BUSINESS

Wi-LAN stock dives after jury rules for Apple in patent battle with Ottawa firm

10/24/2013 11:28 EDT | Updated 12/24/2013 05:12 EST
TORONTO - Wi-LAN was handed a seriously unfavourable verdict by investors Thursday, a day after a jury in Texas ruled against the patent licensing firm in a dispute with consumer electronics giant Apple Inc.

Frenzied trading greeted Wi-LAN's stock a day after the jurors said Wednesday that Apple was not guilty of infringing the Ottawa-based company's patents related to CDMA and HSPA technologies used in wireless communications.

By the end of the day, the stock was down 92 cents, or 22.55 per cent at $3.16 on extremely heavy volume of almost 9.6 million shares, making it the second-most active issue on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Trial proceedings involving Apple began on Oct. 15 after six other defendants — Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, HTC Corp., Novatel Wireless, Inc. and Sierra Wireless Inc. — all signed licence and settlement agreements to resolve the litigation.

Wi-LAN had said Wednesday that while it was disappointed with the jury's decision it was reviewing its options with trial counsel and that it did not believe the other licence agreements would be negatively impacted by the decision.

The company also attempted to assure investors that the Texas ruling would have limited impact on its overall business, which primarily generates revenue from a portfolio of 3,000 patents licensed by hundreds of companies around the world that manufacture or sell of a wide range of communication and consumer electronics products.

It added that the jury's decision affected only one patent and that it expires in about three months.

Meanwhile, Wi-LAN estimated that its annual revenue for 2013 will be in a range of $85 million to $87 million, above analyst expectations.

Analysts had been looking for Wi-LAN to generate $82.5 million of revenue this year, down from $87.96 million last year, according to recent estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters.