PatentlyApple.com reports that the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple Computers on September 26th that “reveals a new iBook autographing system and more specifically to techniques and systems for embedding autographs in electronic books.” From PatentlyApple:
Book signing is the affixing of a signature to the title page or flyleaf of a book by its author. A book signing is an event, usually at a bookstore or library where an author sits and signs books for a period. Book signing is popular because an author’s signature increases the value of books for collectors. The author may add a short message to the reader, called a dedication, to each book, which may be personalized with the recipient’s name upon request. Book signings provide more than a just a chance to obtain signatures. Authors and bookstores are benefited by the fact that many copies of the book being promoted are sold. Signings also increase public goodwill and allow authors to connect with their fans. For fans, signings give them a chance to see and meet a favorite author and ask them questions. In order for this process to have value in the digital world, Apple has invented this new advanced autographing system.
The challenge of getting author signatures into electronic books, or across the world digitally has been looked at before. Author Margaret Atwood began developing her Longpen system in 2004. The Longpen is now being developed by the Syngrafii Corporation of Toronto, where Atwood is on the board of directors.