WiLan shares shrug off negative court ruling in patent suit

Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:07pm EDT
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July 16 (Reuters) - Shares of Canadian patent licensing company WiLan Inc soared on Tuesday, shrugging off a court ruling that four of its patents had not been infringed.

WiLan said on Monday a jury found Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc , Ericsson Inc, HTC Corp and Sony Mobile Communications had not infringed its patents related to the communication standard 3GPP.

WiLan's Nasdaq-listed shares fell as much as 33 percent after the bell on Monday on the news but surged 15 percent on Tuesday. Its Toronto-listed shares rose 19 percent to C$3.91.

Some analysts said the company, whose principal source of revenue is from licensing its patent and licensing portfolios on behalf of third-party patent holders, lost a battle, not the war, while others termed the judgment "a bump in the road".

"It was a negative announcement but I think I would frame it as one step in a longer process as opposed to the very negative reaction that the markets had gone into yesterday," Canaccord Genuity analyst Robert Young said.

Stifel Nicolaus analyst Blair Abernethy said the company has multiple relevant patents in its portfolio of over 3,000 patents and it could initiate further lawsuits to secure licenses.

"There is a high likelihood that WiLAN will appeal this verdict," said Abernethy, who maintained a "buy" rating on the stock but cut the price target to C$5.50 from C$6. (Reporting by Shounak Dasgupta and Krithika Krishnamurthy in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)