|3 Months Ended|
Mar. 31, 2019
|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 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, for infringement of its Remote Power Patent. Named as defendants in the lawsuit, excluding affiliated 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 Transition Networks, Inc. As of January 2018, the Company reached settlements with fifteen (15) of the sixteen (16) defendants with Hewlett-Packard Company ("HP") being the sole remaining defendant.
On November 13, 2017, a jury empaneled in the U.S. 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 HP. On February 2, 2018, the Company moved to throw out the jury verdict and have the Court determine that certain claims of the Remote Power Patent are not obvious (invalid) as a matter of law by filing motions for judgment as a matter of law on validity and a new trial on validity and infringement. On August 29, 2018, the District Court issued an order granting the Company's motion for judgment as a matter of law that the Remote Power Patent is valid, thereby overturning the jury verdict of invalidity and denied the Company's motion for a new trial on infringement. On August 30, 2018, the Company appealed the District Court's denial of its motion for a new trial on infringement to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. On September 13, 2018, HP filed a cross-appeal of the District Court's order that the Remote Power Patent is valid as a matter of law. No hearing on the appeal has been set. If the Company is unable to reverse the District Court order on appeal, or there is an arbitration ruling that the District Court order relieves the obligation of certain of the Company's licensees including Cisco, the Company's largest licensee, to continue to pay royalties to the Company and the District Court order is not subsequently reversed on appeal, the Company's business, results of operations and cash-flow will continue to be materially adversely effected.
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 the Company 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 the Company) for its full term, which applies to its sales of PoE products.
On October 16, 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 Remote Power Patent. Under the terms of the license, Avaya paid a lump sum amount for sales of certain designated 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 ("Allowed Claim").
Under the Debtors' Second Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization of Avaya Inc. and its Debtor Affiliates, which was approved by the Bankruptcy Court on November 28, 2017 and became effective on December 15, 2017, the Debtors estimated that the total amount of general unsecured claims that will ultimately be allowed will total approximately $305,000,000 which, based on the treatment of general unsecured creditors therein, would result in estimated recoveries for the holders of general unsecured claims of approximately 18.9% of their Allowed Claim. On January 9, 2018, the Company sold its Allowed Claim to a third party for $6,320,000.
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 the Remote Power Patent for its full term and is obligated to pay the Company a license initiation fee of $5,000,000 for past sales of its 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 is 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 the Company's Remote Power Patent have been found invalid. Since the District Court in August 2018 granted the Company's motion for judgment as a matter of law that the Remote Power Patent is valid thereby overturning the HP Jury Verdict of invalidity, Polycom became obligated to make the aforementioned remaining aggregate payments of $2,000,000 (subject to the continued validity of the Remote Power Patent) to the Company (of which $1,000,000 was paid in November 2018).
 In July 2010, the Company settled its patent litigation pending in the U.S. 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 made aggregate payments to the Company of approximately $32,000,000 upon settlement and 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 obligated 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 beginning in 2016 for the remaining term of the patent. The royalty payments from Cisco are subject to certain conditions including that there is no "Adverse Ruling" (as defined in the Agreement) involving the Remote Power Patent. 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. Under the terms of the Agreement, the Company has certain obligations to Cisco and if it materially breaches such terms, Cisco will be entitled to stop paying royalties to the Company.
The Company's seventeen (17) licensees with royalty bearing licenses are obligated to pay the Company ongoing royalties on a quarterly or monthly basis for the life of its Remote Power Patent (through March 2020), subject to certain conditions. These conditions include the continued validity of certain claims of the Remote Power Patent or a finding that a third party's PoE products are found not to infringe the Remote Power Patent and such finding applies to the applicable licensee's licensed products. As a result of the HP Jury Verdict several of the Company's largest licensees, including Cisco, its largest licensee, notified the Company in late November 2017 and January 2018 that they will no longer make ongoing royalty payments to the Company pursuant to their license agreements. If the Company successfully overturns the District Court judgment of non-infringement in the 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 (and prior to) the HP Jury Verdict in November 2017. If the Company is unable to reverse the District Court order of non-infringement on appeal, or there is an arbitration ruling that certain of our 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 (see Note I hereof).
 On April 4, 2014 and December 3, 2014, the Company initiated litigation against Google Inc. ("Google") and YouTube, LLC ("YouTube") in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for infringement of several of its patents within its Cox Patent Portfolio acquired from Dr. Cox (see Note G hereof) which relate to the identification of media content on the Internet. The lawsuit alleges 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. In May 2014, the defendants filed an answer to the complaint and asserted defenses of non-infringement and invalidity.
The above referenced litigations that the Company commenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in April 2014 and December 2014 against Google and YouTube were subject to court ordered stays which were in effect from July 2, 2015 until January 2, 2019 as a result of proceedings at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and related appeals. Pursuant to a Joint Stipulation and Order Regarding Lifting of Stays, entered on January 2, 2019, the parties agreed, among other things, that the stays with respect to the litigations were lifted.
 On May 9, 2017, Mirror Worlds Technologies, LLC, the Company's wholly-owned subsidiary, initiated litigation against Facebook, Inc. ("Facebook") in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,006,227, U.S. Patent No. 7,865,538 and U.S. Patent No. 8,255,439 (among the 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 Company's 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 issued an order granting Facebook's motion for summary judgment of non-infringement and dismissed the case. On August 17, 2018, the Company filed a Notice of Appeal to appeal the summary judgment decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. No hearing on the appeal has been set.
 On November 13, 2018, the Company filed a lawsuit against Dell, Inc. in the District Court, 241st Judicial District, Smith County, Texas, for breach of a settlement and license agreement, dated August 15, 2016, with the Company as a result of Dell's failure to make royalty payments, and provide corresponding royalty reports, to the Company based on sales of Dell's PoE products. The Company believes Dell is obligated to pay the Company all prior unpaid royalties that accrued prior to and after the date of the HP Jury Verdict (November 2017) as well as future royalties through the expiration of the Remote Power Patent in March 2020. On December 7, 2018, Dell filed its Answer and Counterclaim. Dell denied the claim asserted by the Company and asserted a counterclaim in excess of $1,000,000. On January 28, 2019, Dell brought a motion to stay the case as a result of the Company's pending appeal of the District Court order overturning the HP Jury Verdict on non-infringement to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and HP's appeal of the District Court's order that the Remote Power Patent is valid as a matter of law. Dell's motion to stay the litigation was denied by the Court on May 7, 2019.
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