WO1999030455A1 - Trading cards capable of indexing and unlocking related data stored on a computer readable media - Google Patents

Trading cards capable of indexing and unlocking related data stored on a computer readable media Download PDF

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Publication number
WO1999030455A1
WO1999030455A1 PCT/US1998/026183 US9826183W WO9930455A1 WO 1999030455 A1 WO1999030455 A1 WO 1999030455A1 US 9826183 W US9826183 W US 9826183W WO 9930455 A1 WO9930455 A1 WO 9930455A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
information
apparatus
computer
identifier
trading card
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US1998/026183
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Thomas J. Hayes
Original Assignee
Hayes Thomas J
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 US98834997A priority Critical
Priority to US08/988,349 priority
Application filed by Hayes Thomas J filed Critical Hayes Thomas J
Publication of WO1999030455A1 publication Critical patent/WO1999030455A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F21/00Security arrangements for protecting computers, components thereof, programs or data against unauthorised activity
    • G06F21/10Protecting distributed programs or content, e.g. vending or licensing of copyrighted material

Abstract

An apparatus and method is specified wherein a traditional trading card (12) is enhanced with a unique identifier (14) that can be used to identify and 'unlock' data related to the subject depicted on the trading card which is stored in a database on a local media readable from a drive (18) and/or over a network (20) and which is capable of being displayed by a typical personal computer, incorporating a reader for the trading card (16) and software (10) for retrieving and outputting information about the trading card, on a video display (22) and/or speakers (24).

Description

TRADING CARDS CAPABLE OF INDEXING AND UNLOCKING RELATED DATA STORED ON A COMPUTER READABLE MEDIA

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field Of The Invention

The present invention is related to the field of trading cards and, in particular, presents a means for providing a video and audio enhancement to a typical trading card through the use of a personal computer.

2. Description of the Related Art

The collecting of trading cards, especially those depicting sports figures, is more popular today than ever, attracting adults and children alike. One reason for this is that trading cards are now viewed both as a hobby and also as an investment, with the value of some cards extending into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars. The variety of cards available today covers a plethora of subject matter and has extended far from the original baseball-type cards first available in the early 20th century as promotions accompanying bubble gum and cigarettes. Some examples of the wide variety available include superheros, actors and actresses from TV and the movies, cartoon characters, animals and other creatures, famous places, cars, planes and the like. Sports cards continue to be, however, the most popular of the trading card genre.

The typical trading card consists of a laminated cardboard approximately 2 VA x 3 V." in size, having a large image of the subject of the card on the front side and related information and possibly a smaller picture of the subject on the reverse side. In the case of a sports figure, for example, the front of the card would typically contain a large picture of the player in a posed or action shot, usually accompanied by the logo of the player's team, while the reverse of the card would contain information that would typically include career statistics and other trivia about the player. The increase in the popularity of card collecting and the number of collectors has given rise to competition in the production of such cards. Some companies, to distinguish their product from others in the field, have taken to providing enhancements to their cards in the form of higher quality construction, foil laminations, holographic images and three dimensional animation effects using lenticular lenses. Such "premium" cards have increased desirability, appeal and collectability among enthusiasts. For example, a trading card made of sheet metal with rolled edges is disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 5,667,876 to Radlicz, et al., a trading card with a three dimensional effect is disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 5,471 ,431 to Gluck, et al. and a trading card with an iridescent substrate is disclosed in U.S. Patent No. 5,635,283 to Lovison. Some manufacturers have even begun to produce so-called "active" trading cards, which have circuitry built in to play a sound clip. Such cards are disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,641,164 to Doederlein, et al., 5,588,678 to Young and 5,480,156, also to Doederlein, et al.

