Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
12 Months Ended
Dec. 31, 2019
Commitments and Contingencies  
Commitments and Contingencies

Note 13 — Commitments and Contingencies

License Agreement

In 2015, the Company entered into licensing agreements which expire on February 7, 2033. Per the agreements, the Company has an exclusive royalty-free license associated with semiconductor power switches which enhances its intellectual property portfolio. The agreements include both fixed payments, all of which were paid prior to 2017, and ongoing variable payments. The variable payments are a function of the number of associated patent filings pending and patents issued under the agreements. The Company will pay $10,000 for each patent filing pending and $20,000 for each patent issued each year of the agreements, up to a maximum of $100,000 each year (i.e. five issued patents).

In April 2019, a patent associated with these agreements was issued and the Company recorded, as a non-cash activity, an asset and a corresponding liability of $232,367, representing the estimated present value of future payments under the licensing agreements for this issued patent. Through December 31, 2019, a total of three patents associated with the agreements were issued. At December 31, 2019 and 2018, the corresponding long-term liability for the estimated present value of future payments under the licensing agreement was $595,802 and $428,163, respectively. The Company is accruing interest for future payments related to the issued patents associated with the agreement. This long-term liability incurred in connection with these patent issuances is a non-cash investing activity with regard to the Company’s statements of cash flows.

Legal Proceedings

On April 11, 2019, the Company entered into an asset purchase agreement (the "APA") with Pathion Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation, and Pathion, Inc., a Delaware corporation, (together, "Pathion") to sell certain assets (the "PPSA Assets") related to the Company's PPSA(TM) / Power Conversion Systems business ("PPSA Business"). The purchase price consisted of $500,000 in cash and 150,000 shares of the common stock of Pathion Holdings, Inc. Pursuant to the APA, Pathion would also assume certain liabilities relating to the PPSA Business.

On June 13, 2019, the Company filed a petition in the district court of the 250th Judicial District in Travis County (the "Court"), naming Pathion and certain Pathion officers as defendants. The petition asserts breach of the APA and the related sublease agreement for failure by Pathion to pay any cash amounts due thereunder, and fraudulent inducement by Pathion and the individual defendants for misrepresenting Pathion's financial position and its stock value. The petition also requested a declaratory judgment that Pathion has no rights to the PPSA Assets.

On July 15, 2019, Pathion filed a general denial to the Company's petition.

On July 22, 2019, the Company filed a motion for partial summary judgment on its declaratory judgment action and for severance. Pathion responded to the motion for summary judgment on August 6, 2019. That same day, Pathion filed a counterclaim, and requested injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment.

On August 13, 2019, the Court conducted a hearing on the Company's motion for summary judgment. On August 23, 2019, the Court issued an order granting the Company's motion for summary judgment and fees and severing judgment from remaining claims. Under this order, the Court declared and decreed that Pathion has no rights to the PPSA Assets and awarded the Company $24,800 in legal fees. On October 15, 2019, the Court issued a writ of garnishment against Pathion's bank to enable collection of these legal fees.

On October 14, 2019, the Court granted Pathion's counsel's motion to withdraw. Ten days later, a new lawyer appeared for Pathion, and the next day, October 25, 2019, the Court issued a scheduling order requiring Pathion to produce documents and appear for deposition in December 2019 and set trial to begin on August 31, 2020. On December 12, 2019, after Pathion filed an emergency order to delay depositions, the Court set a new deposition date of January 7, 2020. The deposition occurred on January 7, 2020. On February 20, 2020, Pathion filed a request for the Company to produce documents within 30 days. The Company responded to this request on March 23, 2020.

At this time, the Company, even though it does not expect an unfavorable outcome related to this proceeding, is unable to estimate the possible gain or loss, if any, related to this proceeding.

On April 11, 2018, the Company received $203,121 pursuant to a Judgment of Garnishment dated March 23, 2018 and related to the non-payment of an overdue accounts receivable balance by a former customer of the Company. The judgment included the past due balance of $162,000 plus late fees and recovery of legal costs. During the year ended December 31, 2018, the Company reversed the allowance for doubtful accounts of $162,000, originally recorded in 2017, with a corresponding reduction in loss from discontinued operations, recognized interest income of $35,064 associated with late fees and a reduction in general and administrative expense of $6,057 for the partial recovery of legal fees.

In 2017, the Company entered into arbitration with Libra Industries, Inc. (Libra), its prior contract manufacturer, with both parties asserting claims against the other party. At December 31, 2017, the Company recorded a $100,000 accrual for the arbitration based on an expired settlement offer made by the Company to Libra. On June 21, 2018, the arbitrator issued a Final Award, final and binding award on all issues except as to attorney’s fees and costs. In the Final Award, the arbitrator denied Libra’s claims and awarded the Company $163,105 on it claims. On July 15, 2018, the arbitrator issued a Supplemental Final Award on Attorney’s Fees and Costs, awarding the Company an additional $165,346. As a result, during the year ended December 31, 2018, the Company reversed the previously recorded $100,000 accrual resulting in a reduction to general and administrative expense and recognized the Final Award of $163,105 as a reduction in loss from discontinued operations and the Supplemental Final Award on Attorney’s Fees and Costs of $165,347 as a reduction in general and administrative expense. The Company received full payment on the total award on August 2, 2018.

The Company may be subject to other litigation from time to time in the ordinary course of business. The Company is not currently party to any legal proceedings that it believes would reasonably have a material adverse impact on its business, financial results, and cash flows.

Indemnification Obligations

In connection with the sale of its power conversion systems division, the Company entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with CE+T Energy that contains mutual indemnification obligations for breaches of representations, warranties and covenants and for certain other matters, including indemnification by the Company for assets and liabilities excluded from the sale and by CE+T Energy for liabilities assumed in the sale.

The employment agreements of Company executives include an indemnification provision whereby the Company shall indemnify and defend, at the Company’s expense, its executives so as long as an executive’s actions were taken in good faith and in furtherance of Company’s business and within the scope of executive’s duties and authority.