SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
|12 Months Ended
Oct. 31, 2013
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]
|Significant Accounting Policies [Text Block]
2. SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT ACCOUNTING POLICIES
Basis of Presentation
The consolidated financial statements include the accounts of CopyTele, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiaries. All intercompany transactions have been eliminated.
Revenue is recognized when (i) persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, (ii) all obligations have been substantially performed pursuant to the terms of the arrangement, (iii) amounts are fixed or determinable, and (iv) the collectability of amounts is reasonably assured.
Patent Monetization and Patent Assertion
In general, revenue arrangements provide for the payment of contractually determined fees in consideration for the grant of certain intellectual property rights for patented technologies owned or controlled by our operating subsidiaries. These rights typically include some combination of the following: (i) the grant of a non-exclusive, retroactive and future license to manufacture and/or sell products covered by patented technologies owned or controlled by our operating subsidiaries, (ii) a covenant-not-to-sue, (iii) the release of the licensee from certain claims, and (iv) the dismissal of any pending litigation. The intellectual property rights granted are perpetual in nature, extending until the expiration of the related patents. Pursuant to the terms of these agreements, our operating subsidiaries have no further obligation with respect to the grant of the non-exclusive retroactive and future licenses, covenants-not-to-sue, releases, and other deliverables, including no express or implied obligation on our operating subsidiaries’ part to maintain or upgrade the technology, or provide future support or services. Generally, the agreements provide for the grant of the licenses, covenants-not-to-sue, releases, and other significant deliverables upon execution of the agreement. As such, the earnings process is complete and revenue is recognized upon the execution of the agreement, when collectability is reasonably assured, and when all other revenue recognition criteria have been met.
Display Technology Development and License Fees
We have assessed the revenue guidance of Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) 605-25 “Multiple-Element Arrangements” (“ASC 605-25”) to determine whether multiple deliverables in our arrangements with AUO represent separate units of accounting. Under the AUO License Agreements, we received initial development and license fees of $3 million, of aggregate development and license fees of up to $10 million. The additional $7 million in development and license fees were payable upon completion of certain conditions for the respective technologies. We have determined that the transfer of the licensed patents and technology and the effort involved in completion of the conditions for the respective technologies represent a single unit of accounting for each technology. Accordingly, using a proportional performance method, during the third quarter of fiscal year 2011 we began recognizing the $3 million initial development and license fees over the estimated periods that we expected to complete the conditions for the respective technologies. We have not recognized any portion of the $7 million of additional development and license fees as either deferred revenue or revenue as it is considered contingent revenue. The AUO License Agreements also provided for the basis for royalty payments on future production, if any, by AUO to CopyTele, which we have determined represent separate units of accounting. We have not recognized any royalty income under the AUO License Agreements.
Prior to initiation of the AUO/E Ink Lawsuit, at each reporting period we assessed the progress in completing our performance obligations under the AUO License Agreements and recognized development and license fee revenue over the remaining estimated period that we expected to complete the conditions for the respective technologies. Commencing in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012, revenue recognition under the AUO License Agreements was suspended pending resolution of the AUO/E Ink Lawsuit. For more details on the AUO/E Ink Lawsuit, please see Note 8, “Commitments and Contingencies – Litigation Matters” herein.
During the fiscal years ended October 31, 2013 and 2012, we recognized approximately $-0- and $940,000, respectively, of development and license fee revenue from AUO. Development and license fee payments received from AUO which are in excess of the amounts recognized as revenue (approximately $1,187,000 as of October 31, 2013 and 2012) are recorded as non-refundable deferred revenue on the accompanying consolidated balance sheets.
Inventor Royalties and Contingent Legal Fees
Inventor royalties and contingent legal fees are expensed in the consolidated statements of operations in the period that the related revenues are recognized.
Fair Value Measurements
ASC 820 “Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures” (“ASC 820”) defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value under GAAP, and expands disclosures about fair value measurements. In accordance with ASC 820, we have categorized our financial assets and liabilities, based on the priority of the inputs to the valuation technique, into a three-level fair value hierarchy as set forth below. If the inputs used to measure the financial instruments fall within different levels of the hierarchy, the categorization is based on the lowest level input that is significant to the fair value measurement of the instrument.
