Here we go again, tiptoeing through the deliciously mysterious world of trade marks and patents. Sometimes a new trade mark discovery can perplex, sometimes it can enthral and sometimes it can just show you some terrifying drawings and you spend the next couple of nights having very vivid dreams about bears that eat your pancreas while it’s still attached.
This one is a bit vague, perhaps even more so than usual, but it might steer some of your inquisitive minds towards a few interesting possibilities.
Sony Computer Entertainment has registered a trade mark for something called “B Music” and the categories it’s filed in might be of interest. It’s listed as Class 9, which is computer software for creating and distributing music and video. So you might be thinking of something that would allow Sony to sell their record company and movie studios’ properties online.
Well, B Music is also listed as Class 38, which is something that narrowcasts music, podcasts and streams over the internet or through telephones. Under Class 38, B Music is associated with the kind of streaming Sony is showing off through Ustream with its PlayStation 4.
Finally, the trade mark is listed as Class 41, which is perhaps the most interesting of all. Class 41 allows for online distribution of music, media and online gaming services. This includes provision for rental of music, video and games.
And that’s really all there is. With the heavy emphasis on streaming and connectivity that Sony has put on its discussions around PlayStation 4 so far, this is not particularly surprising. And it’s possible that this is nothing to do with their PlayStation brand at all. But I can already think of a couple of interesting applications for this kind of technology.
Imagine not only being able to play your own music in-game but being able to subscribe to a Spotify-like service that streams your playlists into whatever game you’re playing. How about a music rental service that, much like Sony’s existing Music Unlimited (which just had a massive sale before Christmas last year – coincidence?) allows you to pick tracks and then stream them anywhere you are – mobile, tablet, Vita, PS3 and PS4, even Bravia TVs. Perhaps you could create a new LittleBigPlanet level and set up licensed music prompts in there which are streamed to the people playing your levels via this service?
The trade mark is currently under examination, having been filed on the 25th of March, and there’s always a chance that it will come to nothing but there are certainly some interesting possibilities.