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This Patent Application has received a non-final rejection by the US Patent Office! An initial rejection is part of the typical course of a patent application.

AN OVERBROAD PATENT ON online video advertisements - This application from Yahoo! seeks to patent the idea of...stopping a video advertisement on one browser tab and resuming the video advertisement within another browser tab! 10 minutes of your time can help narrow US patent applications before they become patents. Follow @askpatents on twitter to help.

QUESTION - Have you seen anything that was published before 11/20/2011 that discusses:

  • starting and resuming a video advertisements across tabs during browsing

If so, please submit evidence of prior art as an answer to this question. We welcome multiple answers from the same individual.

EXTRA CREDIT - A reference to anything that meets all of the criteria to the question above AND ALSO records the current time of play so as to resume at exactly the same place in the video advertisement

TITLE: Seemless online video advertisement during browsing

Summary: [Translated from Legalese into English] Online video advertisement during browsing - ad unit on first web page is paused when user sends request for second web page. On loading second web page the video advertisement resumes in the same time time during video

  • Publication Number: US20130132211 A1
  • Application Number: US 13/300,583
  • Assignee: Yahoo!
  • Prior Art Date: Seeking prior Art predating 11/20/2011
  • Open for Challenge at USPTO: Open through 11/19/2013

Claim 1 requires each and every step below:

A computer-implemented method of providing seamless online video advertisements, the computer-implemented method comprising:

  1. rendering a video advertisement on a first web page in a first tab;

  2. recording current time of play constantly during the rendering of the video advertisement;

  3. receiving a request for a second web page in the first tab from a user;

  4. unloading the first web page;

  5. loading the second web page in the first tab;

  6. retrieving the current time of play stored corresponding to the unloading; and

  7. resume the rendering of the video advertisement on the second web page based on the current time of play retrieved.

In English this means:

A method for providing seamless online video ads, comprising:

  1. Playing video ad in first web page;

  2. Recording current time of video while playing the video;

  3. Receiving request for second web page and loading second web page; and

  4. Resume playing video ad in second web page at same time video was stopped in first web page

Good prior art would be evidence of a system that did each and every one of these steps prior to 11/20/2011

You're probably aware of ten pieces of art that meet this criteria already... separately, the applicant is claiming recording the stop time of the video so as to resume in the same place during browsing

"providing seemless online video advertisements from the Applicant"

What is good prior art? Please see our FAQ.

Want to help? Please vote or comment on submissions below. We welcome you to post your own request for prior art on other questionable US Patent Applications.

4 Answers 4


This is somewhat similar to another prior art request on Ask Patents: URL pointing to time of video. The answers there may be applicable for some of the claims here.


Thinking on this some more, a video ad is just streaming video media. With that in mind, netflix has had a resume play feature since at least January 2011 (second google search result was people talking about it it on a forum in January 2011). So in netflix's case, while not automatic, you can watch a video on one device, pause/exit, come back in on a different device, and resume where you left off at.

There is of course no reason why a user could not load netflix up in one tab, start watching, pause, load up netflix in a second tab, resume watching.


The open-source embeddable Enhanced XSPF Player With Autoresume Support has offered this exact functionality for music only for any webpage since at least Nov 2006.

Earliest archive.org copy (Nov 2006):

The implementation of the auto-resume feature in XSPF is described as follows:

This player stores the player's current track and playback position in a Flash cookie. When the user moves between pages, the player goes away, of course. But the player on the new page will see the cookie and pick up where the first player left off.

This appears to exactly match the technique described in claim 1 of the patent. However, the player is for audio not video.


The technique of auto-resuming video playback across page loads was invented, publicly described, and successfully implemented by users of the embeddable JWPlayer in 2009, well before the filing date. See
"player to resume play position on refresh?"

The original poster "Sophie" asks about applying the technique to audio playback:

I am interested in creating an mp3 player which does something similar to the one mentioned in this topic... I need the player to remember the playing state, playing position, track number playing and volume by using a cookie, and then to reload those from the cookie whenever the person moves from page to page or refreshes the page on the website so the music playing would be almost seamless.

However user "Lost" chooses to use a video to demonstrate the technique:

OK, somebody test it and tell me what's broken. http://willswonders.myip.org:8074/Simple_ChocolateChipCookies.html ... Just copy the page source from Simple_ChocolateChipCookies.html and adjust to your player version, video file, image, etc.

User "Seynna" confirmed that user "Lost" had sucessfully implemented the technique:

hey lost, that seems to work really well...how do you set it up?

The sample code (Simple_ChocolateChipCookies.html) is not in archive.org. But a later thread on the same forums reproduces the code: see posting by user "noone" on Tue, 2010-12-14 13:23 (still well before the patent date):

Therefore, the technique of auto-resume for videos described in claim 1 is not patentable. The specific application of it to advertisements is obvious to any reasonably skilled person working in this area.

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