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File photo of Wi-LAN chief executive officer James Skippen. (Jonathan Hayward for The Globe and Mail)
File photo of Wi-LAN chief executive officer James Skippen. (Jonathan Hayward for The Globe and Mail)

Patent licensing firm Wi-LAN puts itself on the block Add to ...

Patent licensing company Wi-LAN Inc. says it is exploring “strategic alternatives,” including a possible sale of the company.

The Ottawa-based company “strongly believes in its current business strategy but does not believe that its current share price accurately reflects its strong balance sheet, the value of its signed license agreements, its business prospects or the residual value of its broad intellectual property portfolio,” it said in a news release Wednesday.

Wil-LAN’s shares fell almost 23 per cent – or 92 cents – to $3.16 on Oct. 24, after a jury decision in litigation with Apple Inc. in Texas that went against it.

Expressing disappointment with the decision, Wi-LAN nonetheless said it had a strong financial position and that the patent at issue expired in just over three months and is only one patent in a portfolio of more than 3,000.

Wi-LAN said on Wednesday that its board has launched a process to assess a “broad range” of options, including changes to its dividend policy or other forms of return of capital to shareholders, the acquisition or sale of assets, joint ventures, the sale of the company, alternative operating models or continuing with the existing business plan, the company said.

No deadline has been set for the review process.

Wi-LAN’s main business is buying and developing technology patents in order to license them to some of the largest companies in the sector. If it believes companies have infringed on its patents, it proceeds with legal action against them.

It and other similar companies are nicknamed “patent trolls” for their willingness to sue in order to extract fees from intellectual property rights.

Earlier this month, Wi-LAN and BlackBerry Ltd. struck a deal to dismiss all litigation over patents between the firms. Wil-LAN had alleged that BlackBerry infringed on a patent related to Bluetooth systems.

In September, Wi-LAN said it settled a patent fight against Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc.

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