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Q: Revenue generated by MP3 patents ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Revenue generated by MP3 patents
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: craig-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 18 Apr 2002 14:06 PDT
Expires: 25 Apr 2002 14:06 PDT
Question ID: 1059
The patents on the mp3 music format are owned by Thompson multimedia and 
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (see  I've seen on the Thompson 
web site that they've sold 10 million hardware licenses, and about 40 million 
software licenses.  The royalty rates are on the mp3licesning site, so you can 
sort of estimate the revenues they have generated.  I'm interested in more 
specific revenue numbers.  How much revenue have these patents generated?  Per 
year, over the last 5 years, etc.
Subject: Re: Revenue generated by MP3 patents
Answered By: dscotton-ga on 19 Apr 2002 11:16 PDT
Unfortunately, I don’t think you’re going to be able to learn the exact numbers 
for mp3 licensing revenue.  I talked to Thomson Multimedia’s financial 
information contact, and this is what he told me:

"detailed figures per each technologie are not disclosed, but as an order of 
magnitude, licensing MP3 related technologies accounted for few millions euros 
on an annual basis."

A few million euros per year is probably the best number you’ll get for mp3 
licensing revenues.  I hope this helps.
Subject: Re: Revenue generated by MP3 patents
From: tombiro-ga on 18 Apr 2002 16:42 PDT
is this strictly regarding the mp3 format itself, or for devices which store 
and play mp3s as well?  i believe that patent was/is held by what was, now defunct.  can you clarify?
Subject: Re: Revenue generated by MP3 patents
From: dscotton-ga on 18 Apr 2002 16:50 PDT
The financial statements on Thomson multimedia's web site break down their 
revenues as far as listing the revenue for "patents & licensing" (378 million 
Euros in 2000, 278 million Euros in 1999).  But they hold numerous other 
patents besides patents on mp3 technology.  I'm not sure if you're going to get 
numbers any more specific than that.
Subject: Re: Revenue generated by MP3 patents
From: craig-ga on 18 Apr 2002 19:30 PDT
To tombiro:

Yes, I'm only talking about the mp3 format, not on the hardware. 

To dscotton:

Yes, as you say, Thompson has thousands of patents they license.  The 18 
patents they have on mp3 would only be a small portion of the 378 million euros 
they make from licensing.  Fraunhofer may have a smaller patent portfolio, I 
don't know.

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