Ottawa-based patent licensing firm Wi-LAN will begin managing over 900 semiconductor patents for Japanese electronics giant Panasonic, creating a new line of business for a company that is currently reviewing its strategic options.
© Mark Holleron
WiLAN CEO Jim Skippen.
By Jacob Serebrin
The deal will see WiLAN set up a new subsidiary, Collabo Innovations, to manage and license the patents.
“This broad transaction with Panasonic, one of the largest electronics companies in the world, is a very important new area of focus for our business,” said Jim Skippen, WiLAN’s president and CEO, in a press release.
“We believe that through tighter business relationships with licensees and partners, we can provide more value to our licensees and develop new sources of revenues for our shareholders.”
The semiconductor patents have applications in digital cameras and optical drives, the company said in the release.
WiLAN is currently conducting a strategic review of its operations. In November, company executives said they didn’t believe WiLAN’s share price accurately reflects the value of the company and its patent portfolio. WiLAN’s share price has taken two steep dives – in July and October – after the company lost patent infringement lawsuits earlier this year.
WiLAN executives had originally agreed to speak with OBJ on Wednesday about the Panasonic deal.
However when they were reached by phone at the agreed time, company officials said it would be inappropriate to speak about the deal or the company’s future plans due to the ongoing review.