Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Analysts: Still Hope for ParkerVision Stock; Price Drops after Patent Infringement Claim Dismissed

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Analysts: Still Hope for ParkerVision Stock; Price Drops after Patent Infringement Claim Dismissed

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon

While this week's news for Jacksonville's ParkerVision wireless technology company was bleak in terms of its lawsuits over patent protection, some analysts view the company's prospects as salvageable despite sinking stock prices.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied ParkerVision's request to hear its claim of patent infringement by mobile communications giant Qualcomm. That sent ParkerVision's stock prices plummeting, before they bottomed out at 28 cents a share before the company instituted a reverse stock split Wednesday.

"I think it's serious. But you do need to focus on this [Supreme Court decision] was just for one patent suit," said Jacksonville patent attorney Tom Saitta. "But the patents are still valid."

It's the latest round in a series of volatile stock gyrations for ParkerVision since it started multiple lawsuits claiming patent infringement on its wireless technology that began in 2011. Single shares for ParkerVision once topped $8.

Even ParkerVision founder and CEO Jeffrey Parker acknowledged in statements he was discouraged by this week's developments.

Still, while ParkerVision may be on shaky ground financially, the company may be far from going under, said Saitta, who has followed the company in recent years.

ParkerVision still faces more lawsuits and legal battles. Saitta said just because the Supreme Court did not hear the case, that does not rule out the value of other patents that ParkerVision is still working to uphold, which could ultimately result in more revenue and legal awards for the company.

Saitta was a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent and Trademark office in Washington, D.C., before becoming an attorney. He said patent litigation is often lengthy and by the time ParkerVision finishes all its lawsuits and other legal maneuvers, there is room for the company to rebound.

"All patent cases are prolonged," Saitta said. "They were unable to prove in this instance that Qualcomm was infringing. But that doesn't mean other companies are not infringing. ...

"I don't think you can read too much into this," Saitta said. "It doesn't necessarily mean that all hope is lost. ... I don't think that you go overboard and say this is a death knell in any shape or form."

Matt Cochran, a portfolio manager at LBA Group investment and wealth management firm in Riverside, said ParkerVision definitely has a commercial footprint in Jacksonville and many people in the business community follow the case.

But Cochran said the future of ParkerVision stock value is definitely in question. "As far as from an investment management standpoint, it is a pure speculative play and carries a large degree of risk," he said. "The risk is you lose everything you put into it."

Repeated messages left over two days with the investor relations office at ParkerVision seeking comment were not returned. …

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