320. Data entry unit 324, shown to include a keyboard and a mouse, is connected to CPU 310 for entering data. CPU 310 executes program modules (described in reference to FIG. 9) preferably stored in storage device 360 to perform the functions and operations described below in connection with remote terminal 150. Storage device 360 includes transaction processor 361, program database 362, and product database 363.
  • With respect to data entry operations, remote terminal 150 operates conventionally. A remote terminal operator enters into remote terminal 110 program data for program database 362 and product data for product database 363. Under control of a program stored, for example, in storage device 360 or ROM 340, CPU 310 formats the data for storage in program database 362 and product database 363. Databases 362 and 363 are similar in organization to program database 262 of FIG. 5 and product database 263 of FIG. 6, except that databases 362 and 363 contain information entered in the remote terminal 150.
  • FIG. 4 shows the architecture of operator terminal 140 according to the invention. Communication port 450 provides an interface for linking operator terminal 140 to central controller 110 and IVRU 130. As shown in FIG. 4, operator terminal 140 includes CPU 410 which is connected to video driver 420, video terminal 422, data entry unit 424, RAM 430, ROM 440, and data storage device 460. These components may also be conventional. Video terminal 422 is connected to CPU 410 through video driver 420. Data entry unit 424, shown to include a keyboard and a mouse, is connected to CPU 410 for entering data. CPU 410 executes modules stored in storage device 460 to perform functions and operations described below. Further, storage device 460 includes transaction processor 461 and order database 462. Database 462 comprises a subset of order database 265 of FIG. 8, and includes order information generated locally by operator terminal 140.
  • System Operation
  • Two different aspects of the operation of system 100 will be described. First, system 100 operates to create the databases for the sale of products. Second, system 100 operates using the databases to enable viewers to purchase products shown on an entertainment program
  • Creating the Databases
  • FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating steps for entering program and product information into system 100. This data entry may be performed during or after the filming or taping of an entertainment program. As shown in FIG. 9, a remote terminal operator reviews the script of the entertainment program to determine which products will be offered for sale (step 910). According to one embodiment of the invention, the products sold are not the actual props used on the program, but substantially identical merchandise ordered from the particular product vendor.
  • In alternative embodiments, the actual props used on an entertainment program are sold to viewers. The actual items used by celebrities often have a significantly higher market value than identical, but new, items. Therefore, the price for the actual prop of an entertainment program may be determined, for example, by an auction among the viewers in which the prop is sold to the highest bidder during a fixed period of time. In an auction, each viewer telephones IVRU 130 to place his bid with an operator. Central controller 110 determines the winner of the auction by ranking the viewer bids.
  • The remote terminal operator enters program data for storage in local program database 362 of remote terminal 150 (step 920) and product data for storage in local product database 363 of remote terminal 150 (step 930). Examples of types of program data and product data are shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Remote terminal 150 transmits the data stored in program database 362 and product database 363 to central controller 110 (step 940). This may be done shortly after the remote terminal operator has entered the data or at a specified time interval (e.g., once a week).
  • Once central controller 110 receives the transmitted data, controller 110 processes and indexes the data. FIG. 10 illustrates one way which controller 110 processes and indexes the data. As shown in FIG. 10, central controller 110 receives the data stored in program database 362 and product database 363 from remote terminal 150 (step 1010). CPU 210 processes the data and accesses the program and product databases 262 and 263 from data storage device 260 (step 1020). Next, controller 110 merges the program and product data received from remote terminal 150 into the respective program and product databases 262 and 263 (step 1030). Furthermore, controller 110 preferably merges program and product data from a plurality of remote terminals 150, each remote terminal 150 corresponding to a different entertainment program. Controller 110 then assigns a program record number to each new program data file received from each remote terminal 150 (step 1040). Once the transaction is completed, the product data is indexed by the program record number (step 1050).
  • Purchasing a Product
  • FIGS. 11 a-11 b illustrate the process in which system 100 allows a viewer to purchase a product used in a broadcasted entertainment program. An entertainment program is broadcast to a number of viewers using conventional broadcast techniques (step 1105), such as over-the-air television broadcasts and cable transmission. The program may also be played from a storage media, such as a video cassette or an optical laser disc, upon which the program is recorded or stored. If the program is played from a storage media, the program may include a statement telling the viewer the date after which products shown on the program will no longer be available for purchase. When a viewer wishes to purchase a product displayed in the program, he calls the service using viewer interface 120 and is connected to IVRU 130 (step 1110).
  • Various methods may be used to disseminate the telephone number of the service to the viewers. In one embodiment of the invention, the provider of the program adds a text overlay to the entertainment program to provide the viewer with the telephone number of the IVRU 130. The telephone number may be displayed either before the start of the entertainment program, at the end of the program, during a commercial; or during the program in a corner or along a side of the screen. The telephone number could also be made available in an entertainment program listing, such as TV Guide. The telephone number may be an 800 number, and the purchase price of a product is preferably charged to the viewer using either a credit card or personal check.
  • In a further embodiment of the invention, a 900 number is used as a communication and/or a payment interface for purchasing the desired product. In one such mode, the cost of the 900 number call is the cost of the requested product plus a connection charge. When a viewer/caller has confirmed an order using a standard IVRU interface or by talking to a live operator, the cost of the product is billed to his phone number. In another mode, the 900 number charges a service fee for the call plus a connection charge. Payment for the product is made in a conventional manner.
  • A time code may also be superimposed near the corner of the screen. The time code may be a running clock which is incremented as the program is broadcasted. In this embodiment, time code field 650 in Product Database 263 contains the values of the time code during which products were displayed on the program. By displaying the time code during the program broadcast, the viewer can identify products by the time code value indicated when the viewer noticed the product was shown.
  • IVRU 130 preferably includes a voice prompt system which asks the viewer a series of questions to identify the particular program the viewer is calling about, and the viewer responds by pressing the telephone keys (step 1115). For example, a viewer calling the service to order a suit an actor was wearing in a recent episode is queried by the IVRU 130 for the following information: network identification (CBS, NBC, TNT, FOX, ABC, ESPN, USA), time of day (AM, PM) and episode time (8:00pm), date of episode (March 4) and name of show (Seinfeld). IVRU 130 transmits the responses from the viewer interface 120 to central controller 110 (step 1120). Central Controller 110 then transmits program description data to operator terminal 140 (step 1125). In response, operator terminal 140 receives product identification data from controller 110 (step 1130). Viewer interface 120's call is then transferred to a live operator (step 1135) who, based upon the information received from controller 110, asks the viewer further questions (perhaps even repeating the same questions as necessary) to determine which product the viewer would like to purchase (step 1140).
  • In an alternative embodiment, the viewer does not have to know the name of the program when describing the product to IVRU 130 or to the live operator. For example, the viewer could state “I don't know the name of the program, but a tall guy spilled coffee on something.” The operator would then perform a keyword search on databases 262 and 263, using the description given by the viewer. In this way, the particular product may be identified without additional information from the viewer.
  • Continuing on FIGS. 11 b, the operator then accesses databases 262 and 263 to find data on the particular product that the viewer would like to purchase (step 1145). Central controller 110 then outputs the data on the particular product to the operator (step 1150). The operator, in turn, then provides product ordering information to viewer interface 120 and requests payment for the product (step 1155). Once the operator receives the viewer's payment, for example, a credit or debit card account number, the call is terminated (step 1160) and the order is placed with vendor facility 160 (step 1165). Vendor facility 160 then sends the purchased product to the viewer (step 1170). Alternatively, the service could simply forward the call to the vendor once the product has been identified and not process the order at all.
  • In an alternative embodiment, the present invention is practiced using an Internet interface to the service central controller 110. In this embodiment, a viewer connects to a service web page using conventional web browser software and enters show and product identifying information in response to programmed queries. A conventional search engine searches the appropriate databases, retrieves the episode and product information and displays a graphic presentation of the product. The viewer then visually identifies the product, and verifies electronically that the selection is correct. If the product selection was incorrect, the viewer is given the option to modify his search terms and submit a new query. Once the correct product is identified, the viewer purchases the product using conventional payment methods, and it is shipped to him. This embodiment has the advantage of not requiring human agents to process orders.
  • Conclusion
  • Systems and methods consistent with the invention significantly increase the financial revenue of an entertainment program by selling props or products used on the program. This added revenue may lessen the entertainment program's dependency on advertising, allowing greater freedom in the artistic content of the programs. Vendors may also be willing to pay more to have their products shown on an entertainment program due to the enhanced exposure associated with being on the program. To this end, systems consistent with the invention efficiently assemble program and product data into databases accessed by a central controller. Such data may be assembled, for example, for live broadcast entertainment programs, prerecorded (video tape) entertainment programs, or digital (laser disc) entertainment programs.
  • Systems and methods consistent with this invention also provide a simple, effective interface through which viewers may purchase products of an entertainment program without special codes or product numbers to identify the products. The viewer simply describes the entertainment program that he was viewing, the particular scene in which the product was used, or merchandise information to identify the particular product. Thus, there is no need for the viewer to know particular information about the product or prop itself. This provides added flexibility that will increase sales of those products by simplifying the ordering process. Accordingly, the present invention provides a system and method which efficiently sells products used on an entertainment program.
  • It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made to the system and method of the present invention without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. The present invention covers the modifications and variations of this invention provided they come within the scope of the appended claims and their equivalents.

