Commitments and Contingencies
|6 Months Ended|
Mar. 30, 2014
|Notes to Financial Statements [Abstract]|
|Note 6 - Commitments and Contingencies||
Note 6 — Commitments and Contingencies
Legal Proceedings. Tessera, Inc. v. QUALCOMM Incorporated: On April 17, 2007, Tessera filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 against the Company and other companies, alleging infringement of two patents. The district court action was stayed pending resolution of the ITC proceeding, including all appeals. On May 20, 2009, the ITC issued a limited exclusion order and a cease and desist order, both of which were terminated when the patents expired on September 24, 2010. During the period of the exclusion order, the Company shifted supply of accused chips for customers who manufacture products that may be imported to the United States to a licensed supplier of Tessera, and the Company continued to supply those customers without interruption. The ITC’s orders were affirmed on appeal, and on November 28, 2011, the United States Supreme Court denied the Company’s petition for review. On January 18, 2012, pursuant to the parties’ stipulation, the District Court in the Eastern District of Texas lifted the stay and ordered that the case be moved to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. On March 1, 2012, that court consolidated the case with an earlier-filed lawsuit filed by Tessera against multiple parties, including some of the Company’s semiconductor chip package suppliers. On March 27, 2014, Tessera and the Company reached an agreement that the lawsuit against the Company would be dismissed with prejudice, and the parties will engage in discussions to explore potential technical collaborations. The court dismissed the lawsuit on April 1, 2014 based on the parties’ stipulation.
ParkerVision, Inc. v. QUALCOMM Incorporated: On July 20, 2011, ParkerVision filed a complaint against the Company in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida alleging that certain of the Company’s products infringe seven of its patents alleged to cover direct down-conversion receivers. ParkerVision’s complaint sought damages and injunctive and other relief. On February 28, 2012, ParkerVision filed an amended complaint dropping two patents from the case and adding one new patent. Subsequently, ParkerVision narrowed its allegations to assert only four patents. The trial began on October 7, 2013. On October 17, 2013, the jury returned a verdict finding all asserted claims of the four at-issue patents to be infringed and finding that none of the asserted claims are invalid. On October 24, 2013, the jury returned a separate verdict assessing total past damages of approximately $173 million and finding that the Company’s infringement was not willful. The Company recorded the verdict amount in fiscal 2013 as a charge in other expenses. The court’s briefing schedule for post-verdict motions, including the parties’ respective motions for judgment as a matter of law and a new trial and ParkerVision’s motions for injunctive relief and ongoing royalties concluded on January 24, 2014. A hearing on the post-verdict motions is scheduled for May 1, 2014.
Icera Complaint to the European Commission: On June 7, 2010, the European Commission (the Commission) notified and provided the Company with a redacted copy of a complaint filed with the Commission by Icera, Inc. alleging that the Company has engaged in anticompetitive activity. The Company was asked by the Commission to submit a preliminary response to the portions of the complaint disclosed to it, and the Company submitted its response in July 2010. Subsequently, the Company has provided and continues to provide additional documents and information as requested by the Commission. The Company continues to cooperate fully with the Commission’s preliminary investigation.
Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) Complaint: On January 4, 2010, the KFTC issued a written decision finding that the Company had violated South Korean law by offering certain discounts and rebates for purchases of its CDMA chips and for including in certain agreements language requiring the continued payment of royalties after all licensed patents have expired. The KFTC levied a fine, which the Company paid in the second quarter of fiscal 2010. The Company appealed to the Seoul High Court, and on June 19, 2013, the Seoul High Court affirmed the KFTC’s decision. On July 4, 2013, the Company filed an appeal with the Korea Supreme Court.
Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) Complaint: The JFTC received unspecified complaints alleging that the Company’s business practices are, in some way, a violation of Japanese law. On September 29, 2009, the JFTC issued a cease and desist order concluding that the Company’s Japanese licensees were forced to cross-license patents to the Company on a royalty-free basis and were forced to accept a provision under which they agreed not to assert their essential patents against the Company’s other licensees who made a similar commitment in their license agreements with the Company. The cease and desist order seeks to require the Company to modify its existing license agreements with Japanese companies to eliminate these provisions while preserving the license of the Company’s patents to those companies. The Company disagrees with the conclusions that it forced its Japanese licensees to agree to any provision in the parties’ agreements and that those provisions violate the Japanese Antimonopoly Act. The Company has invoked its right under Japanese law to an administrative hearing before the JFTC. In February 2010, the Tokyo High Court granted the Company’s motion and issued a stay of the cease and desist order pending the administrative hearing before the JFTC. The JFTC has held hearings on 20 different dates, with additional hearing dates yet to be scheduled.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Formal Order of Private Investigation and Department of Justice Investigation: On September 8, 2010, the Company was notified by the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional office of a formal order of private investigation. The Company understands that the investigation arose from a “whistleblower’s” allegations made in December 2009 to the audit committee of the Company’s Board of Directors and to the SEC. In 2010, the audit committee completed an internal review of the allegations with the assistance of independent counsel and independent forensic accountants. This internal review into the whistleblower’s allegations and related accounting practices did not identify any errors in the Company’s financial statements. On January 27, 2012, the Company learned that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California/Department of Justice (collectively, DOJ) had begun an investigation regarding the Company’s compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). As previously disclosed, the audit committee conducted an internal review of the Company’s compliance with the FCPA and its related policies and procedures with the assistance of independent counsel and independent forensic accountants. The audit committee has completed this comprehensive review, made findings consistent with the Company’s findings described below and suggested enhancements to the Company’s overall FCPA compliance program. In part as a result of the audit committee’s review, the Company has made and continues to make enhancements to its FCPA compliance program, including implementation of the audit committee’s recommendations.