The next logical step in the evolution of trading cards is the interface thereof with a personal computer to provide further "active" features. Such a system is described in U.S. Patent No. 5,533,124 to Smith, et al., entitled ELECTRONIC TRADING CARD SYSTEM. Here, the physical trading card is replaced by a electronic version stored on a computer readable media, such as a compact disk read only memory (CDROM) or a digital versatile disk (DVD), which, in addition to providing the typical still picture and statistics available on traditional trading cards, is also capable of providing added graphics, text, action video and sound clips. The problem with such a system is that the physical hard embodiment of the card is lost, and with it the desirability, collectability and long-term appeal of the traditional trading card. As such, U.S. Patent No. 5,533,124 represents a good idea taken to an extreme. It is therefore an object of this invention to provide an enhanced trading card capable of taking advantage of the capabilities of the personal computer while also preserving the "hard copy" feel, and therefore the appeal, of the traditional trading card.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An apparatus and method is specified wherein an enhanced traditional trading card is used to identify and "unlock" related data stored on a computer-readable media and capable of being displayed by a typical personal computer. As an example, a trading card depicting a baseball player may index and unlock data containing video clips of the player's on-field performances, sound clips containing interviews and the like, and extensive statistics, while a trading card showing, for example, a famous place, could show the location, give directions, and provide a history of the cite. In general, the idea is to use an external key to unlock encoded data stored within the computer.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the data related to the individual trading cards is stored on a computer readable media, such as a CDROM or a DVD, although in practice, there is no reason why the data could not be stored elsewhere, such as on a permanent hard disk within the computer, on a floppy disk, or on another computer accessible over a network. In order to access the information, a typical personal computer (PC) is used which is equipped with the hardware necessary to access the data, such as a CDROM drive or a network connection. If stored on CDROM or DVD disk, one disk could provide all of the related data for an entire series of cards, for example, all 1997 major league baseball cards.

The data is stored in an encoded or encrypted form at the source and cannot be decoded in the absence of the traditional related trading card. An interface is therefore needed with the PC in order to allow the reading of information from the trading card which can uniquely identify the card within a series, or, if the information is being accessed over the Internet, information which can identify both the series and the card within the series. In the preferred embodiment, the trading cards are provided with an integrated circuit chip, which may be embedded between the laminated layers of the card or on the surface of the card, which contains information which can be read by a device interfaced to the computer.

However, any means of uniquely identifying the card could be used, such as printing a bar code on the card which can be read by a bar code reader attached to the PC, or encoding the information in a magnetic strip on the card of the type typically found of the reverse side of credit cards and ATM cards. The key is that the trading card must be present at the PC in order to view the related data.

In addition, software must be provided which will run on the PC which is capable of reading the unique identifier from the trading card, retrieving the related data from the source, be it a CDROM, a network connection, or otherwise, and displaying the related data in a meaningful way. The method of display is dependent, of course, on the type of data which is retrieved, for example, video, still pictures, sound and text. The software must therefore also be capable of determining the type of data which has been retrieved.

This arrangement preserves the appeal and collectability of the traditional trading card since the cards still conform to the traditional model of the "hard copy" trading card. As such, the cards described in the present invention are still desirable as collectibles in and of themselves even without the added appeal provided by the related computer-readable data. In addition, since the cards are necessary to unlock the related data, providing the data to collectors, even on a minimal or no-cost basis, will not destroy the market for the cards themselves, but will only enhance the desirability of the cards.

DETABLED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Figure 1 is a block diagram showing the components of the system, which is described in detail below.

Trading card 12 contains identifying information 14. Identifying information 14 may be embodied in any well known machine readable format, such as a bar code, but in the preferred embodiment is contained in a chip embedded between the laminated layers of trading card 12. Trading card 12 is inserted into or scanned in front of reader 16, which is capable of reading identifying information 14 from trading card 12.

Software 10, which is run on a personal computer, reads identifying information 14 from reader 16. The related data is then read from CDROM, DVD or internal hard drive 18 or from a network 20, such as the Internet, or any one of a number of commercial on-line services. It is intended that, if the data is to be read from a CDROM or a DVD, the media be removable from the drive, such that different disks, containing different sets of data related to different series of cards, can be utilized. Software 10 is capable of discerning the type of data read from drive 18 or network 20, decoding the data and displaying it in an appropriate way on video display 22 or outputting it, in the case of sound, via speakers 24.

The related data may be in the form of still or moving video with or without sound, text data or any other pertinent information in any format related to the subject displayed on trading card 12. In order to avoid destroying the market for trading card 12, it must be necessary that trading card 12 be present before that related data can be decoded and displayed. Once this criteria is met, the media containing the related data can be given away or sold at a very low price in order to increase the appeal of trading cards 12.