Claims (71)

1-40. (canceled)
41. A method, comprising:
storing (i) descriptive program information identifying a particular entertainment program in which a product is shown, and (ii) product information relating to the product shown in the particular entertainment program;
receiving, from the viewer, a request about the product shown in the entertainment program, the request comprising a subset of the descriptive program information and a subset of the product information;
identifying the product information using the subset of the product information and the subset of descriptive program information; and
providing the identified information about the product to the viewer.
42. The method of claim 41, wherein the request is received independent of a viewing of the entertainment program by the viewer.
43. The method according to claim 41, further comprising:
placing an order with a vendor for the product.
44. The method of claim 41, further including:
identifying the particular entertainment program using the subset of the descriptive program information.
45. The method of claim 41, wherein the descriptive program information comprises:
information about characters and a plot of the entertainment program.
46. The method of claim 44, wherein the descriptive program information further comprises:
information identifying a portion of the entertainment program in which the product is shown.
47. The method of claim 46, wherein the descriptive program information further comprises:
a count value that corresponds to a time that the product is shown in the entertainment program.
48. The method of claim 41, further comprising:
broadcasting the entertainment program.
49. The method of claim 41, wherein the entertainment program comprises a cable television program.
50. The method of claim 41, wherein the entertainment program does not comprise advertisements.
51. The method of claim 41, wherein the request is received at least in part via a telephone communications network.
52. The method of claim 51, wherein the receiving comprises:
automatically receiving the request communicated during a telephone call from the viewer; and
transferring the telephone call to a live operator after the receipt of the request.
53. The method of claim 51, further comprising:
broadcasting a telephone number via which the request may be received via the telephone communications network.
54. The method of claim 53, wherein the telephone number is broadcast prior to a broadcast of the entertainment program.
55. The method of claim 53, wherein the telephone number is broadcast during a broadcast of the entertainment program.
56. The method of claim 51, wherein a telephone number via which the request may be received via the telephone communications network comprises a 900 number.
57. The method of claim 56, further comprising:
automatically billing a telephone account of the viewer for a price associated with a purchase of the product.
58. The method of claim 41, wherein the request is received from a viewer device capable of telephonic communications.
59. The method of claim 41, wherein the subset of the descriptive program information comprises a viewer-defined description of the entertainment program.
60. The method of claim 41, wherein the subset of the descriptive program information comprises an indication of a title of the entertainment program.
61. The method of claim 41, wherein the subset of the descriptive program information comprises an indication of an episode of the entertainment program.
62. The method of claim 41, wherein the subset of the descriptive program information comprises a description of a scene of the entertainment program.
63. The method of claim 41, wherein the subset of the descriptive program information comprises a description of a plot of the entertainment program.
64. The method of claim 41, wherein the subset of the descriptive program information comprises an indication of a special character appearing on the entertainment program.
65. The method of claim 41, wherein the identifying comprises:
processing a keyword search on the subset of the descriptive program information;
identifying, based on the processing, the entertainment program; and
identifying, based on the identifying of the entertainment program and on the subset of the product information, the product.
66. The method of claim 41, wherein the identified information about the product comprises an indication of a price of the product.
67. The method of claim 41, wherein the identified information about the product comprises an indication of an availability of the product.
68. The method of claim 41, wherein the identified information about the product comprises a graphic presentation of the product.
69. The method of claim 41, wherein the subset of the product information comprises an indication of a time code associated with when the product is used during the entertainment program.
70. The method of claim 41, wherein the entertainment program comprises a sporting event.
71. The method of claim 41, wherein the entertainment program comprises a soap opera.
72. The method of claim 41, wherein the entertainment program comprises a sit-com.
73. The method of claim 41, wherein the entertainment program comprises a movie.
74. The method of claim 41, wherein the request is received from a mobile terminal.
75. The method of claim 74, wherein the mobile terminal is capable of at least one of telephonic and Internet communications.
76. A method, comprising:
storing descriptive program information identifying a particular entertainment program;
storing product information relating to a product shown in the particular entertainment program;
receiving, from a viewer, a request associated with the product shown in the particular entertainment program, the request comprising a subset of the descriptive program information and a subset of the product information;
conducting a first database search to identify the particular entertainment program using the subset of the descriptive program information;
conducting a second database search to identify the stored product information using the subset of the product information; and
communicating to the viewer the identified information about the product.
77. The method of claim 76, wherein the request is received independent of a viewing of the entertainment program by the viewer.
78. The method of claim 76, wherein the subset of the descriptive program information comprises a viewer-defined description of the entertainment program.
79. A method, comprising:
receiving, independent of a viewing of an entertainment program by a viewer, an indication of the entertainment program;
receiving a request about a product shown in the entertainment program;
transmitting a query to a database relating to the request, the query based on the indication and the request; and
receiving from the database product information about the product.
80. The method of claim 79, further comprising:
conveying the received product information to the viewer.
81. The method of claim 79, wherein the indication of the entertainment program comprises an entertainment program recording identifier.
82. The method of claim 81, wherein the entertainment program recording identifier comprises a VCR Plus+® recording identifier.
83. The method of claim 79, further comprising:
placing an order with a vendor for the product.
84. The method of claim 79, wherein the indication of the entertainment program comprises a description of the entertainment program.
85. The method of claim 84, wherein the description of the entertainment program comprises:
information about characters and a plot of the entertainment program.
86. The method of claim 84, wherein the description of the entertainment program comprises:
information identifying a portion of the entertainment program in which the product is shown.
87. The method of claim 86, wherein the description of the entertainment program comprises further comprises:
a count value that corresponds to a time that the product is shown in the entertainment program.
88. The method of claim 84, wherein the description of the entertainment program comprises a viewer-defined description of the entertainment program.
89. The method of claim 84, wherein the description of the entertainment program comprises an indication of a title of the entertainment program.
90. The method of claim 84, wherein the description of the entertainment program comprises an indication of an episode of the entertainment program.
91. The method of claim 84, wherein the description of the entertainment program comprises a description of a scene of the entertainment program.
92. The method of claim 84, wherein the description of the entertainment program comprises a description of a plot of the entertainment program.
93. The method of claim 84, wherein the description of the entertainment program comprises an indication of a special character appearing on the entertainment program.
94. The method of claim 79, wherein at least one of the indication of the entertainment program and the request is received from a viewer device capable of telephonic communications.
95. A method, comprising:
storing, at a controller, program identifying data that describes one or more characteristics of an entertainment program and product identifying data that describes one or more characteristics of a product used in the entertainment program;
receiving, at the controller and from a viewer of the entertainment program, a purchase request comprising an indication of a subset of the program identifying data and an indication of a subset of the product identifying data;
identifying, by the controller and based on the received indications, the program identifying data and the product identifying data;
providing, after the identifying, and to the viewer, the product identifying data;
receiving, after the providing, a verification that the viewer desires to purchase the product; and
selling the product to the viewer.
96. A mobile terminal comprising:
a viewer interface via which a viewer may purchase a product shown in a particular entertainment program; and
a controller operatively coupled to the viewer interface and adapted to:
