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Digimarc Corporation
Public company
Industry Technology
Founded 1995
Founder Geoff Rhoads
Headquarters 9405 SW Gemini Dr, Beaverton, Oregon, United States
Area served
Key people
Bruce Davis, CEO
Revenue ~US$35 million (2013)[1]
Number of employees
149 (April 2014)[2]
Website www.digimarc.com

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.[3][4]


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.[3] In 1996, after initial venture funding,[5] Digimarc released its first product: a digital watermarking plug-in bundled with Adobe Photoshop, Corel, and Micrografix.[6] 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.[citation needed]

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.[7] 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.[8] The acquisition gave Digimarc the resources to develop IDMarc, a secure driver license technology eventually adopted by 37 state DMVs.[8]

In August 2008, Digimarc completed the sale of its ID card business to rival L-1 Identity Systems.[9] The new Digimarc corporation consists solely of its digital watermarking business and reincorporated as an Oregon company.[10][11] 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.[12] 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.[13]

In 2012, Digimarc acquired Attributor Corp., a company specializing in services protecting ebooks from piracy.[14]


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.[15][16] 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.[17][18] 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.[19]


  1. ^ "Digimarc Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Financial Results". Digimarc Corporation. February 20, 2014. Retrieved 25 Apr 2014. 
  2. ^ "Digimarc Corp". Google Finance. Apr 25, 2014. Retrieved 25 Apr 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "DMRC Profile | Digimarc Corporation Stock - Yahoo! Finance". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  4. ^ Caruso, Denise. "Business > Companies > Digimarc Corporation". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Digimarc receives funding of $4.5M. (AVI Capital, Adobe Ventures, Just Systems and Softbank provide capital) (Company Financial Information)(Brief Article)". The Seybold Report on Internet Publishing. 1 September 1996. 
  6. ^ http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-18652483.html
  7. ^ Software Detection of Currency, http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk, Accessed 2010-04-25
  8. ^ a b "doc/1G1-81034373". eb.archive.org. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  9. ^ Earnshaw, Aliza (18 January 2009). "$310M sale of Digimarc unit the biggest deal of 2008". 
  10. ^ "Last chance to tender Digimarc shares". 11 August 2008. 
  11. ^ "Digimarc reincorporates as an Oregon company". 16 May 2010. 
  12. ^ Rogoway, Mike (December 28, 2010). "Digimarc fires auditor amid accounting dispute". The Oregonian (OregonLive). Retrieved 29 December 2010. 
  13. ^ Rogoway, Mike (October 25, 2011). "Licensing revenue fuels Digimarc's growth". The Oregonian. Retrieved October 26, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Digimarc acquires Attributor". Portland Business Journal. American City Business Journals. Dec 4, 2012. Retrieved 25 Apr 2014. 
  15. ^ "Which school hosts The South's Best Tailgate?". CBS 42. 15 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "Beaverton Company Innovates Smartphone Tech". KGW Newschannel 8. 25 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Starwood leverages print ads for multichannel content". Luxury Daily. 21 March 2012. 
  18. ^ "From print to Pinterest: Digimarc expands digital watermarking service". Geekwire. 21 May 2012. 
  19. ^ ""Why some of your photos could end up in the wrong hands and what you can do about it" date=17 August 2012". WXYZ ABC Action News.