Financial assets and liabilities recorded in the accompanying consolidated balance sheets are categorized based on the inputs to the valuation techniques as follows:
Level 1 - Financial instruments whose values are based on unadjusted quoted prices for identical assets or liabilities in an active market which we have the ability to access at the measurement date.
Level 2 - Financial instruments whose values are based on quoted market prices in markets where trading occurs infrequently or whose values are based on quoted prices of instruments with similar attributes in active markets.
Level 3 – Financial instruments whose values are based on prices or valuation techniques that require inputs that are both unobservable and significant to the overall fair value measurement. These inputs reflect management’s own assumptions about the assumptions a market participant would use in pricing the instrument.
The following table presents the hierarchy for our financial assets measured at fair value on a recurring basis as of October 31, 2013:
The following table presents the hierarchy for our financial assets measured at fair value on a recurring basis as of October 31, 2012:
We did not have any financial liabilities that were required to be measured at fair value on a recurring basis as of October 31, 2012. The following table presents the hierarchy for our financial liabilities measured at fair value on a recurring basis as of October 31, 2013:
The following table sets forth a summary of the changes in the fair value of the Company’s Level 3 financial liabilities that are measured at fair value on a recurring basis:
The bifurcated conversion feature is accounted for as a derivative liability and is measured at fair value using a Monte Carlo simulation model and is classified within Level 3 of the valuation hierarchy.
The significant assumptions and valuation methods that the Company used to determine fair value and the change in fair value of the Company’s derivative financial instrument are discussed in Note 6, “Convertible Debentures”. The development and determination of the unobservable inputs for Level 3 fair value measurements and fair value calculations are the responsibility of the Company’s Principal Financial Officer with support from the Company’s consultants.
In accordance with the provisions of ASC 815, the Company presents the bifurcated conversion feature liability at fair value in its consolidated balance sheet, with the corresponding changes in fair value, if any, recorded in the Company’s consolidated statements of operations for the applicable reporting periods. As disclosed in Note 6, the Company computed the fair value of the derivative liability at the date of issuance and the reporting date of October 31, 2013 using the Monte Carlo simulation model.
The Company developed the assumptions that were used as follows: The stock price on the valuation date of the Company’s common stock was derived from the trading history of the Company’s common stock. The stock premium for liquidity was computed as the premium required to adjust for the effect of the additional time that it would be expected to take for the market to absorb the converted shares and warrant exercises, given the Company’s current trading volume. The term represents the remaining contractual term of the derivative; the volatility rate was developed based on analysis of the Company’s historical volatility; the risk free interest rate was obtained from publicly available US Treasury yield curve rates; the dividend yield is zero because the Company has not paid dividends and does not expect to pay dividends in the foreseeable future.
Our non-financial assets that are measured on a non-recurring basis include our property and equipment which are measured using fair value techniques whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate a condition of impairment exists. The estimated fair value of accounts payable and accrued expenses approximates their individual carrying amounts due to the short term nature of these measurements. It is impractical to determine the fair value of the loan receivable and loan payable to the related party given the nature of these loans. The convertible debentures have been reported net of the discount for the beneficial conversion features and related warrants. Cash and cash equivalents are stated at carrying value which approximates fair value.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash equivalents consists of highly liquid, short term investments with original maturities of three months or less when purchased.
At October 31, 2013, we did not have any short-term investments. At October 31, 2012, we had certificates of deposit with maturities greater than 90 days when acquired of $500,000 that were classified as short-term investments and reported at fair value.
We classify our investment securities as available-for-sale. Available-for-sale securities are recorded at fair value. Unrealized gains and losses, net of the related tax effect, on available-for-sale securities are excluded from earnings and are reported as a component of accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) until realized. Realized gains and losses from the sale of available-for-sale securities are determined on a specific identification basis. Dividend and interest income are recognized when earned.