store (i) descriptive program information identifying the particular entertainment program in which the product is shown, and (ii) product information relating to the product shown in the particular entertainment program;
receive, from the viewer, a request about the product shown in the entertainment program, the request comprising a subset of the descriptive program information and a subset of the product information;
identify the product information using the subset of the product information and the subset of descriptive program information; and
provide the identified information about the product to the viewer.
97. A mobile terminal comprising:
a viewer interface via which a viewer may purchase a product shown in a particular entertainment program; and
a controller operatively coupled to the viewer interface and adapted to:
store descriptive program information identifying the particular entertainment program;
store product information relating to the product shown in the particular entertainment program;
receive, from the viewer, a request associated with the product shown in the particular entertainment program, the request comprising a subset of the descriptive program information and a subset of the product information;
conduct a first database search to identify the particular entertainment program using the subset of the descriptive program information;
conduct a second database search to identify the stored product information using the subset of the product information; and
communicate to the viewer the identified information about the product.
98. A mobile terminal comprising:
a viewer interface via which a viewer may purchase a product shown in an entertainment program; and
a controller operatively coupled to the viewer interface and adapted to:
receive, independent of a viewing of the entertainment program by the viewer, an indication of the entertainment program;
receive a request about the product shown in the entertainment program;
transmit a query to a database relating to the request, the query based on the indication and the request; and
receive from the database product information about the product.
99. A mobile terminal comprising:
a viewer interface via which a viewer may purchase a prop used in an entertainment program; and
a controller operatively coupled to the viewer interface and adapted to:
receive, independent of a viewing of the entertainment program by the viewer, an indication of the entertainment program;
receive a request about the prop used in the entertainment program;
transmit a query to a database relating to the request, the query based on the indication and the request; and
receive from the database product information about the prop.
100. A mobile terminal comprising:
a viewer interface via which a viewer may purchase a product shown in an entertainment program; and
a controller operatively coupled to the viewer interface and adapted to:
store program identifying data that describes one or more characteristics of the entertainment program and product identifying data that describes one or more characteristics of the product used in the entertainment program;
receive, from the viewer, a purchase request comprising an indication of a subset of the program identifying data and an indication of a subset of the product identifying data;
identify, based on the received indications, the program identifying data and the product identifying data;
provide, after the identifying, and to the viewer, the product identifying data;
receive, after the providing, a verification that the viewer desires to purchase the product; and
sell the product to the viewer.
101. A system, comprising:
a database storing data descriptive of an entertainment program and data descriptive of a product used in the entertainment program;
a viewer interface operable to provide a first indication of a subset of the descriptive program data and a second indication of a subset of the descriptive product data; and
a controller, coupled to the database and the viewer interface, the controller being operable to:
receive the first and second indications;
identify the descriptive program data and the descriptive product data based on the first and second indications; and
provide, after the identifying, the descriptive program data and the descriptive product data to the viewer interface.
102. The system of claim 101, further comprising:
a remote terminal coupled to the controller, the remote terminal being operable to facilitate reviewing of the entertainment program, wherein the reviewing defines the descriptive program data and the descriptive product data.
103. The system of claim 102, wherein the remote terminal comprises:
means for defining the descriptive program data and the descriptive product data, wherein the descriptive product data comprises information identifying how the product is used in the entertainment program; and
means for transmitting the descriptive program data and the descriptive product data to the controller.
104. The system of claim 101, wherein the controller comprises:
an Interactive Voice Response Unit (IVRU) operable to receive the first and second indications.
105. A system, comprising:
a processor; and
a storage device in communication with said processor and storing instructions adapted to be executed by said processor to:
store (i) descriptive program information identifying a particular entertainment program in which a product is shown, and (ii) product information relating to the product shown in the particular entertainment program;
receive, from the viewer, a request about the product shown in the entertainment program, the request comprising a subset of the descriptive program information and a subset of the product information;
identify the product information using the subset of the product information and the subset of descriptive program information; and
provide the identified information about the product to the viewer.
106. A system comprising:
a user interface via which a user may purchase a product shown in a particular entertainment program; and
a controller operatively coupled to the user interface and adapted to:
store (i) descriptive program information identifying the particular entertainment program in which the product is shown, and (ii) product information relating to the product shown in the particular entertainment program;
receive, from the user, a request about the product shown in the entertainment program, the request comprising a subset of the descriptive program information and a subset of the product information;
identify the product information using the subset of the product information and the subset of descriptive program information; and
provide the identified information about the product to the user.
107. A system, comprising:
a processor; and
a storage device in communication with said processor and storing instructions adapted to be executed by said processor to:
store descriptive program information identifying a particular entertainment program;
store product information relating to a product shown in the particular entertainment program;
receive, from a viewer, a request associated with the product shown in the particular entertainment program, the request comprising a subset of the descriptive program information and a subset of the product information;
conduct a first database search to identify the particular entertainment program using the subset of the descriptive program information;
conduct a second database search to identify the stored product information using the subset of the product information; and
communicate to the viewer the identified information about the product.
108. A system comprising:
a user interface via which a user may purchase a product shown in a particular entertainment program; and
a controller operatively coupled to the user interface and adapted to:
store descriptive program information identifying the particular entertainment program;
store product information relating to the product shown in the particular entertainment program;
receive, from the user, a request associated with the product shown in the particular entertainment program, the request comprising a subset of the descriptive program information and a subset of the product information;
conduct a first database search to identify the particular entertainment program using the subset of the descriptive program information;
conduct a second database search to identify the stored product information using the subset of the product information; and
communicate to the user the identified information about the product.
109. A system, comprising:
a processor; and
a storage device in communication with said processor and storing instructions adapted to be executed by said processor to:
receive, independent of a viewing of an entertainment program by a viewer, an indication of the entertainment program;
receive a request about a product shown in the entertainment program;
transmit a query to a database relating to the request, the query based on the indication and the request; and
receive from the database product information about the product.
110. A system comprising:
a user interface via which a user may purchase a product shown in an entertainment program; and
a controller operatively coupled to the user interface and adapted to:
receive, independent of a viewing of the entertainment program by the user, an indication of the entertainment program;
receive a request about the product shown in the entertainment program;
transmit a query to a database relating to the request, the query based on the indication and the request; and
receive from the database product information about the product.
US11/531,353 1997-04-02 2006-09-13 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products Abandoned US20070006267A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US08/831,968 US6131086A (en) 1997-04-02 1997-04-02 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US51196800A true 2000-02-23 2000-02-23
US11/531,353 US20070006267A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2006-09-13 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11/531,353 US20070006267A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2006-09-13 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US51196800A Continuation 2000-02-23 2000-02-23

