August 29, 2008
Fighting a hostile takeover bid, Zi Corp. helped its cause by reporting that it has renewed its contract with Nokia to continue to provide its text products to Nokia. Zi has been resisting a takeover bid by Nuance.
Zi said the multiyear licensing agreement with Nokia covers deployment of its eZiType and eZiText products and that the new contract calls for a 100% increase in first year revenue over Zi's existing contract with Nokia. "This is a banner day for our entire organization," said Milos Djokovic, Zi's president and CEO, in a statement. "Nokia is the world's No. 1 manufacturer of mobile devices, with an estimated 40% share of global device market." Nuance launched a surprise bid for Zi earlier this month, hoping that its $40 million offer would be accepted because the offer was more than double the price of Zi's stock before the offer was tendered. Zi, however, rejected the offer. Responding to the rejection, Nuance said it was "perplexed" that its offer was turned down and then later instituted patent infringement litigation against Zi. Nuance charged that Zi's eZiText and Zi Qix products infringed patents previously held by Tegic Communications, which was acquired by Nuance last year. Zi has denied infringing the patents, which are entited "reduced keyboard disambiguating system." Zi also recently reported it has secured a contract extension with Lenovo Mobile to 2011 and a contract to use its eZiText application in some Hewlett-Packard LaserJet multifunction printers.
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