We monitor the value of our investments for indicators of impairment, including changes in market conditions and the operating results of the underlying investment that may result in the inability to recover the carrying value of the investment. In evaluating our investment in Videocon GDRs at October 31, 2013, we determined that, based on both the duration and the continuing magnitude of the market price decline, there was an other than temporary impairment in our investment in Videocon GDRs. In evaluating our investment in Volga-Svet Ltd. (“Volga”) at October 31, 2013, we determined that, the discontinuation of funding from CopyTele for contract research and development work and the lack of available financial information from Volga, impaired the value of our investment in Volga. We will record an additional impairment charge if and when we believe any such investments have experienced an additional decline that is other than temporary. See Note 4 for further discussion.
The Company accounts for hybrid contracts that feature conversion options in accordance with applicable generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”). ASC 815 “Derivatives and Hedging Activities,” (“ASC 815”) requires companies to bifurcate conversion options from their host instruments and account for them as free standing derivative financial instruments according to certain criteria. The criteria includes circumstances in which (a) the economic characteristics and risks of the embedded derivative instrument are not clearly and closely related to the economic characteristics and risks of the host contract, (b) the hybrid instrument that embodies both the embedded derivative instrument and the host contract is not re-measured at fair value under otherwise applicable generally accepted accounting principles with changes in fair value reported in earnings as they occur and (c) a separate instrument with the same terms as the embedded derivative instrument would be considered a derivative instrument.
Conversion options that contain variable settlement features such as provisions to adjust the conversion price upon subsequent issuances of equity or equity linked securities at exercise prices more favorable than that featured in the hybrid contract generally result in their bifurcation from the host instrument.
The Company accounts for convertible instruments, when the Company has determined that the embedded conversion options should not be bifurcated from their host instruments, in accordance with ASC 470-20 “Debt with Conversion and Other Options” (“ASC 470-20”). Under ASC 470-20 the Company records, when necessary, discounts to convertible notes for the intrinsic value of conversion options embedded in debt instruments based upon the differences between the fair value of the underlying common stock at the commitment date of the note transaction and the effective conversion price embedded in the note. The Company accounts for convertible instruments (when the Company has determined that the embedded conversion options should be bifurcated from their host instruments) in accordance with ASC 815. Under ASC 815, a portion of the proceeds received upon the issuance of the hybrid contract are allocated to the fair value of the derivative. The derivative is subsequently marked to market at each reporting date based on current fair value, with the changes in fair value reported in results of operations.
The conversion feature of the convertible debenture issued on January 25, 2013 qualified as an embedded derivative instrument and was bifurcated from the host convertible debenture. Accordingly, this instrument has been classified as a derivative liability in the accompanying consolidated balance sheet as of October 31, 2013. Derivative liabilities are initially recorded at fair value and are then re-valued at each reporting date, with changes in fair value recognized in earnings during the reporting period.
Common Stock Purchase Warrants
The Company classifies as equity any contracts that (i) require physical settlement or net-share settlement or (ii) provides a choice of net-cash settlement or settlement in the Company’s own shares (physical settlement or net-share settlement) providing that such contracts are indexed to the Company's own stock as defined in ASC 815-40 "Contracts in Entity's Own Equity". The Company classifies as assets or liabilities any contracts that (i) require net-cash settlement (including a requirement to net cash settle the contract if an event occurs and if that event is outside the Company’s control) or (ii) gives the counterparty a choice of net-cash settlement or settlement in shares (physical settlement or net-share settlement). The Company assesses classification of common stock purchase warrants and other free standing derivatives at each reporting date to determine whether a change in classification between assets and liabilities or equity is required.
Research and Development Expenses
Research and development expenses are expensed in the period incurred. We discontinued all research and development activity during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012.
We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities for the estimated future tax effects of events that have been recognized in our financial statements or tax returns. Under this method, deferred tax assets and liabilities are determined based on the difference between the financial statement and tax bases of assets and liabilities using enacted tax rates in effect in the years in which the differences are expected to reverse. A valuation allowance is established, when necessary, to reduce deferred tax assets to the amount expected to be realized.
We maintain stock equity incentive plans under which we may grant non-qualified stock options, incentive stock options, stock appreciation rights, stock awards, performance and performance-based awards, or stock units to employees, non-employee directors and consultants.
