|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2018
|Notes to Financial Statements|
|NOTE I - LEGAL PROCEEDINGS||
 In September 2011, the Company initiated patent litigation against sixteen (16) data networking equipment manufacturers (and affiliated entities) in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, for infringement of its Remote Power Patent. Named as defendants in the lawsuit, excluding related parties, were Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc., Allied Telesis, Inc., Avaya Inc., AXIS Communications Inc., Dell, Inc., GarrettCom, Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Huawei Technologies USA, Juniper Networks, Inc., Motorola Solutions, Inc., NEC Corporation, Polycom Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., ShoreTel, Inc., Sony Electronics, Inc., and Transitions Networks, Inc. As of September 30, 2018, the Company had achieved settlement agreements with fifteen (15) of the sixteen (16) defendants.
On November 13, 2017, a jury empaneled in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, found that certain claims of the Company's Remote Power Patent were invalid and not infringed by Hewlett-Packard (the "HP Jury Verdict"). As a result of the HP Jury Verdict, in November 2017 and January 2018, several of the largest licensees of the Company's Remote Power Patent, including Cisco, advised the Company that they will no longer pay the Company ongoing royalties pursuant to their license agreements. On August 29, 2018, the District Court issued an order granting the Company's motion for judgment as a matter of law that the Company's Remote Power Patent is valid, thereby overturning the jury verdict of invalidity and denied the Company's motion for a new trial on infringement. The Company has appealed the District Court's denial of its motion for a new trial on infringement to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. If the Company successfully overturns the jury verdict of non-infringement in its appeal to the Federal Circuit, certain licensees of the Remote Power Patent, including Cisco, will be obligated to pay the Company ongoing royalties and all royalties that accrued but were not paid following the HP Jury Verdict in November 2017. If the Company is unable to reverse the jury verdict of non-infringement on appeal, or there is an arbitration ruling that certain of the Company's licensees, including Cisco, are relieved of their obligations to pay royalties and the District Court order of non-infringement is not subsequently reversed on appeal, the Company's business, results of operations and cash-flow will continue to be materially adversely effected.
In October 2016, the Company entered a settlement agreement with Polycom, Inc. ("Polycom"). Under the terms of the settlement, Polycom entered into a non-exclusive license for our Remote Power Patent for its full term and is obligated to pay a license initiation fee of $5,000,000 for past sales of its Power over Ethernet ("PoE") products and ongoing royalties based on its sales of PoE products. $2,000,000 of the license initiation fee was paid within 30 days and the balance payable in three annual installments of $1,000,000 beginning in October 2017. Payments due in October 2018 and October 2019 need not be paid by Polycom if all asserted claims of our Remote Power Patent have been found invalid. Since the District Court in August 2018 granted our motion for judgment as a matter of law that our Remote Power Patent is valid thereby overturning the HP July verdict of invalidity, Polycom is obligated to make the aforementioned remaining aggregate payments of $2,000,000 to the Company (of which $1,000,000 of revenue was recorded for the three months ended September 30, 2018 and paid on November 5, 2018).
In October 2017, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of New York approved the Company's settlement with defendant Avaya, Inc. ("Avaya"). As part of the settlement, Avaya, which on January 19, 2017 had filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, entered into a non-exclusive license agreement for the full term of the Company's Remote Power Patent. Under the terms of the license, Avaya paid the Company a lump sum amount for sales of certain designated Power over Ethernet ("PoE") products, and agreed to pay ongoing royalties for other designated PoE products. In addition, Avaya agreed that the Company shall have an allowed general unsecured claim in the amount of $37,500,000, as amended, relating to all acts occurring on or before January 19, 2017 (the "Allowed Claim"). On January 9, 2018, the Company sold its Allowed Claim for $6,320,000 to an unaffiliated third party.
On November 1, 2017, defendant Juniper Networks, Inc. ("Juniper") agreed to settle its litigation with the Company for $13,250,000 for a fully-paid license to the Company's Remote Power Patent. On December 8, 2017, the Company was advised by Juniper that it would not make the settlement payment to us as a result of the HP Jury Verdict and that there was no binding settlement agreement. On January 16, 2018, the Company revised and closed its settlement with defendant Juniper. The Company agreed to revise the settlement to avoid the possibility of protracted litigation regarding enforcing the settlement. Under the terms of the revised settlement Juniper paid the Company $12,700,000 and received a fully-paid license to the Remote Power Patent (and certain other patents owned by us) for its full term, which applies to its sales of PoE products.
 In July 2010, the Company settled its patent litigation pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, against Adtran, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc. and Cisco-Linksys, LLC, (collectively, "Cisco"), Enterasys Networks, Inc., Extreme Networks, Inc., Foundry Networks, Inc., and 3Com Corporation, Inc. As part of the settlement, Adtran, Cisco, Enterasys, Extreme Networks and Foundry Networks each entered into a settlement agreement with the Company and entered into non-exclusive licenses for the Company's Remote Power Patent (the "Licensed Defendants"). Under the terms of the licenses, the Licensed Defendants paid the Company upon settlement approximately $32 million and also agreed to license the Remote Power Patent for its full term, which expires in March 2020. In accordance with the Settlement and License Agreement, dated May 25, 2011 (the "Agreement"), Cisco is obliged to pay the Company royalties (which began in the first quarter of 2011) based on its sales of PoE products up to maximum royalty payments per year of $9 million for the remaining term of the patent. The actual royalty payments received by the Company may be less than the caps stated above. Under the terms of the Agreement, if the Company grants other licenses with lower royalty rates to third parties (as defined in the Agreement), Cisco shall be entitled to the benefit of the lower royalty rates provided it agrees to the material terms of such other license.
