Sunday, June 22, 2008

Is NeoMedia Technologies For Sale?

NeoMedia Technologies, the global leader in camera-initiated barcode transactions for mobile devices, released an 8-K SEC filing last Monday which alluded to the potential sale of the company.

The filing states that during the next 18 months NeoMedia's CEO Iain McCready can earn a commission of up to 2.5% of sales proceeds for selling the company if the sale price is not less than $45M, with a commission cap set at a $200M sale price.

However, that's not to say that Iain can't sell NeoMedia for more than $200M. He can. Especially with a favorable patent review by the USPTO anticipated later this year.

NeoMedia Technologies has a suite of twelve issued patents covering the core concepts behind linking the physical world to the electronic world dating back to 1995. These patents cover various linkage methods including: Barcodes, RFID, Mag Stripe, Voice, and Other machine readable and keyed entry identifiers.

These patents were first licensed by Digital Convergence for $100M in 2000 to facilitate the launch of the :CueCat.

In 2001, NeoMedia Technologies formed a strategic alliance with Symbol, now owned by Motorola, and
signed a worldwide agreement which gave Symbol the right to grant licenses to itself and third parties under NeoMedia's intellectual property. Symbol would later offer to buy NeoMedia's valuable patent portfolio in 2002 for $150M. The offer was declined however in favor of further developing the IP and growing the patent portfolio as a core component of NeoMedia's long-term growth and market strategy.

In 2005, Virgin Entertainment and NeoMedia Technologies entered into an extended licensing agreement, which saw Virgin license NeoMedia's patents through 2016.

There were even strong rumors that Microsoft was interested in purchasing NeoMedia back in 2005.

Flash forward to today
, mobile barcode reading is an everyday part of the popular culture in Japan and Korea. The technology is just now beginning to emerge in Europe with North America not too far behind. With so many companies entering the mobile code reading space, and looking to carve out their niche, NeoMedia has positioned itself well with it's extensive patent portfolio and barcode technology, and will bring tremendous value to anyone interested in acquiring the company.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

2D Code Technology Demonstrated At Cal Poly

A delegation of officials from Shandong, China, visited Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences May 23 during a tour of California's agricultural areas.

The delegation arrived in California to study the state's agricultural practices and produce tracking technology and applications.

In San Luis Obispo, th
e group listened to a presentation from Associate Dean Mark Shelton, and toured Cal Poly's organic farm. They also visited Cal Poly's Radio Frequency Identification lab, PolyGait, for a presentation from Engineering Professor Tali Freed.

The Chinese government is interested in produce supply chain security from the small family farms to the market place. Rapid I.D., of San Luis Obispo, is working with the Chinese
Government on a tracking system that uses camera phones and two-dimensional barcode labels to track food identification information. The goal of the tracking system is to provide the Chinese citizen assurance that the produce came from an inspected and authorized field, and supply chain.

During the City of King field trip, Rapid I.D. demonstrated the tracking technology using the barcode labels with supporting on-line information. Camera phones were equipped with NeoMedia's NeoReader technology and used to look up produce information. Rapid I.D. Managing Director Rick May was one of the guides for the delegation during their week in-country.

"We have actually patented and created tracking technology to track codes that are created, two dimensional bar codes, and we are doing this in China where it's important to the government to make sure the produce is protected," explained Rick May, project promoter.

The program, pioneered by the university's Global Automatic Identification Technology Center,
is revolutionizing the way everything from passports to produce are tracked.

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