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20070006267A1 true US20070006267A1 (en) 2007-01-04

Family

ID=25260320

Family Applications (7)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US08/831,968 Expired - Lifetime US6131086A (en) 1997-04-02 1997-04-02 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US11/421,951 Abandoned US20060218571A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2006-06-02 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US11/421,987 Abandoned US20060212893A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2006-06-02 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US11/421,923 Abandoned US20060225096A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2006-06-02 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US11/531,353 Abandoned US20070006267A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2006-09-13 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US11/758,871 Abandoned US20070234393A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2007-06-06 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US11/758,850 Abandoned US20070234392A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2007-06-06 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products

Family Applications Before (4)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US08/831,968 Expired - Lifetime US6131086A (en) 1997-04-02 1997-04-02 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US11/421,951 Abandoned US20060218571A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2006-06-02 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US11/421,987 Abandoned US20060212893A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2006-06-02 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US11/421,923 Abandoned US20060225096A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2006-06-02 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products

Family Applications After (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11/758,871 Abandoned US20070234393A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2007-06-06 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US11/758,850 Abandoned US20070234392A1 (en) 1997-04-02 2007-06-06 Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products

Country Status (1)

Country Link
US (7) US6131086A (en)

Cited By (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20030101100A1 (en) * 2000-03-08 2003-05-29 Yoichiro Sako Information service method, data terminal unit, data transmitting and receiving apparatus, and data trasmitting apparatus
US20050182686A1 (en) * 2004-01-30 2005-08-18 Shotatsu Yo Apparatus and method for order confirmation
US20080281684A1 (en) * 2007-05-07 2008-11-13 Bellsouth Intellectual Property Corporation Methods, systems, and computer program products for implementing sales of products featured in a program
US8255293B1 (en) * 2011-10-10 2012-08-28 Google Inc. Product catalog dynamically tailored to user-selected media content
US20130103510A1 (en) * 2011-10-19 2013-04-25 Andrew Tilles System and method of gathering and disseminating data about prop, wardrobe and set dressing items used in the creation of motion picture content
US9087358B1 (en) 2014-07-11 2015-07-21 Vcomm Group, Inc. Method and system for purchasing products or services appearing in playing media without interrupting viewing
US9832531B2 (en) * 1998-08-26 2017-11-28 Rovi Guides, Inc. Systems and methods for providing a program as a gift using an interactive application

Families Citing this family (52)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US6193520B1 (en) * 1993-05-10 2001-02-27 Yugengaisha Adachi International Interactive communication system for communicating video game and karaoke software
US6769128B1 (en) 1995-06-07 2004-07-27 United Video Properties, Inc. Electronic television program guide schedule system and method with data feed access
US5940073A (en) 1996-05-03 1999-08-17 Starsight Telecast Inc. Method and system for displaying other information in a TV program guide
US8635649B2 (en) 1996-12-19 2014-01-21 Gemstar Development Corporation System and method for modifying advertisement responsive to EPG information
US6687906B1 (en) * 1996-12-19 2004-02-03 Index Systems, Inc. EPG with advertising inserts
US6131086A (en) * 1997-04-02 2000-10-10 Walker Digital, Llc Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
MX340336B (en) 1997-07-21 2016-07-06 Gemstar Dev Corp Systems and methods for displaying and recording control interfaces.
WO1999054836A1 (en) * 1998-04-21 1999-10-28 Cambridge Consultants Limited Decision aid
US20020095676A1 (en) 1998-05-15 2002-07-18 Robert A. Knee Interactive television program guide system for determining user values for demographic categories
US6141010A (en) 1998-07-17 2000-10-31 B. E. Technology, Llc Computer interface method and apparatus with targeted advertising
US6898762B2 (en) 1998-08-21 2005-05-24 United Video Properties, Inc. Client-server electronic program guide
JP2000333139A (en) * 1999-05-18 2000-11-30 Sony Corp Information service unit, its method, information receiver, its method, lottery system, its method and medium
