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Dec. 9, 2015, 12:48 PM
Dec. 7, 2015, 1:45 PM
- Vringo (VRNG -0.3%) has settled its long-running, multi-continent, patent dispute with Chinese IT/telecom equipment giant ZTE (OTCPK:ZTCOY). ZTE will make a $21.5M lump sum payment within 15 days of the settlement, and also be "responsible for the payment of any withholding, value added or other taxes." ZTE will get a non-exclusive, perpetual, license to "certain" Vringo patents and patent applications.
- For reference, Vringo's current market cap is $36M. Shares are nearly flat after coming off a halt.
- Prior Vringo/ZTE coverage
- Update (1:54PM ET): Vringo is now up 5.9%.
- Update 2 (5:44PM ET): Vringo closed down 10.6%.
Nov. 25, 2015, 2:45 PM
Oct. 16, 2015, 9:24 AM
- Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) has bought a holding company (named IDG) consisting of fliCharge, a wireless charging technology developer, and Group Mobile, a maker of rugged PCs, tablets, and handheld computers. The company is issuing preferred stock convertible into common shares equal to 11.4% of the combined company's equity.
- fliCharge's technology enables the simultaneous charging of multiple devices on the same pad regardless of position or power needs. Vringo asserts fliCharge is "commercializing, partnering or developing products in numerous markets including automotive, education, office, healthcare, power tools and vaporizers." Group Mobile's customers include enterprises, military suppliers, small businesses, and individuals.
- Vringo CEO Andrew Perlman: "Our existing patent licensing and litigation strategy remains intact and on track. We believe this acquisition offers diversification to our shareholders and additional licensing opportunities." The move comes shortly after the Supreme Court declined to review an adverse appeals court ruling regarding Vringo's suit against Google.
- Vringo has risen to $0.50 premarket.
- Update: More details on the acquisitions can be found in a Vringo presentation (.pdf). IDG had 2014 revenue of $7M+. fliCharge's charging pads are said to be "offered in various Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota models" through a partnership with an unnamed tier-1 auto supplier. A partnership also exists with "smart furniture solutions" maker Bretford. (hat tip: SA commenter Seppo Sahrakorpi). Vringo has pared its gains: Shares are now up 7.7%.
Oct. 5, 2015, 10:03 AM
- The Supreme Court has denied Vringo's (NASDAQ:VRNG) petition for a writ of certiorari to review its infringement suit against Google. Vringo had officially filed a petition in May, 9 months after a federal appeals court (the CAFC) ruled against the company.
- With the Supreme Court hearing only a small percentage of the cases appealed to it, many expected Vringo's petition to be denied. Shares have nonetheless fallen sharply.
- Update (3:45PM ET): Vringo has issued a statement regarding the Supreme Court's ruling. "Given the exceptionally low historical odds of being heard at the Supreme Court, we believe that the decline in today`s share price does not accurately reflect the change in Vringo`s underlying value ... We continue our global litigation against ZTE, which remains unaffected by today`s decision, and which to date, has achieved positive results and rulings in many countries around the world." Vringo is now down 37.4%.
Aug. 25, 2015, 2:32 PM
- Accusing ZTE of (among other things) violating a court order for general counsel Guo Xiaoming to appear before a Manhattan court handling Vringo's (VRNG -3%) infringement suit against the company, and of failing to produce documents in a timely manner, Vringo says it plans to "file a comprehensive sanctions motion" to address ZTE's alleged misdeeds.
- ZTE has justified its refusal to make Guo available by arguing he could be arrested due to an ongoing federal probe (launched in 2012) of possible unauthorized ZTE exports to Iran. Lewis Kaplan, the judge handling Vringo's suit, recently denied ZTE's request to have Guo's deposition take place in Hong Kong
- The court filing (.pdf)
Jul. 31, 2015, 11:21 AM
- "Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) respectfully requests that this Court order that all responsive documents be produced from all ZTE custodians' electronic and hardcopy files, and from all of ZTE's internal networks, by a date certain." Thus reads the first sentence in the conclusion of a Vringo motion to compel complete document production by ZTE.
- Vringo accuses ZTE of having "a team of more than 115 employees working on the Vringo litigation and asserting 'countermeasures' against Vringo," and of providing these employees with Vringo's NDA material. "Last week ZTE represented that its document production was substantially complete. ZTE now has admitted that it never collected (or even looked for) documents from the vast majority of ZTE employees that received Vringo's NDA material ... based on ZTE's email retention and newly disclosed destruction procedures, it is highly likely that evidence was destroyed."
- Prior Vringo/ZTE coverage
Jun. 29, 2015, 10:52 AM
- Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) states a Brazilian appellate judge has denied ZTE's request to overturn a preliminary injunction placed on ZTE 3G/4G mobile infrastructure hardware ruled to be infringing Vringo's IP.
- Vringo has also filed a brief with the trial court that issued the injunction to request "further enforcement measures to secure ZTE`s compliance with the injunction, and asking the court to order ZTE to pay an accumulated daily fine of R$ 8,080,000-approximately $2.5 million-for ZTE`s violation of the injunction." A decision is expected shortly.
- In Romania, a Bucharest appeals court has denied a ZTE request to cancel a January ruling placing an injunction on ZTE 4G phones and infrastructure hardware. Vringo adds it's "investigating whether ZTE Romania and its retailers have breached the preliminary injunction."
