New initiative focused on increasing ECC adoption and generating significant IP revenue
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – (March 10, 2004) – Certicom Corp. (TSX: CIC), the authority for strong, efficient cryptography, today announced a new growth strategy for its intellectual property (IP) licensing business that will extend Certicom’s core business of embedded security to include the licensing of its extensive Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) patent portfolio.
This new initiative enables Certicom to pursue IP licensing opportunities with organizations that require software or hardware implementations of strong, efficient cryptography. To date, Certicom has focused on developing key IP in the cryptographic field that are available in the company’s security software. Certicom now plans to leverage this IP portfolio by investing in additional research, development, marketing, and sales of IP licenses.
Currently, ECC is used in millions of devices worldwide as mandated by industry standards. The projected growth in ECC adoption can be attributed to an increased demand for embedding strong security in constrained devices across multiple market verticals.
In addition to its current focus on the wireless and government sectors, Certicom will now target its software and IP licensing efforts to the semiconductor and consumer electronics industry. These new sectors are ideally suited for ECC adoption as many of the applications require a more efficient form of cryptography, like ECC, that offers equivalent security to other competing technologies but with much smaller key sizes.
“Today’s announcement marks a major milestone in Certicom’s evolution as it extends our core business of embedded security to better leverage our ECC-based intellectual property portfolio, our key differentiator,” said Ian McKinnon, president and CEO of Certicom. “This strategic initiative will significantly enhance our existing business in helping us to achieve our goal of sustainable profitable growth. We are currently building an IP pipeline and see strong growth in IP license revenue opportunities across Europe, North America and in parts of Asia in fiscal 2005.”
Over the past 18 years, Certicom has built a strong, well-managed IP portfolio that now includes more than 300 individual patents and patents pending worldwide. Certicom’s IP portfolio includes patents covering many key aspects of ECC technology, including software optimizations, efficient hardware implementations, methods to enhance the security, and various cryptographic protocols.
“The company places tremendous value in our patent portfolio,” said Mr. McKinnon. “We intend to protect it and capitalize on this important asset.”
To drive this strategic initiative, Tony Rosati will assume the position of vice president, IP licensing and will be responsible for the overall development of the IP licensing business, including negotiation of licenses, strategic planning, communications and other corporate initiatives. Dr. Scott Vanstone, Certicom founder and world-renowned cryptographer, will join Mr. Rosati to build a strong, cross-functional team dedicated to ensuring the success of Certicom’s IP business.
Roy Pereira will replace Mr. Rosati as the acting vice president, marketing and product management. Mr. Pereira brings to the position over 12 years experience in the technology industry. Prior to joining Certicom, Mr. Pereira was responsible for security marketing within Cisco’s Access Router and other business units. He was also instrumental in building the first IPSec compliant security gateway in his product management and engineering roles at TimeStep, a VPN startup acquired by Newbridge Networks in 1999.
“ Researchers, including myself, have been studying ECC for almost 20 years as the next generation of public-key technology. Today its value is better understood and demand among device manufacturers is growing,” said Dr. Vanstone, founder and executive vice-president, strategic technology at Certicom.
In October 2003, the National Security Agency (NSA) in Maryland purchased extensive licensing rights to Certicom’s ECC-based intellectual property. In doing so, the NSA named ECC a crucial technology for protecting mission critical national security information. Although specific to government usage, the validation of ECC and Certicom’s patent portfolio by the NSA will have very positive implications in the private sector as well, and will open new opportunities for ECC adoption.
“With the validation by the NSA, the growth in constrained devices, such as smart phones and the growing trend to build in security from day one, ECC is poised for high growth and Certicom has the strategy to capitalize on it,” added Dr. Vanstone.
Certicom Corp. (TSX:CIC) is the authority for strong, efficient cryptography required by software vendors and device manufacturers to embed security in their products. Adopted by the US Government’s National Security Agency (NSA), Certicom technologies for Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) provide the most security per bit of any known public key scheme, making it ideal for constrained environments. Certicom products and services are currently licensed to more than 300 customers including Motorola, Oracle, Research In Motion, Terayon, Texas Instruments and XM Radio. Founded in 1985, Certicom is headquartered in Mississauga, ON, Canada, with offices in Ottawa, ON; Reston, VA; San Mateo, CA; and London, England. Visit www.certicom.com.
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Except for historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially. Factors that might cause a difference include, but are not limited to, those relating to the acceptance of mobile and wireless devices and the continued growth of e-commerce and m-commerce, the increase of the demand for mutual authentication in m-commerce transactions, the acceptance of Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) technology as an industry standard, the market acceptance of our principal products and sales of our customer's products, the impact of competitive products and technologies, the possibility of our products infringing patents and other intellectual property of fourth parties, and costs of product development. Certicom will not update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. More detailed information about potential factors that could affect Certicom's financial results is included in the documents Certicom files from time to time with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities.
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For further information, please contact:
|Tim Cox||Brendan Ziolo|
|(650) 369-7784||(613) 254-9267|