Unwired Planet, Inc. (NASDAQ:UPIP) today announced that it has entered into a strategic fee arrangement with McKool Smith, one of the preeminent patent litigation firms in the world.
Under the new fee structure, Unwired Planet secures a lower, fixed monthly spending rate on litigation fees on the company’s outstanding cases. Instead of the traditional model of paying for billable hours in a given month, the agreement fixes legal fees for 24 months at $500 thousand per month, unless a case is settled earlier. If litigation activity continues beyond 24 months, McKool Smith will continue to provide all necessary services without receipt of any new fees. In exchange, McKool Smith will receive a sliding contingency fee based upon net Unwired Planet licensing fees received from the respondents in the current outstanding litigations: Google, Apple and Blackberry. In addition, the agreement allows Unwired Planet to file additional enforcement actions at discounted rates, if necessary, against the same three parties. As is customary, Unwired Planet remains responsible for paying expenses such as travel, court costs and expert witness fees as they are incurred.
“We are pleased to formalize this long-term partnership with McKool Smith that demonstrates our mutual confidence in the value of our portfolio,” said Eric Vetter, president and chief administrative officer of Unwired Planet. “We have secured committed representation from some of the most accomplished and senior members of the firm. Additionally, this agreement enables us to predict and reduce our litigation expenses by approximately 50% without compromising our enforcement efforts.”
Phil Vachon, chairman of Unwired Planet’s board of directors stated, “Our strong preference is to license our intellectual property in a negotiated transaction because it is the most efficient outcome for all parties; in those situations where we are unable to conclude discussions in a timely manner, however, we will enforce our rights through the courts in the most cost efficient manner as possible.”