The royalty payments from Cisco are subject to certain conditions including that there is no "Adverse Ruling" (as defined in the Agreement) related to the Company's Remote Power Patent. Cisco notified the Company in January 2018 that in its view that no further royalty payments are due the Company under the Agreement because the jury verdict in the Company's Hewlett-Packard trial finding that certain claims of the Remote Power Patent are invalid and not infringed by Hewlett-Packard constituted an "Adverse Ruling" under the Agreement. The Company disagrees with Cisco that HP Jury Verdict finding of non-infringement (confirmed by the District Court in August 2018) relieves Cisco of its royalty obligations to the Company. However, the Company's position may not prevail.
If the Company successfully overturns the jury verdict of non-infringement in its appeal to the Federal Circuit, Cisco (and certain other licensees) will be obligated to pay the Company ongoing royalties and all royalties that accrued but were not paid following (and prior to) the HP Jury Verdict in November 2017. If the Company is unable to reverse the jury verdict of non-infringement on appeal, or there is an arbitration ruling that Cisco is relieved of its obligations to pay royalties and the District Court order of non-infringement is not subsequently reversed on appeal, the Company's business, results of operations and cash-flow will continue to be materially adversely effected.
 On April 4, 2014 and December 3, 2014, the Company initiated litigation against Google Inc. ("Google") and YouTube, LLC ("YouTube") in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for infringement of several of its patents within the Cox Patent Portfolio acquired from Dr. Cox (see Note G hereof) which relate to the identification of media content on the Internet. The lawsuits allege that Google and YouTube have infringed and continue to infringe certain of the Company's patents by making, using, selling and offering to sell unlicensed systems and related products and services, which include YouTube's Content ID system.
The above referenced litigations that the Company commenced in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in April 2014 and December 2014 against Google and YouTube are currently subject to a court ordered stay which has been in effect since July 2015 as a result of proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the appeals to the United States District Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (see below).
In December 2014, Google filed four petitions to institute Inter Partes Review ("IPRs") at the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") pertaining to patents within the Company's Cox Patent Portfolio asserted in the litigation filed in April 2014 as described above. Google in each of the IPRs sought to invalidate certain claims of the patents at issue within the Cox Patent Portfolio. On June 23, 2015, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board ("PTAB") of the USPTO issued an order instituting for oral hearing each of the four IPRs which was held on March 9, 2016. On June 20, 2016, the PTAB issued its Final Written Decisions in the Company's favor in the four pending IPRs. On August 18, 2016, Google filed Notices of Appeal with respect to the PTAB's Final Written Decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. On March 26, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit vacated certain rulings of the PTAB's Final Written Decisions in favor of the Company determining that the PTAB erred in its claim construction of a certain claim term and remanded the four cases to the PTAB for further proceedings to address the claims that contained the term that was erroneously construed. The Federal Circuit left undisturbed the PTAB's findings that the remaining claims of the patents (that did not include this claim term) are not invalid. On May 9, 2018, the Company filed a combined petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc of the Federal Circuit's decision. On July 10, 2018, the Federal Circuit denied the Company's petition.
On April 13, 2015, Google filed a Petition for Covered Business Method Review (CBM) at the PTAB seeking to invalidate claims pertaining to the Company's U.S. Patent No. 8,904,464, the patent asserted in the Company's litigation against Google and YouTube filed on December 3, 2014 as referenced above. On October 19, 2015, the PTAB issued an order instituting for oral hearing the Covered Business Method Review on certain grounds. The oral hearing was held on May 11, 2016. On October 18, 2016, the PTAB issued its Final Written Decision in the Company's favor. On December 20, 2016, Google filed a Notice of Appeal to appeal the PTAB's Final Written Decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. On January 23, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the final written decision of the PTAB in favor of the Company relating to the CBM.
 On May 9, 2017, Mirror Worlds Technologies, LLC, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, initiated litigation against Facebook, Inc. ("Facebook") in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, for infringement of certain patents within the Company's Mirror Worlds Patent Portfolio. The lawsuit alleged that the asserted patents are infringed by Facebook's core technologies that enable Facebook's Newsfeed and Timeline features. The lawsuit further alleged that Facebook's unauthorized use of the stream based solutions of the asserted patents has helped Facebook become the most popular social networking site in the world. The Company sought, among other things, monetary damages based upon reasonable royalties. On May 7, 2018, Facebook filed a motion for summary judgment on non-infringement. On August 11, 2018, the Court granted Facebook's motion for summary judgment on non-infringement and dismissed the case. On August 30, 2018, the Company filed a Notice of Appeal appealing the District Court's summary judgment decision to the United States District Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The entire disclosure for legal proceedings, legal contingencies, litigation, regulatory and environmental matters and other contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef