|Traded as||NASDAQ: DMRC|
|Headquarters||9405 SW Gemini Dr, Beaverton, Oregon, United States|
|Bruce Davis, CEO|
|Revenue||~US$35 million (2013)|
Number of employees
|149 (April 2014)|
Digimarc is a digital watermarking technology provider enabling embedding of information into many forms of content, including printed material, audio, video, imagery, and certain objects. Digimarc technology provides solutions for media identification and management, counterfeit and piracy deterrence, and digital commerce.
Digimarc was founded by Geoff Rhoads, an astrophysicist with a background in deep space imaging. The initial inspiration for the company came while Rhoads was photographing images of the planet Jupiter. He felt that his digital images were vulnerable on the internet, even with copyright protection. In 1996, after initial venture funding, Digimarc released its first product: a digital watermarking plug-in bundled with Adobe Photoshop, Corel, and Micrografix. After a second round of venture funding and increased investments in research and technology, Digimarc signed a multi-year contract with a consortium of central banks.
Digimarc has developed a DRM system used on bank notes of several countries. Developed for the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group, the system embeds various hidden patterns into banknote designs which are detected by code included in several popular image editing programs, including Adobe Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. Digimarc's system blocks users from opening images identified as bank notes.
In 2001, Digimarc acquired the ID Systems assets of bankrupt Polaroid Corporation and established Digimarc ID Systems, LLC. The acquisition gave Digimarc the resources to develop IDMarc, a secure driver license technology eventually adopted by 37 state DMVs.
In August 2008, Digimarc completed the sale of its ID card business to rival L-1 Identity Systems. The new Digimarc corporation consists solely of its digital watermarking business and reincorporated as an Oregon company. Digimarc sold off the majority of their patents to Intellectual Ventures in 2010 for $36 million, plus a portion of any future patents Digimarc is granted. The licensing deal helped increase revenue and profits the next year, when the company earned $639,000 on revenues of $8.6 million in the third quarter.
In 2012, Digimarc acquired Attributor Corp., a company specializing in services protecting ebooks from piracy.
In addition to licensing revenue, Digimarc directly provides two digital watermarking services. Digimarc Discover is a mobile engagement product that enables digital watermarks in print or audio content to connect a user to online content with a mobile application. The print-to-mobile aspect of this service is similar in functionality to QR codes, but differs by embedding the web connection into an image for use in print layout. Digimarc for Images (formerly MyPictureMarc) is a photographer's tool to embed digital watermarks into digital images for persistent and unobtrusive copyright and ownership communication.
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