Awaiting lawsuit result, 01 Communique expands its solution platform

Although nearing the third anniversary of a lawsuit against Citrix Systems for patent infringement over the alleged use of its I’m InTouch Remote Access technology, 01 Communique (TSX: ONE) has further expanded its solution platform while it awaits the final outcome of the lawsuit.

In a previous interview with CDN, 01 Communique’s CFO, Brian Stringer, said the company received a U.S. patent for the I’m InTouch software solution in August of 2005.

“Citrix came out after us with their GoToMyPC solution that we believe uses our technology,” Stringer said. “Citrix has a good product [GoToMyPC] because it’s built on our technology. We’re defending and enforcing our patent with this lawsuit against Citrix…We’re looking for past damages plus an injunction.”

In a previous e-mail statement, Citrix spokesperson Eric Armstrong said, “We believe that we do not infringe 01 Communique’s patent and intend to vigorously contest this litigation.”

Andrew Cheung, president of 01 Communique, says the company has been offering its I’m InTouch Remote Access software-only solution since the year 2000. The solution lets users remotely control and access their host PC by connecting from another browser-enabled PC. Once the software solution is installed, users can access their computer from virtually anywhere, anytime using a unique login and password on the browser.

Cheung said the lawsuit is still ongoing and is now approaching its third anniversary.

“We’re waiting for a reexamination of the patent again,” Cheung said. “Once that’s done, we can go back to the judge. It’s now approaching the time when something could happen anytime.”

But despite the ongoing lawsuit against Citrix, Cheung said 01 Communique expanded its I’m InTouch Remote Access offering about two to three months ago.

“In 2008 we added a companion product to the I’m InTouch software with SecurePC and SecureKEY,” he said. “With SecurePC, you only get hardware (netbook) and the browser, so there’s no storage or information saved on the laptop. So if you lose that laptop, you only lose the hardware and it’s easier to replace. The SecureKEY lets you access your host computer.”

The I’m InTouch SecurePC is a 10-inch screen size netbook which is OEM’d in Taiwan, Cheung said. The netbook comes with an embedded XP operating system and functions as a dumb terminal so users can view and access business information while it sits behind the business’ corporate firewall. Because the netbook doesn’t have a hard drive, Cheung says work can’t be saved on the notebook. The I’m InTouch Remote Access Platform sells at an MSRP of US$699.95 and includes one SecurePC, one SecureKEY and one year of remote access service to one workstation.

01 Communique is targeting this new hardware and software offering at small and mid-sized companies who have a need for extra security, Cheung said. Right now, the notebook is compatible with 3G sticks from Rogers, but moving forward, the company will introduce another version with 3G already built in so users need only to insert their SIM card, instead of a stick into the notebook, he added.

The company will be deploying its I’m InTouch Remote Access platform through its direct and 3G provider channel, which Cheung says distributes across the country. He says the 3G provider that 01 Communique has selected to go to market with has not been publically announced yet, but will be soon.

“We see this solution as a good opportunity for us (during the recession), because people are cutting costs,” Cheung said. “The more they want to save, the more they should begin looking at remote access solutions.”

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Maxine Cheung
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