WiLan loses patent case against Apple, shares plummet

Shares in Canadian patent licensing company WiLan Inc plunged almost 23 percent on Thursday after a jury ruled that Apple did not infringe a patent it held, leading several analysts to downgrade their view of the stock.

The company, whose primary business is acquiring ownership of intellectual property and then seeking to charge fees to companies that make use of it, said it was disappointed by the court decision but that the patent in question only had three months of validity remaining.

The company had previously reached licensing deals with six other companies; Alcatel-Lucent, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, HTC Corp, Novatel Wireless and Sierra Wireless over the patent, which covers mobile technologies.

Analysts at Paradigm, Canaccord Genuity, and CIBC cut their ratings on the stock following the court decision.

“Our view is there are limited licensing catalysts with the Apple loss,” CIBC analyst Todd Coupland wrote in a note to clients. “We also expect investors will apply a further discount on (WiLan) because of the two trial losses in 2013 which calls into question what types of infringement cases are being filed.”

WiLan shares shed 89 Canadian cents to trade at C$3.18 by mid-afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

The company updated its earnings guidance after the decision, saying it expects revenue of C$20.7 million in the quarter to end-September and revenue between C$26 million and C$28 million in the three months to end-December.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio)

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WiLan loses patent case against Apple, shares plummet