Updated The future of Picsel Technologies is in doubt today after its website disappeared amidst claims that it has gone into administration.
Sources claimed last night that PricewaterhouseCoopers had been appointed as administrators of the Renfrew-based firm. Meanwhile, the website appears to have vanished off the internet.
When we called Picsel this morning and asked if the firm was in administration, we were told: "You'll have to speak to PricewaterhouseCoopers about that." The accounting firm has yet to return our calls for more details.
Jabber Group, owner of Picsel, isn't answering the phone today.
Administration would mark an ignominious end to a company that once had world-spanning aspirations.
Picsel developed a revolutionary file-viewing technology, rendering complex files on mobile phones with a slick and effective interface that was licensed by companies around the world including Samsung, Sony and Motorola. But the company then launched into a series of projects that it failed to sell to those customers, draining funds and eventually having to lay off staff and shut down regional offices.
More recently staff have complained of paychecks not arriving, with several taking their cases to an industrial tribunal. Some were paid off before the hearings commenced, but at least one case did proceed.
The company had initiated litigation with Apple over the ownership of smooth zooming technology - something Picsel's file viewer shares with the iPhone interface - but that case has yet to be resolved.
The patents owned by Picsel, and that case, will be among the assets that the administrators will be valuing with a view to sale. ®
PwC confirmed this afternoon that Bruce Cartwright and Graham Frost were appointed as Joint Administrators to Picsel Group Limited and Picsel Technologies Limited yesterday.
In a statement they said Picsel had suffered cashflow problems as customers delayed products because of the downturn, but that they hoped to find a buyer for the company.