OTTAWA, CANADA- June 2, 2015 - WiLAN (TSX:WIN)(NASDAQ:WILN) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Polaris Innovations Limited ("Polaris"), has acquired, from Infineon Technologies AG ("Infineon"), the vast majority of Qimonda AG's ("Qimonda") patent portfolio.
The portfolio, of over 7,000 patents and applications, includes technologies related to DRAMs, FLASH memories, semiconductor processes, semiconductor manufacturing, lithography, packaging, semiconductor circuitry and memory interfaces. The portfolio has broad relevance to many semiconductor products. The issued patents in the portfolio have an average remaining life of over 8 years. The portfolio includes approximately 5,000 US patents and applications.
The patented inventions in the portfolio were developed by Qimonda, Infineon and Siemens. These companies have been pioneers in semiconductor design and manufacturing since 1953, when Siemens became the first company to successfully manufacture the ultra-pure silicon needed for semiconductor components.
Qimonda, which had been a part of Infineon, went public in 2006 to form, at the time, the second largest DRAM manufacturer in the world. Qimonda's products included DRAM, graphics RAM, mobile RAM and FLASH memory. At one time, Qimonda employed approximately 13,500 personnel worldwide, including almost 2,000 in R&D. Qimonda used advanced manufacturing and process technologies, with 4 fabrication plants or fabs and 6 major R&D facilities, and was at the forefront of advanced memory design. In 2008, due to the financial crisis and the significant drop in semiconductor prices, Qimonda experienced financial difficulty and eventual bankruptcy, but its intellectual property continued to be valuable. Infineon acquired the Qimonda assets in 2014.
"This is WiLAN's most important patent acquisition to date" said Jim Skippen, President & CEO, WiLAN. "Portfolios of this magnitude and quality rarely become available and it is always an important event in the patent world when one changes hands. Other noteworthy transactions with similar numbers of patents developed by recognized technology leaders include the sale of the Nortel portfolio, the sale of the Motorola portfolio and the sale of the Kodak portfolio."
Added Skippen, "It is WiLAN's belief that a significant percentage of the microchips currently being manufactured in the world today most likely are covered by claims associated with the patents in this portfolio. Consequently, our team is excited about the licensing potential of the portfolio, and will begin immediate efforts to launch a major licensing campaign."
The portfolio was acquired for consideration of approximately EUR30 million, which is approximately US$33 million at current currency exchange rates.
WiLAN is one of the most successful patent licensing companies in the world and helps companies unlock the value of intellectual property by managing and licensing their patent portfolios. The Company operates in a variety of markets including automotive, digital television, Internet, medical, semiconductor and wireless communication technologies. WiLAN's wholly-owned subsidiary, WiLAN Labs, develops and commercializes innovative solutions to the challenges facing next generation communication networks. Founded in 1992, WiLAN is listed on the TSX and NASDAQ and is included in the S&P/TSX Dividend and Dividend Aristocrats Indexes. For more information: www.wilan.com.