MacroSolve divests app-development division to focus on its patent
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
9/19/12 at 3:45 AM
MacroSolve Inc., once a company with several dozen employees devoted to making mobile applications, has slimmed down to a much smaller organization devoted solely to defending and licensing its patent.
The company, which now has just three employees - Jim McGill, chairman; Clint Parr, CEO; and Kendall Carpenter, CFO - announced Monday it had sold its Illume Mobile division to DecisionPoint Systems Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based company.
McGill said that most of Illume's former employees are now working for DecisionPoint in Tulsa. Illume was the division of MacroSolve that actively developed mobile apps and app platforms.
MacroSolve's goal is to license the company's intellectual property to targeted companies, as well as assist the venture in becoming financially successful, McGill said.
The company's intellectual property includes U.S. Patent No. 7,822,816, which gives MacroSolve the rights to the process by which a company or individual creates an app, sends it to be downloaded to mobile devices, collects information from users and sends it back to a central database, McGill said.
The company claims the patent covers every existing mobile app that sends data from the app user back to the makers or administrators of the app - potentially hundreds of thousands of existing or yet-to-be-written apps, he said.
So far the company has sued 68 companies, including large businesses such as Facebook, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., AT&T Inc., Citigroup Inc., Dell Inc., Groupon, Living Social, Salesforce.com, Hotels.com, Priceline.com, Travelocity.com, Hertz Corp., American Airlines, Avis Rent A Car System, Continental Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, and the company has settled with roughly half of them, McGill said.
"We have every intention of continuing the enforcement process," he said. "We'll be very selective of who we file against, since this is part of an overall strategy."
McGill said the company aims to license the patent "at a discount," as well as provide licensees with the three principals' business experience and financial contacts they have made while becoming a publicly traded company.
Divesting Illume and most of its employees, which once numbered more than 40, was necessary because raising money continues to be difficult and building up Illume would have required a lot of resources, McGill said.
"At the end of the day, it was going to require a lot of capital and manpower to grow it," he said.
McGill blamed Illume's overhead for most of MacroSolve's recent losses. In its most recent quarter ended June 29, the company lost $779,000 on income of $572,000. The stock now trades for three cents a share.
He said the sale should eventually return the company to profitability, though the next quarter may see losses due to writedowns.
Original Print Headline: MacroSolve divests its Illume division
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447