A digital watermarking process whereby an invisible watermark inserted into a host image is utilized to determine whether or not the image has been altered and, if so, where in the image such alteration occurred. The watermarking method includes the steps of providing a look-up table containing a plurality of coefficients and corresponding values; transforming the image into a plurality of blocks, wherein each block contains coefficients matching coefficients in the look-up table; and embedding the watermark in the image by performing the following substeps for at least some of the blocks: First, a coefficient is selected for insertion of a marking value representative of a corresponding portion of the watermark. Next, the value of the selected coefficient to used to identify a corresponding value in the look-up table. Finally, the identified coefficient is left unchanged if the corresponding value is the same as the marking value, and is changed if the corresponding value is different from the marking value. After the insertion of the watermark, the image may be stored in a lossy-compression form, thus permitting efficient storage and distribution. Moreover, the method may be used to produce two output signals for authentication: (1) a meaningful pattern to facilitate a quick visual check, and (2) an additional signal to detect unauthorized alteration. The method can be applied to an image compressed using JPEG or other techniques, such as Wavelet compression, and the marked image can be kept in the compressed format. Any alteration made on the marked image can be localized, making the method suitable for use in a "trustworthy" digital camera or camcorder.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Description



Min Wu, Bede Liu

Date Issued


Patent No.