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Digimarc settles patent suit

Digimarc, a developer of digital watermarking components, announced on Thursday that it has settled its patent-infringement lawsuit against rival Verance. The two companies had been embroiled in a long-standing legal battle, with Digimarc filing its third patent suit in September 2001. A digital watermark places code into an image or sound file to make the file difficult to copy or play without permission from copyright holders.

Digimarc?s suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Oregon, alleged infringement of the company?s patent for embedding a digital watermark into audio or video content. Under settlement terms, Verance will pay Digimarc a license initiation fee and certain payments during the term of the license, in excess of $2 million. "We view this settlement as the first step in what we expect to be a long-term, constructive relationship between Verance and Digimarc that is sure to accelerate the growth of the significant market for digital watermarking technology and related services," Bob Cerasoli, CEO of Verance, said in a statement.