As previously disclosed, the Company discovered, and as a part of its cooperation with these investigations informed the SEC and the DOJ of, instances in which special hiring consideration, gifts or other benefits (collectively, benefits) were provided to several individuals associated with Chinese state-owned companies or agencies. Based on the facts currently known, the Company believes the aggregate monetary value of the benefits in question to be less than $250,000, excluding employment compensation.
On March 13, 2014, the Company received a Wells Notice from the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office indicating that the staff has made a preliminary determination to recommend that the SEC file an enforcement action against the Company for violations of the anti-bribery, books and records and internal control provisions of the FCPA. The bribery allegations relate to benefits offered or provided to individuals associated with Chinese state-owned companies or agencies. The Wells Notice indicated that the recommendation could involve a civil injunctive action and could seek remedies that include disgorgement of profits, the retention of an independent compliance monitor to review the Company’s FCPA policies and procedures, an injunction, civil monetary penalties and prejudgment interest.
A Wells Notice is not a formal allegation or finding by the SEC of wrongdoing or violation of law. Rather, the purpose of a Wells Notice is to give the recipient an opportunity to make a “Wells submission” setting forth reasons why the proposed enforcement action should not be filed and/or bringing additional facts to the SEC’s attention before any decision is made by the SEC as to whether to commence a proceeding. On April 4, 2014, the Company made a Wells submission to the staff of the Los Angeles Regional Office explaining why the Company believes it has not violated the FCPA and therefore enforcement action is not warranted.
The Company is continuing to cooperate with the SEC and the DOJ, but is unable to predict the outcome of their investigations or any action that the SEC may decide to file.
China National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Investigation: In November 2013, the NDRC notified the Company that it had commenced an investigation of the Company relating to the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). The Company understands that the investigation concerns primarily the Company’s licensing business and certain interactions between the Company’s licensing business and its chipset business. A broad range of remedies with respect to business practices deemed to violate the AML is potentially available to the NDRC, including but not limited to issuing an order to cease conduct deemed illegal, confiscating gains deemed illegally obtained, imposing a fine in the range of 1% to 10% of the prior year’s revenues and requiring modifications to business practices. Given the limited precedent of enforcement actions and penalties under the AML, it is difficult to predict the outcome of this matter or what, if any, remedies may be imposed by the NDRC. The Company continues to cooperate with the NDRC as it conducts its investigation.
The Company will continue to vigorously defend itself in the foregoing matters. However, litigation and investigations are inherently uncertain. Accordingly, the Company cannot predict the outcome of these matters. Other than amounts accrued for the ParkerVision matter, which have not been paid, the Company has not recorded any accrual at March 30, 2014 for contingent losses associated with these matters based on its belief that losses, while possible, are not probable. Further, any possible range of loss cannot be reasonably estimated at this time. Nonetheless, the unfavorable resolution of one or more of these matters could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. The Company is engaged in numerous other legal actions not described above arising in the ordinary course of its business and, while there can be no assurance, believes that the ultimate outcome of these other legal actions will not have a material adverse effect on its business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
Indemnifications. The Company generally does not indemnify its customers and licensees for losses sustained from infringement of third-party intellectual property rights. However, the Company is contingently liable under certain product sales, services, license and other agreements to indemnify certain customers against certain types of liability and/or damages arising from qualifying claims of patent, copyright, trademark or trade secret infringement by products or services sold or provided by the Company. The Company’s obligations under these agreements may be limited in terms of time and/or amount, and in some instances, the Company may have recourse against third parties for certain payments made by the Company. Through March 30, 2014, the Company has received a number of claims from its direct and indirect customers and other third parties for indemnification under such agreements with respect to alleged infringement of third-party intellectual property rights by its products.
These indemnification arrangements are not initially measured and recognized at fair value because they are deemed to be similar to product warranties in that they relate to claims and/or other actions that could impair the ability of the Company’s direct or indirect customers to use the Company’s products or services. Accordingly, the Company records liabilities resulting from the arrangements when they are probable and can be reasonably estimated. Reimbursements under indemnification arrangements have not been material to the Company’s consolidated financial statements. The Company has not recorded any accrual for contingent liabilities at March 30, 2014 associated with these indemnification arrangements, other than insignificant amounts, based on the Company’s belief that additional liabilities, while possible, are not probable. Further, any possible range of loss cannot be reasonably estimated at this time.
Purchase Obligations. The Company has agreements with suppliers and other parties to purchase inventory, other goods and services and long-lived assets. Obligations, which generally have a remaining term of less than one year, under these agreements at March 30, 2014 for the remainder of fiscal 2014 and for each of the subsequent four years from fiscal 2015 through fiscal 2018 were approximately $3.1 billion, $243 million, $67 million, $8 million and $2 million, respectively, and $6 million thereafter. Of these amounts, for the remainder of fiscal 2014 and for fiscal 2015, commitments to purchase integrated circuit product inventories comprised $2.7 billion and $98 million, respectively. Integrated circuit product inventory obligations represent purchase commitments for silicon wafers and assembly and test services. Under the Company’s manufacturing relationships with its foundry suppliers and assembly and test service providers, cancelation of outstanding purchase orders is generally allowed but requires payment of costs incurred through the date of cancelation.
Leases. The future minimum lease payments for all capital leases and operating leases at March 30, 2014 by fiscal year were as follows (in millions):
The Company leases certain of its land, facilities and equipment under noncancelable operating leases, with terms ranging from less than one year to 25 years and with provisions in certain leases for cost-of-living increases. The Company leases certain property under capital lease agreements primarily related to site leases that have an initial term of five years with renewal options of up to five additional renewal periods. Capital lease obligations are included in other liabilities.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef