Commitments and Contingencies
|12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2013
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]
|Commitments and Contingencies
Commitments and Contingencies
Lease Commitments and Other Contractual Obligations
During May 2009, the Company entered into two lease agreements for office facilities in Carlsbad, CA. One lease commenced on June 1, 2009 and expires on January 22, 2014. The second lease commenced on September 1, 2009 and expires on March 31, 2014. The lease which expires on March 31, 2014 has an option to extend the lease beyond the initial term for three years. The terms of these leases provide for rental payments on a monthly basis with periodic rent escalations over the term of the lease. As disclosed in the Company's Current Report on Form 8-K, filed with the SEC on December 20, 2013, the Company entered into a lease for approximately 45,000 square feet of office space in Carlsbad, California. The lease has a term of five years, six months, commencing on the later of March 27, 2014 or the date five days following substantial completion of certain tenant improvements. The Company expects to relocate its current operations in Carlsbad, California to the new facility beginning in the second quarter of 2014. During January 2010, the Company entered into a five-year noncancelable operating lease agreement for a research and development facility in Irvine, CA. The lease is subject to rent holidays and rent increases and commenced in April 2010 with an option to extend the lease for an additional five years. During February and August 2011 and October 2012, the Company entered into amendments to its existing operating lease agreement for a research and development facility in Irvine, CA. The amended operating lease calls for an expansion in the amount of space occupied and an extension to May 2016. The Company recognizes rent expense on a straight-line basis over the lease period and has accrued for rent expense incurred but not paid. In addition, incentives were granted, including discounted rental payments and inducements. As such, these allowances have been recorded as deferred rent and these items are being recognized as reductions to rental expense on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease.
At December 31, 2013, future minimum annual payments under the non-cancelable operating leases, other obligations and inventory purchase obligations are as follows:
Total rent expense for 2013, 2012 and 2011, was $1.4 million, $1.2 million and $1.0 million, respectively.
Other obligations represent purchase commitments for software licensing arrangements, information systems infrastructure and other commitments made in the ordinary course of business.
On January 21, 2014, CrestaTech Technology Corporation, or CrestaTech, filed a complaint for patent infringement against the Company in the United States District Court of Delaware. In its complaint, CrestaTech alleges that the Company infringes U.S. Patent Nos. 7,075,585 and 7,265,792. In addition to asking for compensatory damages, CrestaTech alleges willful infringement and seeks a permanent injunction. CrestaTech also names Sharp Electronics Corp. and Vizio, Inc. as defendants based upon their alleged use of the Company's television tuners. On January 28, 2014, CrestaTech filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that the Company infringes the same patents identified in the preceding paragraph. Through its complaint, CrestaTech seeks an order preventing the importation of certain of the Company's television tuners into the United States or the importation of televisions from Sharp Corp., Sharp Electronics Corp., or Vizio, Inc. containing the Company's tuners. CrestaTech also seeks a cease and desist order against the Company's importation, sale for importation, and other activities in connection with the Company's television tuners.
The Company's litigation with CrestaTech is in the preliminary stages, and it has not recorded an accrual for loss contingencies associated with the litigation; determined that an unfavorable outcome is probable or reasonably possible; or determined that the amount or range of any possible loss is reasonably estimable.
Silicon Labs Litigation
On May 13, 2012, the Company filed a declaratory judgment complaint in United States District Court for the Southern District of California against Silicon Laboratories Inc., or Silicon Labs, as defendant seeking an order that the Company’s CMOS hybrid tuner products, such as the MxL301 and MxL601, do not infringe nineteen (19) patents owned by Silicon Labs.
On July 17, 2012, Silicon Labs filed a complaint for patent infringement against the Company in United States District Court for the Southern District of California. The Silicon Labs complaint asserts that a wide range of the Company’s products infringe a single Silicon Labs patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,035,607, or the ‘607 patent. The ‘607 patent is related to several of the nineteen (19) patents on which the Company filed a declaratory judgment action against Silicon Labs. The Company has filed counterclaims for infringement on three (3) patents owned by the Company – United States Patent Nos. 7,362,178; 8,198,940; and 7,778,613. The July 17, 2012 litigation and May 13, 2012 litigation were related by Court order on July 23, 2012.
On July 30, 2012, Silicon Labs filed a declaratory judgment complaint in United States District Court for the Western District of Texas against the Company seeking an order that Silicon Labs’ products do not infringe the three (3) patents owned by the Company asserted as counterclaims in the second Southern District of California action. On January 17, 2013, the Court granted the Company’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction and ordered dismissal of the Texas action.
On May 16, 2013, the Company filed a complaint for patent infringement against Silicon Labs in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. The complaint asserts a wide range of Silicon Labs' products infringe five (5) patents owned by the Company - United States Patent Nos. 8,374,568; 8,374,569; 8,374,570; 8,253,488; and 8,427,232.
