Commitments and Contingencies
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2016
|Commitments And Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||
NOTE 6 — COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
The Company leases its 57,000 square foot corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility located at 4 Cromwell, Irvine, California. In March 2015, the corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility lease was amended to extend the term through April 30, 2020, modify provisions for tenant improvement allowance of up to $398,000, and adjust the basic rent terms. Future minimum rental commitments under operating lease agreements with non-cancelable terms greater than one year for the years ending December 31 are listed below. The Company also leases additional office space and certain office equipment under various operating lease arrangements.
In February 2015, the Company entered into a 30-month capital lease agreement for information technology equipment. Future minimum lease payments (using a 1.6% interest rate) under the capital lease, together with the present value of the net minimum lease payments, for the year ending December 31, 2017 is $159,000. The current obligation with respect to the present value of net minimum lease payments of $159,000 is reflected in the Consolidated Balance Sheets classified as an accrued liability, and there was no remaining portion of the present value of net minimum lease payments classified as a long-term obligation within capital lease obligations as of December 31, 2016.
Future minimum rental commitments under lease agreements, including both operating and capital leases, with non-cancelable terms greater than one year for each of the years ending December 31 are as follows (in thousands):
Rent expense totaled approximately $1.0 million for each of the years ended December 31, 2016, 2015, and 2014.
Employee Arrangements and Other Compensation
Certain members of management are entitled to severance benefits payable upon termination following a change in control, which would approximate $1.3 million and $1.6 million at December 31, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The Company also has agreements with certain employees to pay bonuses based on targeted performance criteria. As of December 31, 2016 and 2015, approximately $67,000 and $248,000 was accrued for performance bonuses, which is included in accrued liabilities in the Consolidated Balance Sheets.
The Company generally purchases components and subassemblies for its products from a limited group of third-party suppliers through purchase orders. The Company had $18.0 million of purchase commitments as of December 31, 2016, for which the Company has not received the goods or services and which is expected to be purchased primarily within one year. These purchase commitments were made to secure better pricing and to ensure the Company will have the necessary parts to meet anticipated near term demand. Although open purchase orders are considered enforceable and legally binding, the Company may be able to cancel, reschedule, or adjust requirements prior to supplier fulfillment.
The Company discloses material loss contingencies deemed to be reasonably possible and accrues for loss contingencies when, in consultation with its legal advisors, management concludes that a loss is probable and reasonably estimable. The ability to predict the ultimate outcome of such matters involves judgments, estimates, and inherent uncertainties. The actual outcome of such matters could differ materially from management’s estimates.
Class Action Lawsuits
On August 23, 2013, a purported class action lawsuit entitled Brady Adams v. Biolase, Inc., et al., Case No. 13-CV-1300 JST (FFMx), was filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against BIOLASE and its then Chief Executive Officer, Federico Pignatelli, and its then Chief Financial Officer, Frederick D. Furry. On August 26, 2013, a purported class action lawsuit entitled Ralph Divizio v. Biolase, Inc., et al., Case No. 13-CV-1317 DMG (MRWx), was filed in the same court against BIOLASE, Messrs. Pignatelli and Furry, and its then President and Chief Operating Officer, Alexander K. Arrow. Each of the lawsuits alleges violations of the federal securities laws and asserts causes of action against the defendants under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In accordance with the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, on December 10, 2013, the court entered an order consolidating the lawsuits, appointing a lead plaintiff, and approving the lead plaintiff’s selection of lead counsel. On February 24, 2014, the lead plaintiff filed a consolidated complaint against the Company and Messrs. Pignatelli, Furry, and Arrow, alleging violations of the federal securities laws and asserting causes of action against the defendants under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
On June 5, 2015, the United States District Court for the Central District of California approved, on a preliminary basis, the settlement of the consolidated securities class action lawsuit. The hearing on the final approval of the settlement was held on October 9, 2015, and the court entered final judgment and ordered the case dismissed on October 30, 2015.
On February 24, 2016, a purported class action lawsuit entitled Dr. Charles Shulruff v. Biolase, Inc., Case No. 1:16-cv-02533, was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The case alleged that the Company violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and other related Illinois state statutes, by sending unsolicited marketing communications via fax machine to a Chicago dentist, Dr. Shulruff. The plaintiff and his counsel sought to certify a nation-wide class of comprised of other dentists who received the same or similar faxes from BIOLASE. BIOLASE responded to the case on April 14, 2016 and denied liability on all claims. BIOLASE also denied that class certification was appropriate. After initial document discovery and fact gathering, BIOLASE filed a petition with the FCC for “retroactive waiver” of some of the TCPA violations alleged by Dr. Shulruff. The FCC granted the petition, which significantly weakened plaintiff’s case. BIOLASE then demonstrated to plaintiff’s counsel the individualized nature of the fax messages at issue, arguing that class certification was highly unlikely from the data. Based on these events, BIOLASE and Dr. Shulruff entered into a nominal settlement agreement, and in December 2016 Dr. Shulruff dismissed his claims with prejudice. The potential class action claims were dismissed without prejudice, and BIOLASE is unaware of any remaining viable class allegations on these facts.
