Technology StocksWi-LAN Inc. (T.WIN)

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From: 2Gorgeous1/23/2012 5:27:31 PM
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InterDigital Said to Call Off Patent Sale

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To: Dexter Lives On who wrote (16066)1/23/2012 10:52:28 PM
From: Dexter Lives On
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Sprott takes a new path toward less volatility

boyd erman

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail Posted on Monday, January 23, 2012 6:43PM EST

Hedge fund manager Eric Sprott made a name and a fortune for himself with a prescient bet on gold and silver. But Sprott Inc. ( SII-T6.120.081.32%), the publicly traded asset manager he founded, is finding that creating a successful fund company requires more than a single big idea.

Investors want more than just the extremely volatile, precious-metals-focused funds that Mr. Sprott runs, and Sprott Inc. is missing out on the wave of cash flowing into balanced and income funds seeking steadier returns. So over the coming weeks, Sprott Inc. is set to roll out new mutual and hedge funds that invest in core Canadian stocks and in a balanced portfolio.

The firm hired John Wilson, former chief investment officer of a mid-sized Toronto asset manager, to run some of the new funds, and expects more hires will follow. The conundrum for Sprott Inc. is how to broaden its appeal without repudiating the theories that Mr. Sprott espouses – chiefly that the financial system is, as he puts it, “a farce,” and that gold and silver will be the safest place when it all comes crashing down. There’s a lot at stake, chiefly meeting the challenge of making money for both investors in Sprott Inc. funds and Sprott Inc.’s stock, which have both struggled lately.

Mr. Sprott’s strategy has worked in the long run. The Sprott Canadian Equity mutual fund and Sprott Hedge fund, both of which feature him as a lead manager, have returned 14 per cent a year for the past 10 years as precious metals prices have risen. But his current narrow focus on gold and silver made it a painful ride for investors in 2008 and again last year. Sprott Canadian Equity fell almost 30 per cent in 2011. Sprott Hedge fund fell 24 per cent.

With that performance from its flagship funds, Sprott Inc.’s stock is down 36 per cent from its 2011 peak, and well below its initial public offering price. Analysts don’t expect Sprott Inc. shares to get back to those highs any time soon. A big reason is that the rough performance in the funds cuts into management fees earned by Sprott Inc., which are now expected to be depressed this year. That’s reflected in a steep cut in analysts’ estimates for 2012 earnings in recent weeks.

The hope is that by hiring new portfolio managers who share Mr. Sprott’s suspicion of the financial system’s health, but who invest in different ways that minimize volatility, the firm can attract more money – and make more, too.

Mr. Wilson “is a manager that is generally aligned with our macroeconomic thinking but who can steer clients through that in a different way than Eric, and it just happens to be in the most popular asset class because people are scared of the volatility,” said Sprott Inc. chief executive officer Peter Grosskopf. “But [finding such a manager] was kind of like threading a needle.”

Mr. Wilson plans to buy stocks of large companies you have heard of, as opposed to the small miners Mr. Sprott likes to lay bets on.

Mr. Wilson also plans to hedge those purchases by using options such as puts to protect against declines, and currency hedges on foreign holdings. All of that, combined with a focus on buying stocks that are cheap from a value perspective, is designed to lead to lower volatility.

“Eric has this fabulous demonstrated ability to take a long-term view and just create tremendous wealth, but he’s willing to take a long-term view and take volatile ups and downs to get there,” Mr. Wilson said in an interview at Sprott Inc.’s offices. “That is not for everybody.”

“Even believing those same things, that the world is going to respond to its imbalances today by printing money, and I do believe that, I can invest in more traditional equity portfolios,” Mr. Wilson said.

In addition to the funds that Mr. Wilson will run, Mr. Grosskopf said Sprott Inc. will look to offer an income fund. That will entail hiring another manager.

The greater plan is to not simply draw more money from retail investors. The company wants to bring in money from larger institutional investors, and is looking at launching a global macro hedge fund aimed at such clients.

So far, institutional money is only about $500-million, a fraction of Sprott Inc.’s total $10-billion of assets under management.

