Arbitron settles PPM patent dispute with Digimarc


Digimarc announced a “collaborative licensing agreement” with Arbitron granting the ratings company a non-exclusive license to its portfolio of patents. The license deal ends litigation over Digimarc’s patents.

Digimarc said the settlement is contingent upon payment of $4.5 million from Arbitron by March 29th. Arbitron will receive a non-exclusive, worldwide, and irrevocable license to a substantial portion of Digimarc’s domestic and international patent portfolio, with the announcement noting that includes related future and pending patent applications.

The arrangement provides Arbitron, its licensees and customers with various rights in Digimarc’s technology including the rights to use it to enhance the Arbitron PPM technology through the end of 2021, the announcement stated, or until the last licensed Digimarc patent expires. Arbitron and Digimarc have agreed that the pending legal action for declaratory relief, filed by Arbitron last year, will be jointly and voluntarily dismissed without prejudice.

Digimarc Corporation, traded on Nasdaq as DMRC, bills itself as “a leading innovator and provider of enabling technologies that create digital identities for all forms of media and many everyday objects. The embedded digital IDs are imperceptible to humans, but not to computers, networks and devices like mobile phones, which can now use cameras and microphones as sensory inputs to ‘see, hear and understand’ the world around them within the context of their environment.”

Digimarc notes that its intellectual property portfolio has grown to over 575 patents, with more than 420 patent applications pending.

Digimarc had claimed last year that Arbitron’s Portable People Meter (PPM) infringed on nine of its patents and threatened legal action unless Arbitron negotiated a license agreement. Instead, Arbitron struck first, suing for a declaration that PPM did not infringe the Digimarc patents. That has now been settled with Arbitron’s agreement to pay $4.5 million to license Digimarc’s patents.