Chasing the Dragon? Not quite.
On Wednesday morning in New York, James Skippen, CEO of Ottawa’s WiLAN (TSX:WIN), rang the bell at the the Nasdaq exchange. Seconds later, the company’s shares began trading there under the symbol WILN.
WiLAN shareholders are no doubt hoping for the kind of bump another Ottawa firm, DragonWave (TSX:DWI), experienced with a US listing. In 2009, that company raced from under a dollar on the Canadian Venture exchange to a NASDAQ listing and share price over (US) $13, before falling back to more modest recent levels.
But WiLAN isn’t playing second fiddle to anyone in this nation’s capital. After trading as low as $1.19 in late October, 2008. WiLAN’s stunning run to nearly $8 means the company is now the most valuable technology concern in Ottawa.
Founded in 1992, WiLAN has developed a range of communications and consumer electronics products including routers, 3G handsets and WiMAX base stations. The Company now has nearly a thousand patents, and has already licensed their technologies to blue chip techs such as Cisco, Nokia, Panasonic, Samsung. In doing so, the company’s revenue has climbed from just over $2 million in fiscal 2006 to over $50 million in 2010.
In October, 2007 WiLAN filed patent infringement claims against 22 companies, including Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Sony and Toshiba over technology relating to Wi-Fi and power consumption in DSL products. The Company also has a wide ranging suit against several blue chips regarding technology in wireless handsets. LG was first to show a crack in the armor; settling for what some estimate could be more than $40 million. And then there’s the litigation pending regarding the popular V-Chip technology, which it began licensing to TV manufacturers in 1999.
Shares of WiLAN closed on the TSX today at $7.36, and on the Nasdaq at $7.54 giving the company a market cap of just under $900 million. Trading on the Nasdaq was fairly brisk on Wednesday, when the stock traded 284,193 shares, but tailed off today, trading 70,298.