US7540012B1 (en) * 1999-06-08 2009-05-26 International Business Machines Corporation Video on demand configuring, controlling and maintaining
US6854085B1 (en) * 1999-07-15 2005-02-08 Netscape Communicatons Corporation System and method for automatically pre-setting form field values
US7290009B1 (en) * 1999-08-25 2007-10-30 The Trustees Of Columbia University In The City Of New York System and method for allocating resources using spot market and derivative market techniques
US8434113B1 (en) * 1999-10-06 2013-04-30 Tvworks, Llc Electronic commerce using streaming media
KR100295610B1 (en) * 1999-11-09 2001-07-12 장영규 System for editing moving images and method for providing object information employing the same
US6601074B1 (en) * 1999-12-23 2003-07-29 Gateway, Inc. Episode identification
EP2309440A1 (en) * 2000-03-31 2011-04-13 United Video Properties, Inc. System and method for metadata-linked advertisements
US7426558B1 (en) 2000-05-11 2008-09-16 Thomson Licensing Method and system for controlling and auditing content/service systems
US8037492B2 (en) * 2000-09-12 2011-10-11 Thomson Licensing Method and system for video enhancement transport alteration
US7870053B1 (en) * 2000-09-26 2011-01-11 International Business Machines Corporation Apparatus and methods for auctioning time and desktop space to product and service suppliers
US20020073149A1 (en) * 2000-10-11 2002-06-13 Young Christopher Tyler Dynamic content linking
US20040181801A1 (en) * 2000-12-28 2004-09-16 David Hagen Interactive television for promoting goods and services
JP2002238036A (en) * 2001-02-07 2002-08-23 Fujitsu Ltd Broadcast method, and program for executing the broadcast method by broadcast station device
US7480633B2 (en) * 2001-02-13 2009-01-20 American Express Bank Ltd. Real-time brokerage account application system and method
US20020178030A1 (en) * 2001-03-23 2002-11-28 Loeb Marvin P. Method and system for promotion of non-invasive and less invasive medical procedures on the internet and by other means
WO2002089935A1 (en) * 2001-04-11 2002-11-14 Walker Digital, Llc Method and apparatus for remotely customizing a gaming device
US20060211493A1 (en) * 2001-06-15 2006-09-21 Walker Jay S Systems and methods for customized gaming limits
US7735105B2 (en) * 2001-08-28 2010-06-08 Panasonic Corporation Broadcast receiving method
US7778925B2 (en) * 2001-09-18 2010-08-17 Sony Corporation Audio and video digital content delivery
US6920428B2 (en) * 2001-11-19 2005-07-19 The Friday Group Llc Method of selling and distributing articles associated with live events
US20030120582A1 (en) * 2001-12-21 2003-06-26 Oncall Solutions, Inc. Call schedule auctioning method and apparatus
US8321899B2 (en) * 2002-04-10 2012-11-27 Alcatel Lucent System and method for delivering video products to a subscriber unit
US8032420B2 (en) * 2002-04-16 2011-10-04 Kraft Foods Global Brands Llc Integrated ordering system
JPWO2004064393A1 (en) * 2003-01-15 2006-05-18 松下電器産業株式会社 Broadcast receiving method, a broadcast receiving system, a recording medium, and program
US20060059053A1 (en) * 2004-06-04 2006-03-16 Payne Harrison R Method to identify, discover, and/or sell products via a web site on the internet
JP2008537878A (en) 2005-03-18 2008-10-02 マイクロビア, インコーポレイテッド Production of carotenoids in the oil-containing yeast and fungi
GB2429079A (en) * 2005-07-22 2007-02-14 Nicole Truelle Harcourt Transaction management system
US8545309B2 (en) * 2005-12-02 2013-10-01 Igt Gaming systems and apparatus for detecting a signal indicative of a problem gambler and dispatching an event in response thereto
US8380726B2 (en) 2006-03-06 2013-02-19 Veveo, Inc. Methods and systems for selecting and presenting content based on a comparison of preference signatures from multiple users
US8316394B2 (en) 2006-03-24 2012-11-20 United Video Properties, Inc. Interactive media guidance application with intelligent navigation and display features
WO2008042338A2 (en) 2006-09-28 2008-04-10 Microbia, Inc. Production of carotenoids in oleaginous yeast and fungi
US8832742B2 (en) 2006-10-06 2014-09-09 United Video Properties, Inc. Systems and methods for acquiring, categorizing and delivering media in interactive media guidance applications
US7801888B2 (en) 2007-03-09 2010-09-21 Microsoft Corporation Media content search results ranked by popularity
US20100175091A1 (en) * 2008-12-23 2010-07-08 Graeme Charles Revell System and Method of Providing a Source for Ordering a Plurality of Products from a Plurality of Media
US20100161445A1 (en) * 2008-12-23 2010-06-24 Graeme Revell Pigeeback abstract consumer end user
US9166714B2 (en) 2009-09-11 2015-10-20 Veveo, Inc. Method of and system for presenting enriched video viewing analytics
US9736524B2 (en) 2011-01-06 2017-08-15 Veveo, Inc. Methods of and systems for content search based on environment sampling
US8275672B1 (en) * 2011-04-04 2012-09-25 Google Inc. Coordinating multiple devices in a product purchasing system
TWI472912B (en) * 2012-09-11 2015-02-11 Univ Nat Cheng Kung Debug control system and method by use of inside-core events served as trigger condition
US9363568B2 (en) 2014-03-31 2016-06-07 Rovi Guides, Inc. Systems and methods for receiving product data