“When you look at the alternative asset world, you need scale to be successful,” Mr. Grosskopf said. “If you want to take any kind of institutional client base on, they want to see a team, they want to see a system, they want to see compliance. And to have that kind of a team, you need scale. To have scale you can’t just be a gold fund, you have to have other products.”

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From: 2Gorgeous1/26/2012 6:29:58 PM
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IDCC getting into WhiteSpace

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From: Dexter Lives On2/9/2012 8:37:39 AM
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Time for the patent purchase pursuit to resume, Cheers. Z4

U.S. Likely to Approve Google Bid for Motorola

By Jeff Bliss - Feb 9, 2012 12:01 AM ET

The U.S. Justice Department will probably give antitrust approval next week to Google Inc. (GOOG)’s bid for Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc (MMI)., said two people familiar with the matter.

If approved by regulators, the acquisition of Libertyville, Illinois-based Motorola Mobility will give Google more than 17,000 patents for mobile-phone technology.

The Justice Department also will probably approve a plan by a consortium led by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Apple Inc. (AAPL) to buy Nortel Network Corp. patents, the people said. The Nortel acquisition will give the Apple-Microsoft consortium, which also includes Research in Motion Ltd., Sony Corp., Ericsson AB and EMC Corp (EMC)., control of more than 6,000 patents and applications that cover wireless technologies.

In its investigation of the deals, the Justice Department became concerned with the increasing tendency of patent holders suing to stop other companies from using their essential smartphone technology, one of the people said. The department will continue to examine companies such as Google that haven’t sworn off the practice, the person said.

Both people didn’t want to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak about the investigations publicly.

Google’s $12.5 billion planned acquisition of Motorola Mobility and the Apple-Microsoft group’s $4.5 billion purchase of patents from bankrupt Nortel are part of a growing trend of technology companies buying patents to defend themselves against intellectual-property suits.

Gina Talamona, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment on the department’s plans.

Google spokesman Adam Kovacevich and and spokeswoman Mistique Cano didn’t immediately respond to e-mails and phone calls seeking comment on the possible approval.

Google Letter

Also yesterday, Google said in a letter to technology standards groups that it would still consider seeking court injunctions to block companies from using its technology if it couldn’t resolve “standard compliant” patent disputes. Google wrote the letter to answer questions from the European Commission, which is reviewing the Motorola Mobility deal to determine if it would hurt competition.

European regulators will rule on the acquisition by Feb. 13, Antoine Colombani, a spokesman for the commission in Brussels, said Feb. 7. The agency could clear the deal or open an in-depth probe that would last about 90 working days.

“Transparency and consistency in licensing practices are important with respect to standard essential patents,” Deputy General Counsel Allen Lo said in a letter to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. “I am confident that Google’s acquisition of MMI will not disturb those goals or otherwise adversely affect” manufacturers or consumers.

Continued at

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From: Dexter Lives On2/28/2012 9:18:57 AM
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Yahoo ready to sue Facebook on patent claims

Dan Levine
San Francisco— Reuters
Published Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 8:55AM EST
Last updated Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 9:02AM EST

Yahoo ( YHOO-Q14.86-0.03-0.20%) has demanded licensing fees from Facebook for use of its technology, the companies said on Monday, potentially engulfing social media in the patent battles and lawsuits raging across much of the tech sector.

Yahoo has asserted claims on patents that include the technical mechanisms in the Facebook’s ads, privacy controls, news feed and messaging service, according to a source briefed on the matter.

Representatives from the two companies met on Monday and the talks involved 10 to 20 of Yahoo’s patents, said the source, who was not aware of what specific dollar demands Yahoo may have made for licenses.

Yahoo did not elaborate in an e-mailed statement on details of its discussions with Facebook, but indicated it would not flinch at taking the social networking giant to court over its patents.

Yahoo said other companies have already licensed some of the technologies at issue, and that it would act unilaterally if Facebook refused to pay for a patent license.

“Yahoo has a responsibility to its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders to protect its intellectual property,” the company said.

