Psssst…wanna buy a radio research patent?


Actually, Tom Kelly is not being secretive at all about putting his “home music survey” patent up for sale. It’s being put up for auction in October. Kelly Music Research will retain the rights to use the “Living Room Music Test” for its own clients.

US Patent 5913204 is owned by Tom Kelly’s Max Gleuteus Properties LLC. It will be auctioned by Ocean Tomo LLC at its October 29-30 auction at the Trump International Hotel in Chicago.

Tom Kelly, was granted the patent in 1999 for the music survey method he developed for the radio and the recording industries which enabled participation in music surveys at home without a moderator rather than travel to a test site.  Tom Kelly’s market research company, Kelly Music Research, first utilized the patented method with a mail-delivered survey product called the Living Room Music Test.  With the popularization of the Internet, that method is now used for the delivery of music surveys through e-mail.

The patented method includes music opinion surveys administered to participants via physical or electronic survey delivery.  Both broadcast and Internet radio stations rely on listener opinion surveys to modify playlists for the purpose of reaching larger audiences and to extend listening times.

“Since the patent was granted, there has been considerable interest, particularly in the last few years, not only among users, but also from holding companies interested in controlling the licensing rights and prohibiting unauthorized use of the patented method,” said Kelly. He told RBR/TVBR that he has not ever had to sue anyone for patent infringement. He has, however, sent out cease and desist letters to infringers. “They have cooperated,” he noted.

What’s the patent worth? The auction catalog lists an “expected value” of $650,000+.