Patent Properties Inc. (PPRO), the patent monetization company run by Executive Chairman and founder Jay Walker, posted a narrower net loss of $4 million in the first quarter on higher revenue and lower expenses.
The Stamford, Connecticut-based company said its first quarter net loss per share of 19 cents compared with a net loss of $6 million or 30 cents a shares a year ago.
The company produced revenue of just $12,000 versus no revenue a year ago. The revenue figure includes $5,000 from the company’s new Patent Utility venture, which allows users to list underutilized patents for no cost or pay to receive information, licenses, expert assistance and legal fee discounts.
The company said it filed only one patent infringement counterclaim in the first quarter and didn’t elaborate.
Total operating expenses including litigation costs fell to $3.6 million from $6 million a year ago. Selling, general and administration costs rose to $323,000 from $259,000.
As of March 31, Patent Properties had cash and cash equivalents of $11.6 million and no outstanding debt.
The company said it recently signed up Reinsurance Group of America (RGA), a life and health reinsurance company, and Sapient (m) Phasize, a cross media analysts company, as its newest subscribers to The Patent Utility, though it didn’t say how much revenue that will generate.
"The first quarter of 2015 saw us obtain our first subscribers and generate our first dollars for the Patent Utility," said Jonathan Ellenthal, Vice Chairman and CEO of Patent Properties in a statement. "We are currently serving companies of all sizes in various and diverse industries such as software, consumer products, electronics and insurance, to name a few.
Ellenthal said that less than four months after launch, Patent Properties believes The Patent Utility offers “significant and untapped potential to considerably expand the depth of our market opportunity from small and mid-size businesses to include large and mega-cap companies, as evidenced by Microsoft and now RGA, among our subscribers.”
In April, Intellectual Ventures agreed to list several thousand of its patents with The U.S. Patent Utility, joining paid subscribers such as Microsoft Corp., Harman International Industries Inc., Goodway Technologies Corp., Edison Nation LLC, H.H. Brown Shoe Co. Inc. and AT Cross Co.
The Patent Utility is aimed at the large number of small to medium sized companies with at least 10 employees and annual revenue between $5 million and $1 billion and have filed only a few patents.
These companies typically are relatively unsophisticated about intellectual property and may have the most to gain from a subscription service that helps them efficiently manage and license their patents.
With the Patent Utility, Patent Properties is targeting about 90,000 companies in high risk industries such as consumer products, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, industrial and construction, computer hardware, medial devices, software, business and consumer services, telecommunications, automotive and transportation and chemicals and synthetics.
In addition, Patent Properties has identified another 140,000 companies that have not filed patents but otherwise have the same demographics.
The annual subscription fee is expected to be $14,400 or $1,200 a month. Based on those numbers Patent Properties sees the Patent Utility generating potential revenue of up to $3.3 billion.
Shares of Patent Properties gained 10 cents, or 5.6%, to $1.90 today in trading. They’ve traded between $1.20 and $3.99 over the past year.
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