SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
|3 Months Ended|
Mar. 31, 2021
|SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES|
|NOTE B - SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES||
 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, 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.
 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 March 31, 2021, the Company maintained a cash balance of $4,241,000 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.
 Marketable Securities
The Company’s marketable securities are comprised of certificates of deposit with original maturity greater than three months from date of purchase, fixed income mutual funds, and corporate bonds and notes. At March 31, 2021, included in marketable securities, the Company had aggregate certificates of deposit of $2,250,000 at financial institutions which were within 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 fixed income mutual funds are recorded in net realized and unrealized gain (loss) from investments on the unaudited condensed consolidated statements of operations and comprehensive 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.
 Revenue Recognition
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:
All of the Company’s revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2021 was as a result of resolution of a contractual dispute with a licensee to pay royalties to the Company pursuant to a royalty bearing license for the Remote Power Patent for the period beginning in the fourth quarter of 2017 through March 7, 2020 (when the Remote Power Patent expired) (see Note I 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.
The Company recognizes revenue from their Royalty Bearing Licenses in a manner consistent with the legal form of the arrangement, and in accordance with the royalty recognition constraint that applies to licenses of IP for which some or all of the consideration is in the form of sales or usage based royalty. Consequently, the Company recognizes revenue at the later of when (1) the subsequent sale occurs or (2) the performance obligation to which some or all of the sales based royalty has been satisfied.
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.
 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.
 Costs of Revenue
The Company includes in costs of revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2021 and 2020 contingent legal fees payable to patent litigation counsel (see Note G hereof), any other contractual payments to third parties related to net proceeds from settlements (see Note G hereof) and incentive bonus compensation payable to its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (see Note H hereof).
 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 March 31, 2021.
U.S. federal, state and local income tax returns prior to 2017 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.
The personal holding company (“PHC”) rules under the Internal Revenue Code impose a 20% tax on a PHC’s undistributed personal holding company income (“UPHCI”), which means, in general, taxable income subject to certain adjustments. For a corporation to be classified as a PHC, it must satisfy two tests: (1) that more than 50% in value of its outstanding shares must be owned directly or indirectly by five 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 (2) at least 60% of its adjusted ordinary gross income for a taxable year consists of dividends, interest, royalties, annuities and rents (the “Income Test”). During the second half of 2020, based upon available shareholder information and certain assumptions as to the attribution of stock ownership, the Company may have satisfied the Ownership Test. In addition, the Company may have satisfied the Income Test for 2020. However, the Company did not have UPHCI for 2020 because the Company did not have taxable income as adjusted for purposes of computing UPHCI for 2020. Based on net income of $9,451,000 for the three months ended March 31, 2021, the Company is likely to have UPHCI for 2021 if it satisfies both the Ownership Test and Income Test for 2021. If the Company satisfies the Ownership Test and the Income Test for 2021, and has UPHCI for 2021 (or in any subsequent year in which the tests are satisfied), the Company would be subject to a 20% tax on the amount of UPHCI that it does not distribute to its shareholders. In the event that the Company is determined to be a Personal Holding Company in 2021 (satisfying both the Ownership Test and Income Test) and the Company has UPHCI for 2021, the Company may issue a special cash dividend to its shareholders in an amount equal to the UPHCI rather than incur the 20% tax.
 New Accounting Standards
In December 2019, the FASB issued ASU 2019-12, Income Taxes (Topic 740), Simplifying the Accounting for Income Taxes. The ASU removes certain exceptions for performing intra-period allocation and calculating income taxes in interim periods. It also simplifies the accounting for income taxes by requiring recognition of franchise tax partially based on income as an income-based tax, requiring reflection of enacted changes in tax laws in the interim period and making improvements for income taxes related to employee stock ownership plans. ASU 2019-12 is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2020. The adoption of this standard did not have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
In January 2020, the FASB issued ASU 2020-01, Investments – Equity Securities (Topic 321), Investments – Equity Method and Joint Ventures (Topic 323), and Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815). The ASU amends and clarifies certain interactions between the guidance under Topic 321, Topic 323 and Topic 815, by reducing diversity in practice and increasing comparability of the accounting for these interactions. The amendments in the ASU should be applied on a prospective basis. The ASU is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020, and interim periods within those fiscal years. The adoption of this standard did not have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
In October 2020, the FASB issued ASU 2020-10, Codification Improvements. The amendments in Section B of this Update improve the consistency of the Codification by including all disclosure guidance in the appropriate Disclosure Section. Section C of this Update contains Codification improvements that vary in nature. The amendments in this Update should be applied retrospectively. This Update is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2020. The adoption of this standard did not have a material effect on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
The entire disclosure for the basis of presentation and significant accounting policies concepts. Basis of presentation describes the underlying basis used to prepare the financial statements (for example, US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, Other Comprehensive Basis of Accounting, IFRS). Accounting policies describe all significant accounting policies of the reporting entity.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef