is a digital watermarking technology provider enabling the invisible embedding of information into many forms of content, including 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. Initial inspiration for the company came while photographing images of the planet Jupiter. He felt that his digital images were vulnerable on the internet, even with copyright protection. Recognizing the need for a better way to protect and track digital images, Rhoads began the initial research and development of invisible watermarking, laying the foundation of Digimarc Corporation, which was founded in May, 1995.
In 1996, after initial venture funding, Digimarc released its first product: a digital watermarking plug-in bundled with Adobe Photoshop, Corel, and Micrografix. In 1997, Digimarc’s first patent was awarded. 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.
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 of 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
Intellectual Ventures is a private company notable for being one of the top-five owners of U.S. patents, as of 2011. Its business model has a focus on developing a large patent portfolio and licensing these patents to companies. Publicly, it states that a major goal is to assist small inventors...
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 2004 Digimarc was No. 1 on Forbes list of 25 fastest growing tech companies.
In 2008, Digimarc was listed on the Patent Boards Information Technology Patent Scorecard [TM] of the top 50 most innovative technology companies.
In March of 2011, Digimarc was rated the third best medium-sized company to work for in Oregon by Oregon Business magazine.