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Consumer Electronics

Licensed Consumer Electronics Up 3.5% in the U.S./Canada

According to TLL’s Annual Licensing Business Survey, U.S./Canada retail sales of licensed consumer electronics merchandise grew 3.5% to $5.41 billion in 2015. Although it makes up only 5.2% in market share, the category is one of the most stable we track—and has been trending upwards for the last 10 years.

While most electronics licensing historically emerged from the corporate trademark/brand sector, there has also been a great deal of activity in other property types—in particular entertainment (headphones, earbuds and tablets), fashion (wearable technology), music (headphones and earbuds) and art. Here are some of the latest updates:

Following Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn‘s $3.84 purchase of Sharp in August, the Japanese manufacturer is reviewing its TV brand licensing deals overseas. The Yomiuri newspaper reports that Sharp will dispatch officials in September for negotiations to buy back its TV business in the U.S. and Europe. The Sharp brand is currently licensed to China’s Hisense Group in the Americas and to Universal Media Corp. Slovakia in Europe.

HMD global Oy, master licensee of Nokia-branded smart phones, feature phones and tablets, appoints Pekka Rantala CMO amidst plans to invest over $500 million over the next three years in global marketing. HMD’s Nokia-branded devices will be manufactured and distributed worldwide by FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn. The devices will run on Android and will get brand licensing and patent access in exchange for royalties. Nokia expects total annualized net sales related to patent and brand licensing to grow to a run rate of approximately $1.06 billion by the end of 2016. The Finnish brand’s handset business was first sold to Microsoft in 2014 and has since been largely abandoned.

Incipio agrees to purchase headphone and audio-tech developer Skullcandy for $177 million.

Atari and audio company Roam join forces to create a range of co-branded gaming headphones and earphones. As part of the deal, Atari has become a shareholder in Roam.

Toon Goggles taps CozyPhones to create a new range of headphones featuring its animated series, Eddie is a Yeti.

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