As disclosed in the Company's Current Report on Form 8-K, as filed with the SEC on October 4, 2013, the Company entered into a settlement agreement with Silicon Labs, that resolved all currently outstanding patent litigation between the Company and Silicon Labs that is described above. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, each party agreed to dismiss all currently outstanding litigation against the other party with prejudice. In connection with the settlement agreement, each party granted the other party a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, and fully paid-up license to its patent portfolio. The scope of the patent licenses is limited to existing products that were subject to the litigation. The settlement agreement releases each party and their respective direct and indirect customers from past infringement liability with respect to the products subject to the litigation. Each party agreed not to bring any patent infringement lawsuit against the other party for a period of three years from the date of the settlement agreement. The parties agreed that neither the execution and delivery of the settlement agreement nor any provision of the settlement agreement constituted an admission by either the Company or Silicon Labs of liability, infringement, or validity of any licensed patents.
The Company evaluated the settlement agreement as a multiple element arrangement which required the payment consideration to be allocated to the identifiable elements based on relative fair value. As a result, the Company determined that the $1.25 million payment to Silicon Labs should be expensed and recorded in selling, general and administrative expense in the year ended December 31, 2013. The Company had not previously recorded an accrual for loss contingencies associated with Silicon Labs litigation as it was not able to determine that an unfavorable outcome was probable or reasonably possible or determine that the amount or range of any possible loss was reasonably estimable given the early stage of the discovery process in prior quarters.
Export Compliance Matter
In the first quarter of 2012, the Company determined that it may have taken actions that could constitute facilitation (within the meaning of applicable sanctions and export control laws) of shipments of foreign produced products to Iran or taken other actions that may be in violation of U.S. export control and economic sanctions laws. Specifically, certain of the Company’s tuner products, which are foreign produced and not subject to U.S. export controls, were included in set-top converter boxes produced by set-top box manufacturers in Asia to permit conversion of digital television signals to analog signals in international markets, including Iran, using the DVB-T, or Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial, broadcast standard. The DVB-T standard is used in most of Europe, Asia (excluding China), Australia, and Africa as well as in parts of the Middle East, including Iran. While the underlying shipment of the Company’s tuners into Iran by foreign manufacturers of these set-top boxes may have been lawful, the Company may have violated applicable sanctions and export control laws without the proper U.S. Government authorization.
The Company initially identified these potential violations internally, rather than as a result of a third-party audit or government investigation, and upon learning of these potential violations, the Company’s audit committee promptly retained outside counsel to conduct a review of the Company’s sanctions and export control compliance. On February 7, 2012, the Company made voluntary initial filings with the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of the Treasury, or OFAC, and with the Bureau of Industry and Security of the United States Department of Commerce, or BIS, notifying these regulatory agencies that the Company was conducting a review of export control matters and that the Company would submit any supplemental voluntary self-disclosures once the Company’s internal review was complete. The initial stage of the review was concluded in March 2012. Subsequently, the Company also learned that the Company was not in full compliance with BIS’s deemed export rule which requires, in some circumstances, that the companies obtain a deemed export license from BIS for employment of certain foreign nationals even if, as was the Company’s situation, the Company had obtained an H1-B visa prior to employing the individual. The Company has now applied for such license with respect to the subject employee.
In connection with its March 2012 review, the Company’s audit committee determined that the Company’s management team lacked sufficient familiarity with and understanding of export control and sanctions laws and their applicability to the Company’s products and services. The Company’s audit committee concluded that the Company’s management team did not intentionally or knowingly violate applicable sanctions and export control laws.
The Company submitted final voluntary disclosures to OFAC on June 1, 2012 and BIS on June 15, 2012 and July 11, 2012. On September 27, 2012, OFAC closed out the Company’s Voluntary Self Disclosure with the issuance of a cautionary letter, and no monetary or other penalty was imposed against the Company. On November 6, 2012, BIS closed out the Company’s Voluntary Self Disclosure with the issuance of a warning letter, which means that no monetary or other penalty was imposed against the Company.
In the year ended December 31, 2012, the Company reduced its previously recorded estimates of OFAC and BIS penalties and fines by $0.9 million. At December 31, 2012, the Company had no liability recorded for this matter. As a result of increased awareness relative to U.S. export control and economic sanction laws relating to the sale of its products, the Company has implemented additional export control compliance management oversight and has undertaken remedial measures to reduce the risk of similar events occurring in the future.
Warranties and Indemnifications
In connection with the sale of products in the ordinary course of business, the Company often makes representations affirming, among other things, that its products do not infringe on the intellectual property rights of others, and agree to indemnify customers against third-party claims for such infringement. Further, the Company’s certificate of incorporation and bylaws require the Company to indemnify its officers and directors against any action that may arise out of their services in that capacity, and the Company has also entered into indemnification agreements with respect to all of its directors and certain controlling persons. As of December 31, 2013, no expenses were incurred under such provisions. As of December 31, 2012, the Company incurred expenses of $0.3 million under such provisions related to a previously disclosed export compliance matter.
In addition, from time to time, the Company is subject to threats of litigation or actual litigation in the ordinary course of business, some of which may be material. Other than the CrestaTech litigation described above, the Company believes that there are no other currently pending matters that, if determined adversely to the Company, would have a material effect on its business or that would not be covered by its existing liability insurance maintained by the Company.