Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2017
Notes to Financial Statements  

Use of Estimates and Assumptions


The preparation of 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, the valuation of warrants and stock-based compensation, current income taxes, valuation of patents, accrued expenses and valuation of marketable securities.  Actual results could be materially different from those estimates, upon which the carrying values were based.




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.


Revenue Recognition


The Company recognizes revenue received from the licensing of its intellectual property and other related intellectual property activities.  Revenue is recognized when (i) persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, (ii) all obligations have been performed pursuant to the terms of the license or other applicable agreement, (iii) amounts are fixed or determinable, and (iv) collectability of amounts is reasonably assured.  The Company relies on royalty reports received from third party licensees to record its revenue.  From time to time the Company may audit royalties reported from licensees. Any adjusted royalty revenue as a result of such audits is recorded by the Company in the period in which such adjustment is agreed to by the Company and the licensee or otherwise determined.


Costs of Revenue


The Company includes in costs of revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2017 and 2016 contingent legal fees payable to patent litigation counsel (see Note H[1] hereof) and incentive bonus compensation payable to its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (see Note I[1] 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 has no uncertain tax positions as of March 31, 2017 and December 31, 2016.


United States federal, state and local income tax returns prior to 2013 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.


Effective January 1, 2017, the Company adopted ASU 2016-09, Improvements to Employee Share Based Accounting, which impacts the Company's presentation of certain taxes.  See "Accounting Standards Adopted in Period" section of this Note B for further details.


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 anytime 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").  In the second half of 2016 (as well as prior years), the Company 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.


Impairment of long-lived assets


Intangible assets with finite lives are tested for impairment whenever events or circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may not be recoverable.  Accordingly, we record impairment losses on long-lived assets used in operations or expected to be disposed of when indicators of impairment exist and the undiscounted cash flows expected to be derived from those assets are less than carrying amounts of these assets.  At March 31, 2017 and March 31, 2016, there was no impairment to the Company's patents.


Stock-Based Compensation


The Company accounts for its stock-based compensation awards to employees and directors in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 718Compensation - 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 unaudited 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 compensation 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 granted 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 hereof for further discussion of the Company's stock – based compensation).


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 hereof).


Financial Instruments


U.S. GAAP regarding fair value of financial instruments and related fair value measurements define fair value, establish a three-level valuation hierarchy that requires an entity to maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs when measuring fair value.


The three levels of inputs are defined as follows:


Level 1 inputs to the valuation methodology are quoted prices (unadjusted) for identical assets or liabilities in active markets.


Level 2 inputs to the valuation methodology include quoted prices for similar assets and liabilities in active markets, and inputs that are observable for the asset or liability, either directly or indirectly, for substantially the full term of the financial instrument. 


Level 3 inputs to the valuation methodology are unobservable.


The carrying value of cash, marketable securities, royalty receivables, other assets, accounts payable, and accrued expenses approximates fair value because of the short period of time between the origination of such instruments and their expected realization and their current market rates of interest.  Marketable securities available for sale are measured at fair value on a recurring basis based on Level 1 inputs (see Note G hereof).




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).


Recent Accounting Pronouncements


In August 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2016-15, Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments, which amends ASC 230, Statement of Cash Flows. This ASU provides guidance on the statement of cash flows presentation of certain transactions where diversity in practice exists. The guidance is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2017, and early adoption is permitted. The Company does not believe that the adoption of this ASU will have a material impact on its unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements.


In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842). ASU No. 2016-02 is effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018, and requires a lessee to recognize assets and liabilities for leases with a maximum possible term of more than 12 months.  A lessee would recognize a liability to make lease payments (the lease liability) and a right-of-use asset representing its right to use the leased asset (the underlying asset) for the lease term.  Early application is permitted. The Company does not believe that the adoption of this accounting standard will have a material impact on its unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements.


In May 2014, FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606).  ASU No. 2014-09 provides for a single comprehensive model for use in accounting for revenue arising from contracts with customers and supersedes most current revenue recognition guidance.  The new revenue standard allows for either full retrospective or modified retrospective application.  The Company is required to adopt the amendments in ASU No. 2014-09 using one of the two acceptable methods.  In August 2015, the FASB issued ASU No. 2015-14, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Deferral of the Effective Date, which deferred the effective date of ASU No. 2014-09 to annual periods beginning after December 2017, along with an option to permit early adoption as of the original effective date.  In April 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-10, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Identifying Performance Obligations and Licensing, which amends the guidance in 2014-09 related to identifying performance obligations and accounting for licenses of intellectual property.  The ASU does not change the core principle of the guidance in Topic 606. In May 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-12, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Narrow-Scope Improvements and Practical Expedients, related to disclosures of remaining performance obligations, as well as other amendments to guidance on collectability, non-cash consideration and the presentation of sales and other similar taxes collected from customers. The effective date and transition requirements for the ASUs are the same as the effective date and transition requirements in Topic 606. Public entities should apply the ASUs for annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2017, including interim reporting periods therein (i.e., January 1, 2018, for a calendar year entity). Early application for public entities is permitted only as of annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016, including interim reporting periods within that reporting period.  The Company expects to complete its assessment process, including identifying its performance obligations and selecting a transition method for adoption, by the end of the second quarter of 2017 along with its implementation process prior to the adoption of this ASU on January 1, 2018.


Accounting Standards Adopted in the Period


In March 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued ASU 2016-09, Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting, which amends Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") Topic 718, Compensation - Stock Compensation. ASU 2016-09 simplifies several aspects of the accounting for share-based payment transactions, including the income tax consequences, classification of awards as either equity or liabilities, and classification on the statement of cash flows.  Prior to this amendment, excess tax benefits resulting from the difference between the deduction for tax purposes and the compensation costs recognized for financial reporting were not recognized until the deduction reduced taxes payable.  Under the new method the Company will recognize excess tax benefits in the current accounting period.  Additionally, ASU 2016-09 requires that the Company present excess tax benefits on the Statement of Cash Flows as an operating activity. ASU 2016-09 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016. The Company adopted ASU 2016-09 in the first quarter of 2017 and elected to apply this adoption prospectively. Prior periods have not been adjusted. The effective tax rate for the three months ended March 31, 2017 differed from the Federal statutory rate primarily due to the recognition of excess tax benefits as a component of the provision for income taxes attributable to the adoption of ASU 2016-09.