Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2015
Commitments And Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies



The Company leases its corporate headquarters and manufacturing facility in Irvine, California and also leases certain other facilities, office equipment, and automobiles under various operating or capital lease arrangements. In February 2015, the Company entered into a 30-month capital lease agreement for information technology equipment. Future minimum lease payments under the capital lease, together with the present value of the net minimum lease payments, for the years ending December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017 are $32,000, $157,000, and $160,000, respectively. The amount necessary to reduce net minimum lease payments to present value calculated at the Company's incremental borrowing rate of 1.64% at the inception of the lease totaled $9,000. The present value of net minimum lease payments are reflected on the Consolidated Balance Sheets as current and noncurrent obligations of $142,000 within accrued liabilities and $201,000 within capital lease obligation, respectively.

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, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 and thereafter totaled $178,000, $694,000, $651,000, and $1.5 million, respectively.

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 $1.6 million, in the aggregate, at September 30, 2015. The Company also has agreements with certain employees to pay bonuses based on targeted performance criteria. As of September 30, 2015, approximately $198,000 was accrued for performance bonuses, which is included in accrued liabilities in the consolidated balance sheets.

Purchase commitments

The Company generally purchases components and subassemblies for its products from a limited group of third party suppliers through purchase orders. As of September 30, 2015, the Company had $11.0 million of purchase commitments for which the Company has not received certain goods or services that are expected to be purchased 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.


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, 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, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). 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 Exchange Act.

On November 19, 2013, the Board received a letter from attorneys for purported shareholder David T. Long, demanding that the Board investigate, institute litigation, and take measures to redress and prevent alleged wrongdoing concerning the dissemination of certain allegedly false and misleading public disclosures made by the Company between January 2013 and August 2013.

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. On October 13, 2015, the court granted final approval of the settlement, and ordered the plaintiff to submit a proposed final judgment consistent with the court’s approval. On October 30, 2015, the court entered final judgment which formally released all claims against the Company.  As of the date of these financial statements, management does not expect the Company to incur additional expenses related to this matter due to certain insurance coverage in place.

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. 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 Board.  On July 1, 2014, the Board noted that request and docketed the case for consideration. A hearing on reconsideration was held in November 2014.  The Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued its Decision on Appeal on July 1, 2015.  The Decision on Appeal rejected 38 of 42 patent claims.  Accordingly, CAO filed a Request for Rehearing on July 31, 2015.

The Company filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Fotona Proizvodnja Optoelektronskih Naprav D.D. and Fotona LLC (collectively, “Fotona”) in Düsseldorf District Court (the “Düsseldorf Court”) on April 12, 2012 alleging infringement with respect to the Fotona Fidelis dental laser system. Fotona denies liability and seeks 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. The nullity action is pending at the German Federal Patent Court (the “Patent Court”), Docket No. 1 Ni 58/13 (EP). On September 2, 2013, the Company filed its counterplea in the infringement proceedings and phrased its arguments defending the validity of the patent. These arguments were also the subject of the defense brief to the Patent Court in the parallel nullity action proceedings. On September 9, 2013, the Company filed its response to the Patent Court. Fotona filed a rejoinder on February 3, 2014, including its counterplea on nullity.

On April 29, 2014, the Düsseldorf Court rendered a first instance decision whereby Fotona must cease and desist from selling its Fidelis and Lightwalker dental laser systems, render accounts on past sales, recall respective products, and pay damages on infringement. Additionally, the Company was awarded statutory fees, court costs, and attorney fees. Preliminary enforcement against Fotona is possible if the Company posts a bond totaling €500,000, which is designed to cover a portion of the potential damages, before a final instance decision is available. In Germany, damages can be calculated based on the profits made by the infringer after the formal announcement of the granting of a patent, in this case beginning January 1, 2009, without considering direct labor or any other operational costs. However, Fotona has yet to provide the details of its profits in order to allow the Company to calculate the damages. In the two additional first instance cases following the extension of the initial lawsuit against Fotona, the Düsseldorf Court also required the Company to provide a statutory bond totaling €146,000. Such bonds are traditionally imposed on foreign plaintiffs to cover all statutory, court, and attorney’s fees. Fotona submitted its responses to the action and filed respective invalidation actions against the rights of the Company.  

Subsequent to the foregoing responses, 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 market and a five-year, non-exclusive, paid-up license in markets 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 was 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 market and the five-year, non-exclusive, paid-up license in markets 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.

Other Matters

In the normal course of business, the Company may be subject to other legal proceedings, lawsuits, and other claims. Although the ultimate aggregate amount of probable monetary liability or financial impact with respect to these matters is subject to many uncertainties and is therefore not predictable with assurance, the Company’s management believes that any monetary liability or financial impact to the Company from these other matters, individually and in the aggregate, would not be material to the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows. However, there can be no assurance with respect to such result, and monetary liability or financial impact to the Company from these other matters could differ materially from those projected.