Citations (29)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4794764A (en) * 1985-08-12 1989-01-03 Dyment Limited Article display apparatus
US4876592A (en) * 1986-03-10 1989-10-24 Henry Von Kohorn System for merchandising and the evaluation of responses to broadcast transmissions
US5057915A (en) * 1986-03-10 1991-10-15 Kohorn H Von System and method for attracting shoppers to sales outlets
US5189630A (en) * 1991-01-15 1993-02-23 Barstow David R Method for encoding and broadcasting information about live events using computer pattern matching techniques
US5220420A (en) * 1990-09-28 1993-06-15 Inteletext Systems, Inc. Interactive home information system for distributing compressed television programming
US5438355A (en) * 1993-04-16 1995-08-01 Palmer; Shelton L. Interactive system for processing viewer responses to television programming
US5469206A (en) * 1992-05-27 1995-11-21 Philips Electronics North America Corporation System and method for automatically correlating user preferences with electronic shopping information
US5475585A (en) * 1990-10-01 1995-12-12 Bush; Thomas A. Transactional processing system
US5485221A (en) * 1993-06-07 1996-01-16 Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. Subscription television system and terminal for enabling simultaneous display of multiple services
US5539450A (en) * 1993-04-16 1996-07-23 News Datacom Limited Methods and systems for providing additional service applications in pay television
US5553221A (en) * 1995-03-20 1996-09-03 International Business Machine Corporation System and method for enabling the creation of personalized movie presentations and personalized movie collections
US5559949A (en) * 1995-03-20 1996-09-24 International Business Machine Corporation Computer program product and program storage device for linking and presenting movies with their underlying source information
US5564001A (en) * 1992-11-13 1996-10-08 Multimedia Systems Corporation Method and system for interactively transmitting multimedia information over a network which requires a reduced bandwidth
US5570295A (en) * 1994-03-18 1996-10-29 Lucent Technologies Inc. System and method of capturing encoded data transmitted over a communications network in a video system
US5696905A (en) * 1995-03-20 1997-12-09 International Business Machines Corporation System and method for providing merchant information and establishing links to merchants while presenting a movie
US5703795A (en) * 1992-06-22 1997-12-30 Mankovitz; Roy J. Apparatus and methods for accessing information relating to radio and television programs
US5742905A (en) * 1994-09-19 1998-04-21 Bell Communications Research, Inc. Personal communications internetworking
US5774534A (en) * 1994-12-27 1998-06-30 At&T Corp Context-based transactions using broadcast advertising
US5914712A (en) * 1995-05-08 1999-06-22 Video Jukebox Network, Inc. Interactive video system
US5918213A (en) * 1995-12-22 1999-06-29 Mci Communications Corporation System and method for automated remote previewing and purchasing of music, video, software, and other multimedia products
US5995976A (en) * 1996-10-11 1999-11-30 Walker Asset Management Limited Partnership Method and apparatus for distributing supplemental information related to printed articles
US6002394A (en) * 1995-10-02 1999-12-14 Starsight Telecast, Inc. Systems and methods for linking television viewers with advertisers and broadcasters
US6006257A (en) * 1995-09-29 1999-12-21 Comverse Networks Systems, Inc. Multimedia architecture for interactive advertising in which secondary programming is varied based upon viewer demographics and content of primary programming
US6041411A (en) * 1997-03-28 2000-03-21 Wyatt; Stuart Alan Method for defining and verifying user access rights to a computer information
US6131086A (en) * 1997-04-02 2000-10-10 Walker Digital, Llc Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products
US6209028B1 (en) * 1997-03-21 2001-03-27 Walker Digital, Llc System and method for supplying supplemental audio information for broadcast television programs
US20020057788A1 (en) * 1997-03-13 2002-05-16 Patrick M. Cox Method and apparatus for monitoring telephonic members and providing directory assistance
US6493763B1 (en) * 1995-06-29 2002-12-10 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Multimedia communication system and communicating apparatus
US6526575B1 (en) * 1997-01-07 2003-02-25 United Video Properties, Inc. System and method for distributing and broadcasting multimedia

Family Cites Families (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CA1284211C (en) * 1985-04-29 1991-05-14 Terrence Henry Pocock Cable television system selectively distributing pre-recorder video and audio messages
US5583560A (en) * 1993-06-22 1996-12-10 Apple Computer, Inc. Method and apparatus for audio-visual interface for the selective display of listing information on a display
US5794210A (en) * 1995-12-11 1998-08-11 Cybergold, Inc. Attention brokerage
US6240555B1 (en) * 1996-03-29 2001-05-29 Microsoft Corporation Interactive entertainment system for presenting supplemental interactive content together with continuous video programs
US5835896A (en) * 1996-03-29 1998-11-10 Onsale, Inc. Method and system for processing and transmitting electronic auction information
US6172677B1 (en) * 1996-10-07 2001-01-09 Compaq Computer Corporation Integrated content guide for interactive selection of content and services on personal computer systems with multiple sources and multiple media presentation
US5897622A (en) * 1996-10-16 1999-04-27 Microsoft Corporation Electronic shopping and merchandising system
US6177931B1 (en) * 1996-12-19 2001-01-23 Index Systems, Inc. Systems and methods for displaying and recording control interface with television programs, video, advertising information and program scheduling information

Patent Citations (32)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4794764A (en) * 1985-08-12 1989-01-03 Dyment Limited Article display apparatus
US4876592A (en) * 1986-03-10 1989-10-24 Henry Von Kohorn System for merchandising and the evaluation of responses to broadcast transmissions
US5057915A (en) * 1986-03-10 1991-10-15 Kohorn H Von System and method for attracting shoppers to sales outlets
US5220420A (en) * 1990-09-28 1993-06-15 Inteletext Systems, Inc. Interactive home information system for distributing compressed television programming
US5475585A (en) * 1990-10-01 1995-12-12 Bush; Thomas A. Transactional processing system
US5189630A (en) * 1991-01-15 1993-02-23 Barstow David R Method for encoding and broadcasting information about live events using computer pattern matching techniques
US5469206A (en) * 1992-05-27 1995-11-21 Philips Electronics North America Corporation System and method for automatically correlating user preferences with electronic shopping information
US5703795A (en) * 1992-06-22 1997-12-30 Mankovitz; Roy J. Apparatus and methods for accessing information relating to radio and television programs
US5564001A (en) * 1992-11-13 1996-10-08 Multimedia Systems Corporation Method and system for interactively transmitting multimedia information over a network which requires a reduced bandwidth
US5539450A (en) * 1993-04-16 1996-07-23 News Datacom Limited Methods and systems for providing additional service applications in pay television
US5438355A (en) * 1993-04-16 1995-08-01 Palmer; Shelton L. Interactive system for processing viewer responses to television programming
US5485221A (en) * 1993-06-07 1996-01-16 Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. Subscription television system and terminal for enabling simultaneous display of multiple services
US5570295A (en) * 1994-03-18 1996-10-29 Lucent Technologies Inc. System and method of capturing encoded data transmitted over a communications network in a video system
US5742905A (en) * 1994-09-19 1998-04-21 Bell Communications Research, Inc. Personal communications internetworking
US5774534A (en) * 1994-12-27 1998-06-30 At&T Corp Context-based transactions using broadcast advertising
US5559949A (en) * 1995-03-20 1996-09-24 International Business Machine Corporation Computer program product and program storage device for linking and presenting movies with their underlying source information
US5596705A (en) * 1995-03-20 1997-01-21 International Business Machines Corporation System and method for linking and presenting movies with their underlying source information
US5696905A (en) * 1995-03-20 1997-12-09 International Business Machines Corporation System and method for providing merchant information and establishing links to merchants while presenting a movie
US5553221A (en) * 1995-03-20 1996-09-03 International Business Machine Corporation System and method for enabling the creation of personalized movie presentations and personalized movie collections
US5715400A (en) * 1995-03-20 1998-02-03 International Business Machines Corporation System and method for providing merchant information and establishing links to merchants while presenting a movie
US5914712A (en) * 1995-05-08 1999-06-22 Video Jukebox Network, Inc. Interactive video system
US6493763B1 (en) * 1995-06-29 2002-12-10 Canon Kabushiki Kaisha Multimedia communication system and communicating apparatus
US6006257A (en) * 1995-09-29 1999-12-21 Comverse Networks Systems, Inc. Multimedia architecture for interactive advertising in which secondary programming is varied based upon viewer demographics and content of primary programming
US6002394A (en) * 1995-10-02 1999-12-14 Starsight Telecast, Inc. Systems and methods for linking television viewers with advertisers and broadcasters
US5918213A (en) * 1995-12-22 1999-06-29 Mci Communications Corporation System and method for automated remote previewing and purchasing of music, video, software, and other multimedia products
US5995976A (en) * 1996-10-11 1999-11-30 Walker Asset Management Limited Partnership Method and apparatus for distributing supplemental information related to printed articles
US6526575B1 (en) * 1997-01-07 2003-02-25 United Video Properties, Inc. System and method for distributing and broadcasting multimedia
US20020057788A1 (en) * 1997-03-13 2002-05-16 Patrick M. Cox Method and apparatus for monitoring telephonic members and providing directory assistance
US6209028B1 (en) * 1997-03-21 2001-03-27 Walker Digital, Llc System and method for supplying supplemental audio information for broadcast television programs
US6263505B1 (en) * 1997-03-21 2001-07-17 United States Of America System and method for supplying supplemental information for video programs
US6041411A (en) * 1997-03-28 2000-03-21 Wyatt; Stuart Alan Method for defining and verifying user access rights to a computer information
US6131086A (en) * 1997-04-02 2000-10-10 Walker Digital, Llc Method and system for allowing viewers to purchase program products

