CEO of Netex, Aviv Refuah, has scored a US patent on a new internet search option developed by his company, which has seen the Israeli hi-tech firm's stocks soar by 144% and its net worth rise by over $30 million.
"Our plans for the company are huge," says Refuah, who started the company at age 16 and is now only 28 years old.
"We are entering the American market and we will try to make the most of our patent, but it's still too soon to discuss it," he explains.
The development, called www.addressing, allows internet surfers to type a site's name directly into the address bar. For example, if one were to type "ynetnews" the program would access the site "ynetnews.com". Netex applied for the patent in 1998, and it will only expire in 20 years.
Refuah says various internet giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo have been using the program for years, and now they will have to pay royalties to Netex. But he is careful not to speculate on his gains. "Right now it would be premature of me to talk about the profits from the patent," he says.
Estimates place Netex's future earnings at millions of dollars, but the relatively small company has a big battle ahead if it expects to make the most of the patent.
"We've been waiting for this patent for 10 years and the goal was to get in the US," says Refuah. "Now that we've received the approval I have a good feeling, but there is a lot more to do in order to realize the potential."
Idan Dorfman and Eli Shimoni contributed to this report