T 0748/11 (Self-contained multimedia presentation file/ERICSSON) of 28.5.2015

European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:EP:BA:2015:T074811.20150528
Date of decision: 28 May 2015
Case number: T 0748/11
Application number: 04775554.1
IPC class: H04L 12/58
H04N 7/04
Language of proceedings: EN
Distribution: D
Download and more information:
Decision text in EN (PDF, 273.805K)
Documentation of the appeal procedure can be found in the Register
Bibliographic information is available in: EN
Versions: Unpublished
Title of application: CONTAINER FORMAT FOR MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATIONS
Applicant name: Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ)
Opponent name: -
Board: 3.5.05
Headnote: -
Relevant legal provisions:
European Patent Convention Art 54
European Patent Convention Art 56
Keywords: Novelty - main request (no)
Inventive step - first and second auxiliary requests (no)
Catchwords:

-

Cited decisions:
-
Citing decisions:
-

Summary of Facts and Submissions

I. The appeal is against the decision of the examining division, posted 26 November 2010, to refuse European patent application No. 04 775 554.1 on the grounds of lack of inventive step (Article 56 EPC), having regard to the disclosure of

D1: US 2003/0061369 or

D2: US 6 430 177.

II. Notice of appeal was received on 25 January 2011 and the appeal fee was paid on the same day. The statement setting out the grounds of appeal was received on

25 March 2011. The appellant requested that the decision of the examining division under appeal be set aside and that a patent be granted on the basis of a main request or either the first or second auxiliary request filed with the statement setting out the grounds of appeal. The claims of the main request were identical to the claims of the request on which the decision was based. Oral proceedings were requested should at least one of the requests not be allowed.

III. A summons to oral proceedings scheduled for

28 May 2015 was issued on 18 March 2015. In a communication dated 20 March 2015, the board gave its preliminary opinion on the appeal pursuant to

Article 15(1) RPBA. Objections were raised under Article 54 EPC, with respect to the main request, and Article 56 EPC, with respect to the first and second auxiliary requests, having regard to the disclosure of D1.

IV. By letter of 21 April 2015 the appellant announced that it would not be attending the oral proceedings.

V. Oral proceedings were held as scheduled on

28 May 2015 in the absence of the appellant. After due deliberation on the basis of the pending requests and the written submissions, the decision of the board was announced at the end of the oral proceedings.

VI. Claim 1 of the main request reads as follows:

"A method for transmitting a multimedia presentation comprising a plurality of media objects, said method comprising:

organizing (S 10) the plurality of media objects in a multimedia container;

organizing (S20), in said multimedia container, identifiers referring to each of said plurality of media objects;

providing (S30), in said multimedia container, an identifiable starting file coordinating the plurality of media objects based on the said identifiers, to enable identification of the start of said multimedia presentation and the dependencies between said plurality of media objects of said multimedia presentation;

transmitting (S33) said multimedia container and the incorporated multimedia presentation."

The main request comprises further independent claims for a corresponding arrangement (claim 10) and a corresponding multimedia container (claim 19).

Claim 1 of the first auxiliary request adds between the third and fourth steps of claim 1 of the main request the step of "providing (S31) download control information comprising buffer delay based on a predetermined download speed to enable a receiver to render the identifiable starting file and media objects of said multimedia container during transmission".

The first auxiliary request comprises further independent claims for a corresponding arrangement (claim 10) and a corresponding multimedia container (claim 17).

Claim 1 of the second auxiliary request reads as follows:

"A method for transmitting a self-contained multimedia presentation as one unit, said multimedia presentation comprising a plurality of media objects,

said method comprising:

organizing (S10) the plurality of media objects in a multimedia container, said media objects comprising one or a combination of dynamic media objects in tracks and static media files, wherein said step of organizing the media objects comprises organizing the media objects as interleaved continuous fragments of data in the multimedia container;

organizing (S20), in said multimedia container, identifiers referring to each of said plurality of media objects;

providing (S30), in said multimedia container, an identifiable scene description file as a starting file for coordinating the plurality of media objects based on the said identifiers, to enable identification of the start of said multimedia presentation and the dependencies between said plurality of media objects of said multimedia presentation;

transmitting (S33) said multimedia container and the incorporated multimedia presentation,

wherein said step of organizing (S20), in said multimedia container, identifiers referring to each of said plurality of media objects comprises:

organizing and locating said identifiers referring to said dynamic media objects in a first section of said multimedia container; and

organizing and locating said identifiers referring to said static media objects in a second section of said multimedia container different from said first section,

wherein said step of organizing (S10) said plurality of media objects in said multimedia container comprises organizing and locating said interleaved media objects in a third section of said multimedia container different from said first and second sections and wherein said step of providing (S30) said scene description file comprises treating said scene description file as a static file and including said

scene description file in said second section of said multimedia container."

The second auxiliary request comprises further independent claims for a corresponding arrangement (claim 6) and a corresponding multimedia container (claim 11).

Reasons for the Decision

1. The appeal is admissible.

2. Non-attendance at oral proceedings

Although the appellant's representative announced its intention not to attend, the appellant did not withdraw its request for oral proceedings. Pursuant to

Article 15(3) RPBA, the board is not obliged to delay any step in the appeal proceedings, including its decision, by reason only of the absence at the oral proceedings of any party duly summoned who may then be treated as relying only on its written case.

