Paris-based Thomson, a provider of technologies, systems, and services for media companies will become a strategic investor in ContentGuard, a developer of digital rights management (DRM) intellectual property. Thomson has also announced that it has licensed patents from ContentGuard.
With this investment, Thomson enters into a partnership with current investors Microsoft Corp. and Time Warner Inc. Thomson has agreed to purchase an aggregate 33% voting stake in ContentGuard from Microsoft, Time Warner, and Xerox, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals. Like Microsoft and Time Warner, Thomson will have the right to name two directors to ContentGuard's board. Working together with ContentGuard, the company's three strategic investors (Microsoft, Time Warner and Thomson) expect this transaction will help promote the development of inter-operable DRM systems, accelerate the deployment of consumer devices that support Digital Rights Management, and encourage content owners to launch new distribution channels. The partners plan to continue development of ContentGuard's intellectual property and to promote innovation in electronic content distribution using DRM technologies.
ContentGuard and Thomson have also announced that Thomson has agreed to a global license to ContentGuard's portfolio of DRM patents. Thomson's license allows it to use ContentGuard's technology and intellectual property to implement DRM solutions across its various business activities, including the replication and distribution of theatrical and home video products, the design and manufacture of professional broadcast and consumer electronic equipment, and the electronic distribution of entertainment content.