Credit cards: Sure, there will be a die-hard few who live in caves and refuse to relinquish their platinum miles card from their wallet, but the trend over the coming decade will be a move from plastic to near-field communication inspired modes of payment using mobile devices. NFC payments are more secure, quicker, and more convenient for users. Two companies that could benefit in a big way from this movement are Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB ) and NXP Semiconductors (Nasdaq: NXPI ) . NXP makes the chips used in NFC-enabled mobile devices while Dolby Labs' subsidiary, Via Licensing, owns all NFC patents. This means big royalties anytime NFC technology is used in a mobile device. Keep your eye on these two names.
From the Via website:
"Via Licensing is a group of dedicated intellectual property specialists with experience in administering licensing programs on behalf of third-party companies and organizations." ----- I doubt that Via 'owns' these patents. They provide a service of being a 'front-end' for multiple patent holders - allowing a single point of contact for support and royalty collection. They will get a small percentage of royalty for their service. Still a positive impact, but not the same as being the patent holder.
Via Licensing looks like a great growth vehicle for Dolby. Can we investors benefit? I compare this situation to the EMC ownership of VM Ware. EMC took VM Ware public, but kept a big percentage of ownership. EMC stock has performed fairly well, but is by no means reflective of the growth in cloud computing. As the VM market share for cloud computing slowly diminishes, EMC may throw investors some shares of VM, but boardroom greed (stock options) will keep stockholders from benefiting from the true value the technology has offered. NFC is the "next great opportunity" for investors, but I doubt that the fortunes will be made outside the boardrooms.