There were some very interesting pieces of information and/or impressions given in today's presentation at the Needham Growth Conference. This is my impression of the key points that I saw/heard:
New license negotiations and litigation. Look at slide 15 - Skippen said that the left hand side reflected significant companies that were in either litigation or license discussions. Two companies popped out as NOT in litigation...ergo, licensing discussion: Sony (Digital TVs) and Softbank (DSL Infrastructure).
The recently acquired 1500 TV patents. Apparently they came from a Korean company and are only licensed in Korea. Skippen said, "If I told you the licensees, you would know who the patents came from." Bet it's not LG.
Team and business strategy emphasis. Unlike previous presentations where JS might have broken a rib pounding his chest, this presentation highlighted the strength and depth of the team. In addition, the presentation focused on the strategies for future growth. Overall, it was a big departure from previous presentations and one that may be more palatable to investors that may have thought of Wilan as a one-person shop. Notably, Paul Lerner is on the slide. :p to Alex.
Hedging your bets. A key strategy is to back up positions in the event of an unexpected loss in court or negotiations. Skippen said something to the effect that sometimes judges make bad decisions or something goes awry. In those cases, it is wise to have back up. This could have been a general statement that Wilan will have several irons in the fire in case some do not pan out or it could have been a directed message regarding LG in case the V-Chip litigation does not go Wilan's way.
We're not greedy. JS admitted that he is prepared to leave some money on the table in the interest of arriving at a settlement that he and the licensees see as fair. He recognized however that there are some companies that refuse to settle (maybe on principle), preferring the litigation route. I have no idea for certain who he might have been referring to, but Apple and HTC come to mind. He also said that companies that license without litigation are in line for a lower cost license (that was refreshing to hear).
The Mosaid acquisition attempt. Skippen eloquently defended the attempted Mosaid acquisition, without apology. I thought it was well handled.
Tyler Burns was in attendance. That meant that Wilan is pitching institutional investors in Gotham.