- In the U.S., a Southern New York district court has "granted Vringo's motions to de-designate ZTE's responses to discovery requests, including those that reference ZTE's communications with the National Resources Development Counsel ("NDRC") of the People`s Republic of China, as 'Highly Confidential - Attorneys Eyes Only - US Only'." Vringo declares the ruling will allow it to "participate more effectively in its breach of contract case against ZTE, in which the Court has already held that ZTE breached a non-disclosure agreement signed between the parties in December 2013."
- Prior Vringo/ZTE coverage
- Last Friday: Vringo files $50M mixed shelf
Jun. 26, 2015, 6:21 PM
- Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) has filed to sell up to $50M (max. offering size of $55.4M) worth of stock, debt, warrants, and/or other securities through future offerings. (S-3 filing)
- The IP licensing firm had $12.2M in cash at the end of Q1, and no debt.
- Previously: Vringo CTO changing roles, forming JV with company
Jun. 24, 2015, 10:40 AM
- Andrew Lang is stepping down as Vringo's (VRNG -3.3%) CTO, and also from the board. (8-K filing)
- However, Lang will now have as position as Vringo's Head of Technology, and is forming a JV with the company in which he'll have a 49% stake. The JV aims to develop and commercialize "new technologies in the areas of mobile, security, digital currencies, and trusted computing and communication infrastructure."
Jun. 18, 2015, 3:04 PM
May 14, 2015, 12:27 PM
- Vringo (VRNG +3.4%) has officially filed a petition for a Supreme Court review of last August's federal appeals court (CAFC) ruling that overturned a Virginia jury's infringement verdict against Google.
- The company stated in December it planned to seek a Supreme Court review, after the CAFC denied Vringo's petition for an en banc review of its ruling. The S.C. only reviews a tiny % of petitioned cases.
- Vringo's petition argues "the Supreme Court should intervene to ensure that patent litigation does not continue to be at risk of arbitrary re-litigation years after a patent has been issued by appellate judges who did not witness the trial and have only the cold record to review."
- Separately, ZTE states China's patent re-examination board has invalidated a Vringo patent for the 13th time in 9 months. The invalidations come ahead of a June 1 hearing by a Shenzhen court for a ZTE anti-monopoly suit against Vringo.
May 5, 2015, 1:11 AM
- Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) has "entered into an agreement with a long-standing institutional investor to issue $12.5 million of senior secured convertible notes." (PR) (8-K filing)
- The notes mature 21 months from issuance, carry an interest rate of 8%, and have a conversion price of $1.00 (39% above current levels). Vringo can repay the notes "in either cash or, subject to certain conditions, shares of the company`s common stock at a discount to the then-current market price."
- Along with the notes, the investor is receiving warrants to purchase 5.375M shares at $1 apiece; they'll be "exercisable six months and one day from the date of issuance and will have a term of five years from the date they first become exercisable."
- Vringo only says it will use the proceeds to "enhance its monetization efforts around the world for existing and upcoming monetization efforts." The company had $16M in cash at the end of 2014, and less than $200K in debt. 2014 free cash flow was -$28.6M.
May 1, 2015, 9:43 AM
- An online listing of the statuses of various U.K. lawsuits suggests Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) has settled its British infringement suit against ZTE. Vringo has jumped in response.
- Vringo stated a month ago it had filed a Statement of Case in the U.K. that "sets out terms for a FRAND license in the context of appropriate relief being determined" for a patent a local court had ruled ZTE to be infringing. Last December, ZTE was ordered to pay $938K in Vringo legal fees on account of having been ruled to infringe the U.K. part of a Vringo European patent.
Apr. 8, 2015, 5:04 PM
- A Southern New York federal court has ruled ZTE breached an NDA with Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) that formed the original basis of Vringo's U.S. claim against the Chinese IT/telecom equipment firm.
- The court, which assumed control of Vringo's U.S. suit against ZTE in February, has also granted Vringo's requests to consolidate its NDA case and FRAND licensing case (previous) against ZTE for purposes of pretrial discovery, to extend the deadline for fact discovery, and to seal an unredacted version of Vringo's Motion to Compel.
- Vringo also states a French infringement trial against ZTE will start on April 13, and that Brazilian "court-appointed experts" are finalizing reports Vringo believes will demonstrate ZTE's flouting of a local injunction that was upheld last month.
- Shares rose to $0.745 in regular trading. They're up 35% YTD, but remain sharply below where they traded before last summer's adverse CAFC Google ruling.
Mar. 23, 2015, 11:07 AM
- A Brazilian court has denied ZTE's fifth attempt to end an injunction placed in April 2014 on the sale of 3G/4G infrastructure hardware declared to be infringing Vringo's (VRNG -4.2%) IP. ZTE had offered to post a bond in exchange for the injunction's lifting.
- Vringo adds it recently "accompanied a court officer and court-appointed experts on a raid of a ZTE warehouse," during which "the court officer seized ZTE infrastructure equipment and a significant number of documents." The company asserts the seized docs "uncovered evidence that ZTE has sold infringing products in violation of the injunction."
- Vringo, which has sued ZTE in many locales worldwide. blasted off in February on ZTE settlement hopes, but quickly returned a majority of its gains. Shares are selling off today in spite of the Brazilian announcement.
Vringo Inc is engaged in identifying, generating, acquiring, and deriving economic benefits from intellectual property assets. Its intellectual property portfolio consists of over 500 patents and patent applications.
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