Wi-LAN Inc.
TSX : WIN

Wi-LAN Inc.

January 15, 2008 09:13 ET

Wi-LAN Signs V-Chip Licenses for the NTIA Converter Box Program

OTTAWA, CANADA--(Marketwire - Jan. 15, 2008) - Wi-LAN Inc. (TSX:WIN) ("Wi-LAN"), a leading technology innovation and licensing company, today announced that 2 additional manufacturers expected to participate in the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) digital television converter box coupon program have signed license agreements for its U.S. V-chip Patent. Digital Stream Technology Inc. (Digital Stream), the manufacturer of the first coupon eligible converter box approved by the NTIA program, and Powerray Co., Ltd, (Powerray) join a list of licensees that are expected to play an important role in the transition to digital television in the United States. The agreements provide for the payment of running royalties for the life of the Patent.

Digital Stream manufactures digital set-top boxes, digital television PC turner cards and USB boxes with high definition quality signal receiving capabilities for customers around the world. Powerray is a digital set-top box manufacturer.

In the first phase of the converter box coupon program, any resident of the United States can order 2 coupons, valued at $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of an approved digital-to-analog converter box. The converter boxes will allow residents to continue using televisions that would otherwise not be able to receive free over-the-air television when analog broadcast ceases in the United States on February 17, 2009. The United States government has pledged up to $1.5 billion to provide over 33 million coupons. The NTIA began distributing coupons on January 1, 2008 and subsequently announced that it had received requests for over 2.4 million coupons by January 9, 2008.

Wi-LAN has signed license agreements for its U.S. V-chip Patent with companies responsible for the manufacture of at least 14 converter models. Wi-LAN's V-chip licensing team is identifying and in talks with manufacturers of the remaining approved models as well as manufacturers of several other models that are expected to be approved in the coming weeks.

"Our V-chip licensing team has been very productive since this program started," said Jim Skippen, President & CEO. "We expect to be well placed in this market by the time the NTIA converter boxes become available next month in an estimated 15-thousand retail establishments."

Other manufacturers who have licensed Wi-LAN's U.S. V-chip Patent and are expecting to supply product for the NTIA program include LG Electronics Inc., Falcon Digital Co., Ltd., Michley Electronics Inc., Shenzhen MTC Co., Ltd, Good Mind Innovation Co., Ltd., Zhejiang Tianle Digital Electric Co., Ltd., Dongguan Contel Electronics Co., Ltd., PCT International Inc., and Manhattan Digital.

119 licenses for Wi-LAN's Canadian or U.S. V-chip Patents have been signed with electronics manufacturers in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Denmark, Canada and the United States.

Wi-LAN has a large and growing portfolio of more than 280 issued or pending patents.

About Wi-LAN

Wi-LAN, founded in 1992, is a leading technology innovation and licensing company. Our portfolio of patented inventions applies to a wide range of electronics and communications products. Some of the fundamental technologies covered by Wi-LAN's patents include: CDMA, DOCSIS, DSL, GSM/EDGE, V-chip, Wi-Fi and WiMAX. Wi-LAN has licensed its intellectual property to a growing number of companies around the world. For more information: www.wi-lan.com.

Forward-looking Information

Certain statements in this release, other than statements of historical fact, may include forward-looking information that involves various risks and uncertainties. These may include, without limitation, statements based on current assumptions and expectations involving a number of risks and uncertainties related to all aspects of the wireless and wireline communications industry and the global economy. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not restricted to: the almost exclusive reliance of the Company on licensing its patent portfolio to generate revenues and cash flows; that the Company may be required to establish the enforceability of its patents in court to obtain material licensing revenues; that the Company will need to acquire or develop new patents to continue to grow its business; that the Company requires investment to translate its intellectual property position into sustainable profit in the market; that the Company is dependent on the performance of its key officers and employees; that changes in patent legislation or in the interpretation or application of patent litigation could materially adversely affect the Company; and that the Company has and may make acquisitions of products, technologies or businesses which could materially adversely affect the Company. These risks and uncertainties may cause actual results to differ from information contained herein, when estimates and assumptions have been used to measure and report results. There can be no assurance that such forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. Actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. These and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements are based on the estimates and opinions of management on the dates they are made and expressly qualified in their entirety by this notice. The Company assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change.

All trademarks and brands mentioned in this release are the property of their respective owners.

Contact Information

  • Wi-LAN Inc.
    Tyler Burns
    Director, Investor Relations and Communications
    613-688-4330
    C: 613-697-0367
    tburns@wi-lan.com