I love to find asymmetric risk/reward scenarios in the market.
You can do that with a small company which has the ability to unlock a large payday - and I believe I have found one with Augme Technologies Inc. (OTC: AUGT ).
To understand the value of mobile marketing company Augme, first we have to look at what Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) has done to Facebook.
Ripples shot through the technology space last week when Yahoo launched an all-out patent assault against Facebook.
Yahoo is demanding billions in licensing fees for the use of its technologies.
Yahoo has asserted claims on patents that include the technical mechanisms in Facebook's ads, privacy controls, newsfeed and messaging service.
In simple terms, Yahoo is getting ready to try and bring Facebook to its knees through legal means.
"Yahoo has a responsibility to its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders to protect its intellectual property," a Yahoo spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. "We must insist that Facebook either enter into a licensing agreement or we will be compelled to move forward unilaterally to protect our rights."
Should Yahoo sue Facebook, it would mark the first major legal battle among technology giants in the social media sphere.
It would indicate a major escalation of patent litigation that has already swept up the smartphone and tablet sectors and high-tech stalwarts such as Apple, Microsoft and Motorola.
Yahoo's patent claims come hot on the heels of Facebook's IPO announcement to raise money that would roughly give them a $100 billion valuation.
This lawsuit threat can only have Facebook's management, its bankers and lawyers rushing to secure some sort of defensive arsenal to fight off this and other pending attacks.
While this battle has captured everyone's attention, what I find more interesting is Yahoo's seemingly blatant hypocrisy.
Yahoo appears to be throwing rocks from its glass house at the neighbors by wanting to make others pay for the unauthorized use of its patented technology.
What Yahoo is seemingly trying to ignore is that it, too, has been accused of the same type of intellectual property theft - and the accuser is Augme Technologies.
Augme Technologies (AUGT)
- Buy, Sell or Hold: The Real Winner in the Yahoo (YHOO) vs Facebook Fight Could Be Augme Technologies (AUGT)