Intellectual Property Litigation
On April 24, 2012, CAO Group, Inc. (“CAO”) filed a lawsuit against the Company in the District of Utah for patent infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,485,116 (the “116 Patent”) regarding the Company’s ezlase dental laser. On September 9, 2012, CAO filed its First Amended Complaint, which added claims for (1) business disparagement/injurious falsehood under common law and (2) unfair competition under 15 U.S.C. Section 1125(a). The additional claims stem from a press release that the Company issued on April 30, 2012, which CAO claims contained false statements that are disparaging to CAO and its diode product. The First Amended Complaint seeks injunctive relief, treble damages, attorneys’ fees, punitive damages, and interest. On November 13, 2012, the Court stayed the lawsuit for 120 days to allow the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”) to consider the Company’s request for reexamination of the patent-in-suit. The USPTO granted the request to reexamine the asserted claims of the patent-in-suit and, on February 28, 2013, the Court stayed the lawsuit until the termination of the reexamination proceedings. On April 23, 2013, the USPTO issued an office action rejecting all of the asserted claims over the prior art, and CAO responded to the office action. On August 28, 2013, the USPTO issued an Action Closing Procedure, rejecting all of CAO’s patent claims. CAO responded to the USPTO’s ruling and on December 10, 2013, the USPTO issued a Right of Appeal Notice, finally rejecting some claims of the 116 Patent while finding that other claims appeared to be patentable. The Company appealed the USPTO’s findings on January 9, 2014 and on January 27, 2014, the USPTO declined to reconsider the finding of certain claims as patentable and instructed the parties to proceed to appeal to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the “Patent Board”). On March 17, 2014, the Company filed its brief in support of its appeal of the USPTO’s decision not to reject certain claims of the 116 Patent. On March 24, 2014, CAO filed its brief in support of its appeal of the USPTO’s decision to reject certain claims of the 116 patent. On April 18, 2014, the Company filed a respondent brief in opposition to the CAO’s appeal arguments. On May 30, 2014, both parties filed rebuttal briefs in support of their appeals. On June 30, 2014, the Company requested an oral hearing before the Patent Board. On July 1, 2014, the Patent Board noted that request and docketed the case for consideration. A hearing on reconsideration was held in November 2014. On July 1, 2015, the Patent Board issued a decision that was generally favorable to the Company. On July 31, 2015, CAO requested a rehearing of the decision. On November 27, 2015, the Patent Board issued its decision regarding CAO’s request for rehearing, partially granting CAO’s request. On January 27, 2016, CAO filed its Notice of Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for review of the Patent Board’s decision dated July 1, 2015 and the Patent Board’s decision regarding CAO’s request for rehearing. CAO filed its opening appeal brief on June 1, 2016 and BIOLASE filed its responsive brief on July 25, 2016. CAO filed its reply brief on August 11, 2016. Oral argument before the Federal Circuit was held on January 11, 2017 and, on January 27, 2017, an order was entered by the Federal Circuit affirming all of the Patent Board’s findings. On February 9, 2017, the parties jointly filed a document with the Court in the Utah litigation notifying it of the Federal Circuit’s decision and requesting that the stay remain in place until a reexamination certificate issues. The reexamination certificate is expected to issue in the next few months.
The Company filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Fotona on April 12, 2012 alleging infringement with respect to the Fotona Fidelis dental laser system. Fotona has denied liability and sought the reimbursement of statutory fees from the Company. Together with its response brief, Fotona also filed a nullity action against the patent in dispute, patent number EP 1 560 470.
On March 24, 2015 the parties reached an agreement to settle the foregoing litigation and to dismiss the litigation with prejudice. As part of the settlement, Fotona agreed to pay the Company a total of $1.4 million, with $550,000 payable within 10 days of March 24, 2015 and the remaining, $825,000 payable in three increments of $275,000 each to be paid no later than the first, second, and third anniversary of the effective date of the agreement. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the Company (i) granted Fotona a three-year, non-exclusive, paid-up license in the United States and a five-year, non-exclusive, paid-up license in countries outside of the United States and (ii) agreed to grant Fotona a non-exclusive, royalty-based license following the expiration of the paid-up licenses. The Company calculated the present value of the settlement amount to be $1.2 million and allocated such amount to each significant element of the settlement on a relative fair value basis. $731,000 and $68,000 were allocated towards the recovery of the Company’s legal expenses and as settlement for the dismissal of the patent infringement lawsuit and are reflected as legal settlement and license fees and royalty revenue, respectively, on the Consolidated Statements of Operations and Comprehensive Loss. The remaining amount of $379,000 was allocated towards the three-year, non-exclusive, paid-up license in the United States and the five-year, non-exclusive, paid-up license in countries outside of the United States which was reflected within other assets and long-term deferred revenue on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. The deferred revenue is being recognized as license revenue over the terms of the paid-up licenses.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef