Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2019
Notes to Financial Statements  

[1] Use of Estimates and Assumptions

The preparation of the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements, and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting periods. The significant estimates and assumptions made in the preparation of the Company's unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements include revenue recognition, stock-based compensation, income taxes, valuation of patents and equity method investments, including evaluation of the Company's basis difference.  Actual results could be materially different from those estimates, upon which the carrying values were based.


[2] Cash and Cash Equivalents

The Company maintains cash deposits in high quality financial institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ("FDIC").  Accounts at each institution are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000. At June 30, 2019, the Company maintained a cash balance of $12,107,000 in excess of the FDIC insured limit.

The Company considers all highly liquid short-term investments, including certificates of deposit and money market funds, that are purchased with an original maturity of three months or less to be cash equivalents.


[3] Marketable Securities

The Company's marketable securities are comprised of certificates of deposit with original maturity greater than three months from date of purchase, bond mutual funds, and corporate bonds and notes (see Note F). At June 30, 2019, included in marketable securities, the Company had aggregate certificates of deposit of $7,006,000 at financial institutions which constituted $500,000 in excess of the FDIC limit. The Company's marketable securities are measured at fair value and are accounted for in accordance with ASU 2016-01. Unrealized holding gains and losses on certificates of deposit and bond mutual funds are recorded in net realized and unrealized gain (loss) from investments on the unaudited condensed consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income(loss). Unrealized holding gains and losses, net of the related tax effect, on corporate bonds and notes are excluded from earnings and are reported as a separate component of stockholders' equity until realized. Dividend and interest income are recognized when earned.  Realized gains and losses are included in earnings and are derived using the specific identification method for determining the cost of the marketable securities.


 [4] Revenue Recognition


On January 1, 2018, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers ("ASC 606"), using the modified retrospective transition method applied to those contracts which were not completed as of January 1, 2018.


Under ASC 606, revenue is recognized when the Company completes the licensing of its intellectual property to its licensees, in an amount that reflects the consideration the Company expects to be entitled to in exchange for licensing its intellectual property.


The Company determines revenue recognition through the following steps:

· identification of the license agreement;
· identification of the performance obligations in the license agreement;


· determination of the consideration for the license;
· allocation of the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract; and


· recognition of revenue when the Company satisfies its performance obligations.


Revenue disaggregated by source is as follows:


    Three Months
Ended June 30,
    Six Months
Ended June 30,
    2019     2018     2019     2018  
Fully-Paid - Licenses   $     $     $ 130,000 (1)    $ 12,700,000  
Royalty Bearing - Licenses     599,000       471,000       1,075,000       914,000  
Other Revenue                       6,320,000 (2) 
Total Revenue   $ 599,000     $ 471,000     $ 1,205,000     $ 19,934,000  


(1)  Includes conversion of an existing royalty bearing license to a fully-paid license.

(2)  Revenue from the sale of the Company's unsecured claim against Avaya, Inc. to an unaffiliated third party (see Note I[1] hereof).


The Company relies on royalty reports received from third party licensees to record its revenue.  From time to time, the Company may audit or otherwise dispute royalties reported from licensees. Any adjusted royalty revenue as a result of such audits or dispute is recorded by the Company in the period in which such adjustment is agreed to by the Company and the licensee or otherwise determined.


Revenue from the Company's patent licensing business is generated from negotiated license agreements.  The timing and amount of revenue recognized from each licensee depends upon a variety of factors, including the terms of each agreement and the nature of the obligations of the parties.  These agreements may include, but not be limited to, elements related to past infringement liabilities, non-refundable upfront license fees, and ongoing royalties on licensed products sold by the licensee.  Generally, in the event of settlement of litigation related to the Company's assertion of patent infringement involving its intellectual property, defendants will either pay (i) a non-refundable lump sum payment for a non-exclusive fully-paid license (a "Fully-Paid License"), or (ii) a non-refundable lump sum payment (license initiation fee) together with an ongoing obligation to pay quarterly or monthly royalties to the Company for the life of the licensed patent (a "Royalty Bearing License").


The Company's license agreements, both Fully-Paid Licenses and Royalty Bearing Licenses, typically include some combination of the following: (i) the grant of a non-exclusive license to manufacture and/or sell products covered by its patented technologies; (ii) the release of the licensee from certain claims, and (iii) the dismissal of any pending litigation.  The intellectual property rights granted pursuant to these licenses typically extend until the expiration of the related patents.  Pursuant to the terms of these agreements, the Company typically has no further performance obligations with respect to the grant of the non-exclusive licenses.  Generally, the license agreements provide for the grant of the licenses, releases, and other obligations following execution of the agreement and the receipt of the up-front lump sum payment for a Fully-Paid License or a license initiation fee for a Royalty Bearing License.


Ongoing Royalty Payments:  Certain of the Company's revenue from Royalty Bearing Licenses results from the calculation of royalties based on a licensee's actual quarterly sales (one licensee pays monthly royalties) of licensed products, applied to a contractual royalty rate.  Licensees that pay royalties on a quarterly basis generally report to the Company actual quarterly sales and related quarterly royalties due within 45 days after the end of the quarter in which such sales activity takes place.  Licensees with Royalty Bearing Licenses are obligated to provide the Company with quarterly (or monthly) royalty reports that summarize their sales of licensed products and their related royalty obligations to the Company.  The Company receives these royalty reports subsequent to the period in which its licensees underlying sales occurred.  The amount of royalties due under Royalty Bearing Licenses, each quarter, cannot be reasonably estimated by management.  Consequently, the Company recognizes revenue for the period in which the royalty report is received in arrears and other revenue recognition criteria are met.


Non-Refundable Up-Front Fees:  Fully-Paid Licenses provide for a non-refundable up-front payment, for which the Company has no future obligations or performance requirements, revenue is generally recognized when the Company has obtained the signed license agreement, all performance obligations have been substantially performed, amounts are fixed and determinable, and collectability is reasonably assured.  Revenue from Fully-Paid Licenses may consist of one or more installments.  The timing and amount of revenue recognized from each licensee depends upon a number of factors including the specific terms of each agreement and the nature of the deliverables and obligations.


[5] Equity Method Investments


Equity method investments are equity securities in entities the Company does not control but over which it has the ability to exercise significant influence. These investments are accounted for under the equity method of accounting in accordance with ASC 323, Investments — Equity Method and Joint Ventures (see Note J hereof). Equity method investments are measured at cost minus impairment, if any, plus or minus the Company's share of an investee's income or loss. The Company's proportionate share of the income or loss from equity method investments is recognized on a one-quarter lag. When the Company's carrying value in an equity method investment is reduced to zero, no further losses are recorded in the Company's financial statements unless the Company guaranteed obligations of the investee company or has committed additional funding.


When the investee company subsequently reports income, the Company will not record its share of such income until it equals the amount of its share of losses not previously recognized. Upon sale of equity method investments, the difference between sales proceeds and the carrying amount of the equity investment is recognized in profit or loss.


[6] Patents


The Company owns patents that relate to various technologies.  The Company capitalizes the costs associated with acquisition, registration and maintenance of its acquired patents and amortizes these assets over their remaining useful lives on a straight-line basis.  Any further payments made to maintain or develop the patents would be capitalized and amortized over the balance of the useful life for the patents.


[7] Costs of Revenue


The Company includes in costs of revenue for the three and six months ended June 30, 2019 and 2018 contingent legal fees payable to patent litigation counsel (see Note G[1] hereof), other contractual payments related to net proceeds from settlements (see Note G[2] hereof) and incentive bonus compensation payable to its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (see Note H[1] hereof).


[8] Income Taxes


The Company accounts for income taxes in accordance with Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 740, Income Taxes (ASC 740), which requires the Company to use the assets and liability method of accounting for income taxes. Under the assets and liability method, deferred income taxes are recognized for the tax consequences of temporary (timing) differences by applying enacted statutory tax rates applicable to future years to differences between financial statement carrying amounts and the tax bases of existing assets and liabilities and operating loss and tax credit carry forwards. Under this accounting standard, the effect on deferred income taxes of a change in tax rates is recognized in income in the period that includes the enactment date. A valuation allowance is recognized if it is more likely than not that some portion, or all, of a deferred tax asset will not be realized.


ASC 740-10, Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes, defines uncertainty in income taxes and the evaluation of a tax position as a two-step process. The first step is to determine whether it is more likely than not that a tax position will be sustained upon examination, including the resolution of any related appeals or litigation based on the technical merits of that position. The second step is to measure a tax position that meets the more-likely-than-not threshold to determine the amount of benefit to be recognized in the financial statements. A tax position is measured at the largest amount of benefit that is greater than 50 percent likelihood of being realized upon ultimate settlement. Tax positions that previously failed to meet the more-likely-than-not recognition threshold should be recognized in the first subsequent period in which the threshold is met. Previously recognized tax positions that no longer meet the more-likely-than-not criteria should be de-recognized in the first subsequent financial reporting period in which the threshold is no longer met.  The Company had no uncertain tax positions as of June 30, 2019 and 2018.


U.S. federal, state and local income tax returns prior to 2015 are not subject to examination by any applicable tax authorities, except that tax authorities could challenge returns (only under certain circumstances) for earlier years to the extent they generated loss carry-forwards that are available for those future years. In July 2018, the Internal Revenue Service notified the Company that it was examining its 2016 federal tax return.


On December 22, 2017, the United States enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ("Tax Act"), which made significant changes to the U.S. federal income tax law.  The Tax Act affects 2018 and forward, including, but not limited to, a reduction in the federal corporate rate from 35.0% to 21.0%, elimination of the corporate alternative minimum tax, a new limitation on the deductibility of certain executive compensation, limitations on net operating losses generated after December 31, 2017 and various other items.


The personal holding company ("PHC") rules under the Internal Revenue Code impose a 20% tax on a PHC's undistributed personal holding company income ("PHC Income"), which means, in general, taxable income subject to certain adjustments.  For a corporation to be classified as a PHC, it must satisfy two tests: (i) that more than 50% in value of its outstanding shares must be owned directly or indirectly by 5 or fewer individuals at any time during the second half of the year (after applying constructive ownership rules to attribute stock owned by entities to their beneficial owners and among certain family members and other related parties) (the "Ownership Test") and (ii) at least 60% of its adjusted ordinary gross income for a taxable year consists of dividends, interest, royalties, annuities and rents (the "Income Test").  As of July 2019 (as well as during the second half of prior years), the Company believes it did not meet the Ownership Test.  Due to the significant number of shares held by the Company's largest shareholders, the Company continually assesses its share ownership to determine whether it meets the Ownership Test.  If the Ownership Test were met and the income generated by the Company were determined to constitute "royalties" within the meaning of the Income Test, the Company would constitute a PHC and the Company would be subject to a 20% tax on the amount of any PHC Income that it does not distribute to its shareholders.


[9] Stock-Based Compensation


The Company accounts for its stock-based compensation awards to employees and directors in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 718, Compensation - Stock Compensation ("ASC 718"). ASC 718 requires all stock-based compensation to employees, including grants of employee stock options and restricted stock units, to be recognized in the condensed consolidated statements of income and comprehensive income based on their grant date fair values.


Compensation expense related to awards to employees is recognized on a straight-line basis based on the grant date fair value over the associated service period of the award, which is generally the vesting term. Share based payments issued to non-employees are recorded at their fair values and are periodically revalued as the equity instruments vest and are recognized as expense over the related service period and are expensed using an accelerated attribution model. The Company uses the Black-Scholes option pricing model to determine the grant date fair value of options granted.  The fair value of restricted stock units is determined based on the number of shares underlying the grant and either the quoted market price of the Company's common stock on the date of grant for time-based and performance-based awards, or the fair value on the date of grant using the Monte Carlo Simulation model for market-based awards (see Note D for further discussion of the Company's stock-based compensation).


On January 1, 2019, the Company adopted ASU 2018-07, Compensation – Stock Compensation ("ASC 718"), Improvements to Nonemployee Share-Based Payment Accounting ("ASU 2018-07)". The amendments in ASU 2018-07 expanded the scope of ASC 718 to include share-based payment transactions for acquiring goods and services from nonemployees. The Company does not expect the adoption of this standard to have a material impact on its consolidated financial statements.


[10] Earnings Per Share


The Company reports earnings per share in accordance with U.S. GAAP, which requires presentation of basic and diluted earnings per share in conjunction with the disclosure of the methodology used in computing such earnings per share. Basic earnings per share excludes dilution and is computed by dividing income available to common shareholders by the weighted average common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted earnings per share takes into account the potential dilution that could occur if securities or other contracts, such as warrants and options to purchase common stock, were exercised and shares were issued pursuant to outstanding restricted stock units. Common stock equivalents having an anti-dilutive effect on earnings per share are excluded from the calculation of diluted earnings per share (see Note E).


[11] Fair Value Measurements


ASC Topic 820, Fair Value Measurement and Disclosures, defines fair value as the exchange price that would be received for an asset or paid to transfer a liability (an exit price) in the principal or most advantageous market for the asset or liability in an orderly transaction between market participants on the measurement date. This topic also establishes a fair value hierarchy which requires classification based on observable and unobservable inputs when measuring fair value.


There are three levels of inputs that may be used to measure fair value: 


Level 1: Observable inputs such as quoted prices (unadjusted) in an active market for identical assets or liabilities.

Level 2: Inputs other than quoted prices that are observable, either directly or indirectly. These include quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets and quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in markets that are not active.


Level 3: Unobservable inputs that are supported by little or no market activity; therefore, the inputs are developed by the Company using estimates and assumptions that the Company expects a market participant would use, including pricing models, discounted cash flow methodologies, or similar techniques.


The carrying value of the Company's financial instruments, including cash and cash equivalents, royalty receivable, other assets, accounts payable, and accrued expenses approximates fair value because of the short-term nature of these financial instruments.