The meeting between the two companies was first reported by the New York Times.

A Facebook spokesman said: “Yahoo contacted us at the same time they called the New York Times and so we haven’t had the opportunity to fully evaluate their claims.”

Should Yahoo wind up suing Facebook, it would mark the first major legal battle among technology giants in the social media sphere and a major escalation of patent litigation that has already swept up the smartphone and tablet sectors and led by Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Motorola Mobility.

Yahoo’s patent claims follow Facebook’s announcement of plans for an initial public offering that could value the company at about $100-billion.

Several social networking companies, including Facebook, have seen an uptick in patent claims asserted against them as they move through the IPO process.

However, most of those lawsuits have been filed by patent aggregators that buy up intellectual property to squeeze value from it via licensing deals, and none by a large tech company such as Yahoo.

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From: Dexter Lives On4/3/2012 12:56:52 PM
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Another patent troll operating out of Florida. ;-)

RIM Accused of Infringing Patents on BlackBerry Chips
By Susan Decker - Apr 3, 2012 12:33 PM ET

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) was accused of infringing six patents owned by NXP Semiconductor NV (NXPI) for technology including ways to expand the range of data transmission.

NXP, Europe’s third-largest chipmaker, filed the complaint yesterday in U.S. federal court in Orlando, Florida. The Dutch chipmaker, based in Eindhoven, Netherlands, seeks cash compensation and a court order to block further use of its inventions.

RIM products including the BlackBerry Torch, Playbook, Curve and Bold are using the patented inventions without permission, NXP contends. The other patents cover computer bus systems, mobile phones with GPS receivers, circuit manufacturing, the polishing of the surface of wafers, and patterning of layers on the wafer.

Marisa Conway, a spokeswoman for Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM, said the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

RIM fell $1.16, or 8.1 percent, to $13.21 as of 12:31 p.m. in New York trading, the biggest decline in more than two months, as investors speculated that potential acquirers are losing interest.

The case is NXP BV v. Research in Motion Ltd. (RIM), 12cv498, U.S. District Court for the District in Orlando (Florida).

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From: Dexter Lives On4/9/2012 7:52:53 AM
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AOL to Sell, License Patents to Microsoft for $1.06 Billion

By Ville Heiskanen - Apr 9, 2012 7:28 AM ET

AOL Inc. (AOL), under shareholder pressure to make strategic changes as revenue declines, agreed to sell and license patents to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) in a deal worth $1.06 billion.

The Internet company will sell more than 800 patents and related patent applications to Microsoft and grant the software maker a non-exclusive license to its retained patent portfolio, the companies said today in a statement. AOL will hold more than 300 patents and patent applications after the deal.

The transaction lets New York-based AOL generate additional funds amid slow advertising growth and a decline in its dial-up Internet subscribers. The company, whose revenue has dropped 29 percent since its 2009 spinoff from Time Warner Inc., has faced pressure from shareholder Starboard Value LP to consider moves including a patent deal.

AOL said it plans to return a “significant portion” of the sale proceeds to shareholders. Had the patent deal closed already last year, AOL said it would have had about $15 per share of cash on hand as of Dec. 31, 2011.

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From: emrs14/10/2012 5:49:35 PM
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All Claims of WiLAN's V-Chip Patent Upheld by US Patent Office
Ticker Symbol: C:WIN U:WILN


Wi-LAN Inc. ("WiLAN" or the "Company") (TSX:WIN)(NASDAQ:WILN) today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") has confirmed the validity of all the claims in WiLAN's US Patent No. 5,828,402 (the "402 Patent") along with more than 30 new claims. The USPTO ruling signals that the 402 Patent re-examination proceedings are at an end. ...

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To: emrs1 who wrote (16080)4/10/2012 6:11:53 PM
From: Mark Bartlett
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Finally someting positive for WIN.

- M

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To: Mark Bartlett who wrote (16081)4/10/2012 8:03:01 PM
From: emrs1
   of 16845
I wonder if this is related to the relative strength in the stock over the past couple of days. I'd like to think not.

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