It’s been a wild month for Mississauga’s 01 Communique. On July 5th, their thinly traded stock was mired in a two year slump, closing at $.175 cents. But on July 8th, the company, whose products, such as the I’m InTouch line, give you the ability to access and control your desktop personal computer from anywhere you are connected to the Internet, was declared the victor in patent litigation suit against giant Citrix Systems. On July 19th, shares of 01 Communique closed at $1.59, and over three million shares changed hands. We gave Cantech Letter subscribers the opportunity to quiz The Company’s boss, President and CEO Andrew Cheung. Here’s what you wanted to know.
1. (from Charles in Etobicoke)
How does the success in your patent suit against Citrix change your planning process? Are there areas of business you can now move forward with that you had to wait for this result on? Are there revenues streams that activate immediately?
We received a Request for Appeal Notice (“RAN”) from the United States Trademark and Patent Office (“USPTO”) earlier this month. You can view our press release of July 8th. In this report the examiner found all the claims contained within our patent to be valid. We were extremely happy with the report as it re-affirmed what we felt all along and that was – Our patent is valid. Our business has not been standing still waiting for this result. As a matter of fact in June we announced the release of our new online meeting service – I’m InTouch Meeting.
2. (from Kurt in Winnipeg)
01 Communique has patents related to remote access going back a decade. But can you tell me a bit about a more recent patent you filed for secure e-mail attachment and retrieval technology? How big of a problem are you tackling with this technology?
We believe this will be a very large market for us in the future. Remember, it takes time for new technologies to catch on. In this case everyone is concerned about maintaining security over their emails and files. There is nothing on the market like this technology and we are very excited about the prospects. We think it will be well received. Just think – you never have to worry about loosing control over sensitive files. They always remain on your network, under your control and all you do is send an email with a link to allow the recipient to view the attachment. The concept sounds simple enough; but believe me the technology behind it is not quite so simple and it resolves a lot of issues facing people with sensitive information.
3. (from Paul in Ottawa)
Looking to the future, are sales efforts for 01 Communique focused any one geographic area (ie China) more than others? What is your mix currently? ”
The majority of our business is in North America. We also have a partnership with Hitachi Business Solution in Japan (a group company of Hitachi) whereby they have licensed our technology in Japan on an exclusive basis. We provide the technology and product and they provide the sales and marketing. We share in the revenue. Going forward, we would expect to see our direct efforts pay off in North America and of course we would like to see the sales and marketing efforts of Hitachi pay off in Japan.
4. (from Linda in Calgary)
What kind of mix do you ultimately see between retail and enterprise sales? Do you see more small and mid size business using remote access services?
Remote access services are used by all companies, both large and small. While our I’m InTouch product offering caters to the small to mid sized companies the technology fits any size of company. That is, it is applicable to large enterprises who use it as well.
5. (from Jason in Kitchener)
Do you plan on continuing to spend money on Research and Development, or is your main focus exploiting the technology you have built so much domain expertise in already?
We have spent 10+ years and over $15m developing this technology. Back in the 1990’s when this technology was being contemplated the Internet and technology in general was no where near as advanced as it is today. Now remote access is mainstream, whereas then it was not. We were in at the beginning and have been part of this industry as it has grown and is now prospering. We will continue to work towards developing new products in this space that are innovative and we are also working on new ideas that are just as innovative as our remote access technology was back in the 1990’s.