The Company's marketable securities are classified within Level 1 because they are valued using quoted market prices in an active market (see Marketable Securities– Note F).


[12] Carrying Value, Recoverability and Impairment of Long-Lived Assets


An impairment loss shall be recognized only if the carrying amount of a long-lived asset (asset group) is not recoverable and exceeds its fair value. The carrying amount of a long-lived asset (asset group) is not recoverable if it exceeds the sum of the undiscounted cash flows expected to result from the use and eventual disposition of the asset (asset group). That assessment shall be based on the carrying amount of the asset (asset group) at the date it is tested for recoverability. An impairment loss shall be measured as the amount by which the carrying amount of a long-lived asset (asset group) exceeds its fair value.


If an impairment loss is recognized, the adjusted carrying amount of a long-lived asset shall be its new cost basis. For a depreciable long-lived asset, the new cost basis shall be depreciated (amortized) over the remaining useful life of that asset. Restoration of a previously recognized impairment loss is prohibited. At June 30, 2019 and 2018, there was no impairment to the Company's patents and equity investment.


The Company's equity method investment in ILiAD Biotechnologies, LLC ("ILiAD"), a privately held development stage biotechnology company (see Equity Investment – Note J) is evaluated on a non-recurring basis for impairment and is classified within Level 3 as it is valued using significant unobservable inputs or data in an inactive market, and the valuation requires management judgment due to the absence of market price and inherent lack of liquidity.


[13] Dividend Policy


Dividends are recorded when declared by the Company's Board of Directors. Common stock dividends are charged against retained earnings when declared or paid (see Note M hereof).


[14] Reclassification


The Company has reclassified certain amounts in the prior period consolidated financial statements to conform to the current period's presentation. The Company reclassified a certain investment within cash and cash equivalents which was previously classified as marketable securities. These reclassifications had no impact on the previously reported net income.


[15] New Accounting Standards



In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-2, Leases ("ASC 842"), which required the Company to recognize lease assets and lease obligations (related to leases previously classified as operating under previous U.S. GAAP) on its condensed consolidated balance sheet. ASC 842 was effective for the Company on January 1, 2019. The adoption of ASC 842 impacted the Company's condensed consolidated financial statements in that existing leases were recorded as right-of-use ("ROU") assets and related lease obligations on the condensed consolidated balance sheet.


The Company elected to adopt ASC 842 using the modified retrospective method and, therefore, has not recast comparative periods presented in its unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements. The Company elected the package of transition practical expedients for existing leases and therefore the Company has not reassessed the following: lease classification for existing leases, whether any existing contracts contained leases, and if any initial direct costs were incurred. The Company did not apply the hindsight practical expedient, and accordingly, the Company did not use hindsight in its assessment of lease terms. As permitted under ASC 842, the Company elected to not recognize ROU assets and related lease obligations for leases with terms of twelve months or less.


In connection with the adoption of ASC 842, the Company recorded $127,000 of operating lease right-of-use assets and $128,000 of operating lease obligations as of January 1, 2019. See Note G[3] for additional information and required disclosures.


Under ASC 842, the Company determined if an arrangement is a lease at inception. ROU assets and related lease obligations are recognized at commencement date based on the present value of remaining lease payments over the lease term. For this purpose, the Company considers only payments that are fixed and determinable at the time of commencement. As most of the Company's leases do not provide an implicit rate, the Company uses its incremental borrowing rate based on the information available at commencement date in determining the present value of lease payments. The Company's determined incremental borrowing rate is a hypothetical rate based on its understanding of what the Company's credit rating would be. The ROU asset also includes any lease payments made prior to commencement and is recorded net of any lease incentives received and net of the deferred rent balance on the date of implementation. The Company's lease terms may include options to extend or terminate the lease when it is reasonably certain that it will exercise such options.



On January 1, 2019, the Company adopted the final rule under SEC Release No. 33-10532, Disclosure Update and Simplification, which amended certain disclosure requirements that were redundant, duplicative, overlapping, outdated or superseded. In addition, the amendments expanded the disclosure requirements on the analysis of stockholders' equity for interim financial statements. Under the amendments, an analysis of changes in each caption of stockholders' equity presented in the balance sheet must be provided in a note or separate statement. The Company has updated its condensed consolidated financial statements to include a reconciliation of the beginning balance to the ending balance of stockholders' equity for each period for which a statement of operations is presented.


Fair Value Measurements

In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU 2018-13, Fair Value Measurement ("ASC 820"), Disclosure Framework - Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement ("ASU 2018-13"). ASU 2018-13 is intended to improve the effectiveness of fair value measurement disclosures. ASU 2018-13 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, and interim periods within those fiscal years. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently evaluating the impact of ASU 2018-13 on its consolidated financial statements.