Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


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

[1]  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, Inx., Motorola Solutions, Inc., NEC Corporation, Polycom Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., ShoreTel, Inc., Sony Electronics, Inc., and Transitions Networks, Inc.  The Company seeks monetary damages based upon reasonable royalties.  To date, the Company has achieved settlement agreements with twelve (12) of the defendants.  The remaining four defendants are Hewlett Packard Company, Inc., Juniper Networks, Inc, AXIS Communications Inc. and Avaya Inc.  The litigation has been consolidated for pre-trial issues and there will be a separate trial for each defendant.  On January 19, 2017, defendant Avaya, Inc. filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.  As a result of the bankruptcy filing, the litigation against Avaya is currently subject to an automatic stay.  The first of the trials is scheduled to commence on November 6, 2017.


[2]  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, 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 beginning in 2016 ($8 million through 2015) for the remaining term of the patent.  The royalty payments are subject to certain conditions including the continued validity of the Company's Remote Power Patent, and the actual royalty amounts received may be less than the cap 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.  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.  This would have a material adverse effect on the Company's business, financial condition and results of operations.


[3]  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 H[2] 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 pending appeals to the United States District Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.