In the present case, the appellant did not submit any comments in response to the objections raised in the board's communication under Article 15(1) RPBA. The board did not see any reason to depart from those objections and took a decision at the end of the oral proceedings (Article 15(6) RPBA).

3. Novelty - inventive step

3.1 Prior art

D1 discloses a method for composing a multimedia file as a container of media samples, to be sent from a server to a client. The file format includes information about indexing the file and how to synchronise the media tracks (see paragraph [0005]). Figure 5a shows an example of such a container, comprising file level meta-data (i.e. presentation-level meta-data), placed before each media segment. A segment is composed of media data and its associated meta-data (see paragraph [0031]). Figure 5b shows an example of a multimedia container for an MPEG4 presentation. The box "mp4d" represents meta-data valid for the whole MPEG4 presentation, whereas each of the boxes "smp4" is related to a MPEG4 media fragment and contains meta-data "moov" related to the fragment and media data "mdat-2" to be rendered

(see paragraph [0033]). As soon as one segment has been downloaded by the recipient, it can be immediately rendered at the receiver since all necessary meta-data (general and particular) have been received. Thus, progressive download and real-time streaming are possible (see paragraph [0031], last sentence). The presentation timing may however also differ from streaming, wherein media data are interleaved in the container in playback or decoding order. Instead, the media segments can be played independently of each other (see paragraph [0015]). Paragraphs [0059] and [0061] further disclose that container boxes, labelled as "edit atom" and "edit list atom", define the mapping between the media time-line and the presentation time-line, i.e. the start of the presentation and the order of the rendering.

3.2 Main request

The claims of the main request are identical to the claims on which the impugned decision was based.

In the board's judgement, the combination of steps of method claim 1 is already known from D1.

In that respect, the step of organising media objects in a multimedia container is known from D1,

paragraph [0005], second sentence. The following step of organising in the multimedia container identifiers referring to each of the media objects is disclosed implicitly in D1 by the feature of having the media objects being played independently of each other (see paragraphs [0015] and [0059]. Moreover, Figure 5a shows that each media object is allocated a sequence number ("segment 1", "segment 2", etc...) which amounts to an identifier. The next step of providing an identifiable starting file is disclosed in paragraph [0059] of D1: the "edit atom" file maps the presentation time-line to the media time-line, i.e. it identifies the start of the multimedia presentation and co-ordinates the media objects to enable them to be presented in the prescribed order. The last step of transmitting the multimedia container is disclosed in paragraph [0025].

The appellant argued in substance that

paragraphs [0005] and [0006] of D1, which were the passages cited in the decision under appeal, disclosed that the media objects were interleaved in the container in playback order, thereby giving an indication that there was no need for an identifiable file co-ordinating the media objects. However, these paragraphs [0005] and [0006] relate to the background of the invention acknowledged by D1. The board bases its argumentation on other passages of D1 which describe unambiguously a file having the same functionalities as the identifiable starting file defined in claim 1.

Thus, the main request is not allowable under

Article 54 EPC.

3.3 First auxiliary request

Claim 1 adds to claim 1 according to the main request the step of providing download control information comprising buffer delay based on a predetermined download speed to enable a receiver to render the identifiable starting file and media objects of said multimedia container during transmission. These features aim at enabling a progressive downloading of the multimedia presentation at the receiver (see

page 8, lines 12 to 16 of the description).

In D1, progressive downloading of the multimedia presentation is achieved by enabling the media segments to be played as soon as the file-level meta-data and the segment's meta-data are received (see [0015], [0031] and [0036]). D1 further teaches that some terminals may be not capable of progressive downloading (see [0041]). The skilled person would thus realise that one of the reasons therefore lies in the download speed achievable by these terminals. The skilled person would thus obviously consider providing buffering based on the download speed, in order to achieve progressive downloading at these terminals.

Thus, the subject-matter of claim 1 does not involve an inventive step, having regard to the disclosure of D1 and the common general knowledge of the skilled person.

Therefore, the first auxiliary request is not allowable under Article 56 EPC.

3.4 Second auxiliary request

Claim 1 adds to claim 1 according to the main request the following juxtaposed features:

- the media objects are organised in the multimedia container as interleaved continuous fragments of data. This feature is however already known from D1 (see e.g. Figure 5a);

- the media objects comprise a combination of dynamic media objects and static media files. This feature is also disclosed in D1 (see [0025]: "The content may be e.g. video, audio, still images");

- the identifiable starting file is a scene description file. This feature is also known from D1 (see [0059]: "presentation time line");

- the identifiers of the dynamic media objects are located in a first section of the container, the identifiers of the static media objects and the scene description file are located in a second section of the container, and the media objects are located in a third section of the container. In the board's judgement, separating different types of files in a data structure is a common measure in the field of data processing.

Therefore, the subject-matter of claim 1 does not involve an inventive step, having regard to the disclosure of D1 and the common general knowledge of the skilled person.

Thus, the second auxiliary request is not allowable under Article 56 EPC.

4. In conclusion, none of the requests is allowable, for lack of novelty or inventive step.

Order

For these reasons it is decided that:

The appeal is dismissed.

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