Claims

I Claim:
1. An apparatus for indexing and retrieving information from an information source comprising: (a) a series of keys, each of said keys bearing an identifier unique within said series;
(b) a device for reading said unique identifier from one of said keys, said device connected to a computer;
(c) an information source containing information of one of a plurality of types, said information being related to said keys;
(d) a device for reading said information from said information source, said device connected to said computer; and
(e) software, running on said computer, said software being capable of determining which of said information to retrieve from said information source based on said unique identifier of said key and outputting said information in a manner dependent upon said type of said information retrieved.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said key is a trading card.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said unique identifier is encoded in a chip embedded in said trading card.
4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said unique identifier is encoded in a bar code printed on said trading card.
5. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said unique identifier is encoded in a magnetic strip on said trading card.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said information source is a computer-readable media and wherein said device for reading said information is a drive.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein said computer-readable media is selected from the group consisting of a hard magnetic disk, a floppy magnetic disk, a CDROM and a DVD.
8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said information source is a network.
. The apparatus of claim 8 where said network is the Internet.
10. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein said device for reading said information from said information source is a modem.
11. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said information is encrypted.
12. The apparatus of claim 9 wherein said information can be properly decrypted only with said unique identifier from said key.
13. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said information is of a type selected from the group consisting of text, still pictures, moving video, and sound.
14. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said information is output on a device selected from the group consisting of a video display, one or more speakers and a printer.
15. A method for indexing and retrieving information from an information source comprising:
(a) reading an identifier from a key, said identifier being unique within a series of said keys;
(b) indexing and retrieving information from an information source using said identifier; and
(c) outputting said information such that it is perceivable by a human.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein said key is a trading card.
17. The method of claim 15 wherein said information is encrypted and can only be properly decrypted with said identifier.
18. An apparatus for indexing and retrieving information from an information source comprising:
(a) a series of trading cards, each of said trading cards bearing a subject indicia and an identifier which is unique within said series;
(b) a device for reading said unique identifier from one of said trading cards, said device connected to a computer;
(c) a database containing data related to said subject indicia of said series of trading cards; (d) software, running on said computer, said software being capable of determining which data to retrieve from said computer-readable media based on said unique identifier of said trading card, determining how said data should be output, and outputting said data in a manner consistent with said determination.
19. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein said information is encrypted and can only be properly decrypted with said identifier.
20. The apparatus of claim 18 wherein said database is located on a local computer- readable media or is accessible over a network.
PCT/US1998/026183 1997-12-10 1998-12-10 Trading cards capable of indexing and unlocking related data stored on a computer readable media WO1999030455A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US98834997A true 1997-12-10 1997-12-10
US08/988,349 1997-12-10

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU18127/99A AU1812799A (en) 1997-12-10 1998-12-10 Trading cards capable of indexing and unlocking related data stored on a computer readable media

Publications (1)

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2001006342A1 (en) * 1999-07-15 2001-01-25 Creative Media Design At Integrated Systems Scandinavia Group Ab Information carrier
EP1299852A2 (en) * 2000-06-28 2003-04-09 The Upper Deck Company, LLC Virtual unlocking of a trading card
US9731208B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2017-08-15 Mattel, Inc. Methods of playing video games

Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5411259A (en) * 1992-11-23 1995-05-02 Hero, Inc. Video sports game system using trading cards
US5499221A (en) * 1989-12-06 1996-03-12 Hitachi, Ltd. CD-ROM retrieval apparatus
US5590317A (en) * 1992-05-27 1996-12-31 Hitachi, Ltd. Document information compression and retrieval system and document information registration and retrieval method
US5677953A (en) * 1993-09-14 1997-10-14 Spyrus, Inc. System and method for access control for portable data storage media
US5703951A (en) * 1993-09-14 1997-12-30 Spyrus, Inc. System and method for access data control
US5748731A (en) * 1996-07-02 1998-05-05 Shepherd; Henry G. Electronic trading cards
US5809245A (en) * 1995-01-24 1998-09-15 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Multimedia computer system

Patent Citations (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5499221A (en) * 1989-12-06 1996-03-12 Hitachi, Ltd. CD-ROM retrieval apparatus
US5590317A (en) * 1992-05-27 1996-12-31 Hitachi, Ltd. Document information compression and retrieval system and document information registration and retrieval method
US5411259A (en) * 1992-11-23 1995-05-02 Hero, Inc. Video sports game system using trading cards
US5677953A (en) * 1993-09-14 1997-10-14 Spyrus, Inc. System and method for access control for portable data storage media
US5703951A (en) * 1993-09-14 1997-12-30 Spyrus, Inc. System and method for access data control
US5809245A (en) * 1995-01-24 1998-09-15 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Multimedia computer system
US5748731A (en) * 1996-07-02 1998-05-05 Shepherd; Henry G. Electronic trading cards

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2001006342A1 (en) * 1999-07-15 2001-01-25 Creative Media Design At Integrated Systems Scandinavia Group Ab Information carrier
EP1299852A2 (en) * 2000-06-28 2003-04-09 The Upper Deck Company, LLC Virtual unlocking of a trading card
US9731208B2 (en) 2005-09-12 2017-08-15 Mattel, Inc. Methods of playing video games

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
AU1812799A (en) 1999-06-28

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