Cited By (13)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9832531B2 (en) * 1998-08-26 2017-11-28 Rovi Guides, Inc. Systems and methods for providing a program as a gift using an interactive application
US7536358B2 (en) 2000-03-08 2009-05-19 Sony Corporation Information service method, data terminal unit, data transmitting and receiving apparatus, and data transmitting apparatus
US8560404B2 (en) 2000-03-08 2013-10-15 Sony Corporation Information service methods for facilitating browsing and purchasing of consumer commodities in a broadcast program
US20050203812A1 (en) * 2000-03-08 2005-09-15 Sony Corporation Information service method, data terminal unit, data transmitting and receiving apparatus, and data transmitting apparatus
US7433833B2 (en) * 2000-03-08 2008-10-07 Sony Corporation Information service method for purchasing utilizing a remote control
US20030101100A1 (en) * 2000-03-08 2003-05-29 Yoichiro Sako Information service method, data terminal unit, data transmitting and receiving apparatus, and data trasmitting apparatus
US20050182686A1 (en) * 2004-01-30 2005-08-18 Shotatsu Yo Apparatus and method for order confirmation
US20080281684A1 (en) * 2007-05-07 2008-11-13 Bellsouth Intellectual Property Corporation Methods, systems, and computer program products for implementing sales of products featured in a program
US7890380B2 (en) * 2007-05-07 2011-02-15 At&T Intellectual Property I, L.P. Method, system, and computer readable medium for implementing sales of products using a trace of an object
US8255293B1 (en) * 2011-10-10 2012-08-28 Google Inc. Product catalog dynamically tailored to user-selected media content
US9213989B2 (en) 2011-10-10 2015-12-15 Google Inc. Product catalog dynamically tailored to user-selected media content
US20130103510A1 (en) * 2011-10-19 2013-04-25 Andrew Tilles System and method of gathering and disseminating data about prop, wardrobe and set dressing items used in the creation of motion picture content
US9087358B1 (en) 2014-07-11 2015-07-21 Vcomm Group, Inc. Method and system for purchasing products or services appearing in playing media without interrupting viewing

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
US20060225096A1 (en) 2006-10-05
US20060212893A1 (en) 2006-09-21
US20070234392A1 (en) 2007-10-04
US20070234393A1 (en) 2007-10-04
US6131086A (en) 2000-10-10
US20060218571A1 (en) 2006-09-28

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US5838314A (en) Digital video services system with optional interactive advertisement capabilities
US7900229B2 (en) Convergence of interactive television and wireless technologies
US6546555B1 (en) System for hypervideo filtering based on end-user payment interest and capability
KR100866063B1 (en) Information display, distributing device, and method of collecting access history
JP5815538B2 (en) System and method for merchandising transaction (merchandisingtransactions) performed through the image matching in the content distribution system
US7934170B2 (en) Method and apparatus for displaying branded video tags
US6718551B1 (en) Method and system for providing targeted advertisements
JP3844506B2 (en) tv to receive the url for Internet access
CN101288301B (en) System and method of video player commerce
CA2708678C (en) Methods and systems for an accountable media advertising application
CA2650729C (en) System and/or method for distributing media content
JP5180200B2 (en) A method and apparatus for placing ads in the user dialog of the set-top box
US7110714B1 (en) Television commerce system with program identifiers
US20020056109A1 (en) Method and system to provide a personalized shopping channel VIA an interactive video casting system
US20060089843A1 (en) Programmable, interactive task oriented hotspot, image map, or layer hyperlinks within a multimedia program and interactive product, purchase or information page within a media player, with capabilities to purchase products right out of media programs and/ or media players
US20150074701A1 (en) Customized Listing of Content
EP1772174A2 (en) Method and system for enabling optional customer election of auxiliary content provided on detachable local storage media
US20020154157A1 (en) Website system and process for selection and delivery of electronic information on a network
US8640160B2 (en) Method and system for providing targeted advertisements
US20070157251A1 (en) Methods and Systems For Distributing Assets Associated With Television Program
US20020156699A1 (en) System of upselling in a computer network environment
US20090254931A1 (en) Systems and methods of interactive production marketing
AU2003252030B2 (en) Internet-based submission of cable network content
US8191098B2 (en) Multi-source bridge content distribution system and method
US20070073584A1 (en) Systems and Methods For Media Planning, Ad Production, and Ad Placement For Internet

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION

AS Assignment

Owner name: IGT, NEVADA

Free format text: LICENSE;ASSIGNORS:WALKER DIGITAL GAMING, LLC;WALKER DIGITAL GAMING HOLDING, LLC;WDG EQUITY, LLC;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:033501/0023

Effective date: 20090810