Stock Option Compensation Expense
During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012, the Company decreased the option price for options to purchase 1,840,000 shares from the original exercise price to $0.145 per share for eleven individuals and recorded stock-based compensation expense related to this re-pricing of approximately $85,000. Such compensation expense is included in the accompanying statements of operations in either research and development expenses or selling, general and administrative expenses, as applicable based on the functions performed by such employees and directors.
We account for stock options granted to employees and directors using the accounting guidance in ASC 718 “Stock Compensation” (“ASC 718”). In accordance with ASC 718, we estimate the fair value of service based options and performance based options on the date of grant, using the Black-Scholes pricing model. For options vesting if the trading price of the Company’s common stock exceeds two separate price targets we use a Monte Carlo Simulation in estimating the fair value at grant date. We recognize compensation expense for stock option awards over the requisite or implied service period of the grant. With respect to performance based awards, compensation expense is recognized when the performance target is deemed probable. We recorded stock-based compensation expense, related to stock options granted to employees and directors, of approximately $2,693,000 and $615,000, during the twelve months ended October 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively.
Included in stock-based compensation cost for employees and directors during the twelve months ended October 31, 2013 and 2012 was approximately $2,314,000 and $7,000, respectively, related to the amortization of compensation cost for stock options granted in prior periods but not yet vested. As of October 31, 2013, there was unrecognized compensation cost related to non-vested share-based compensation arrangements for stock options granted to employees and directors, related to service based options of approximately $1,705,000 which will be recognized over a weighted-average period of 1.8 years and related to options subject to market conditions of approximately $647,000 which will be recognized over a weighted-average period of 1.0 year.
We account for stock options granted to consultants using the accounting guidance included in ASC 505-50 “Equity-Based Payments to Non-Employees” (“ASC 505-50”). In accordance with ASC 505-50, we estimate the fair value of service based options and performance based options at each reporting period using the Black-Scholes pricing model. For options vesting if the trading price of the Company’s common stock exceeds two separate price targets, we estimate the fair value at each reporting period using a Monte Carlo Simulation. We recognize compensation expense for service based options and options vesting if the trading price of the Company’s common stock exceeds two separate price targets, over the requisite or implied service period of the grant. For performance based options we recognize compensation expense upon achievement of performance. We recorded stock-based compensation expense for stock options granted to consultants during the years ended October 31, 2013 and 2012 of approximately $1,105,000 and $110,000, respectively.
Included in stock-based compensation cost for consultants during the twelve months ended October 31, 2013 and 2012 was approximately $1,105,000 and $7,000, respectively, related to the amortization of compensation cost for stock options granted in prior periods but not yet vested. As of October 31, 2013, there was unrecognized consulting expense related to non-vested share-based compensation arrangements for stock options granted to consultants, related to service based options of approximately $849,000 which will be recognized over a weighted-average period of 1.9 years and related to options subject to market conditions of approximately $522,000 which will be recognized over a weighted-average period of 2.3 years
Fair Value Determination
In September 2012 we instituted changes to our operations as more fully described in Note 1. Prior to that date we separated the individuals we granted stock options to into three relatively homogenous groups, based on exercise and post-vesting employment termination behaviors. To determine the weighted average fair value of stock options on the date of grant, we took a weighted average of the assumptions used for each of these groups. Subsequent to that date individuals are included in a single group. The fair value of stock options granted to consultants is determined on an individual basis. The stock options we granted during the year ended October 31, 2013 consisted of awards of options with 5-year terms, which vest over one year and options with 10-year terms which vest in three annual installments commencing on the date of grant or over a nine month period. The stock options we granted during the year ended October 31, 2012 consisted of awards of options with either 5-year terms, which vest over one year or 10-year terms which vested immediately, over periods up to three years or upon achievement of a cash milestone or stock price targets.
The following weighted average assumptions were used in estimating the fair value of stock options granted during the years ended October 31, 2013 and 2012.
We use the Black-Scholes pricing model in estimating the fair value of stock options which vest over a specific period of time or upon achieving performance targets. The expected term of stock options represents the weighted average period the stock options are expected to remain outstanding. For options granted prior to the change in our operations in September 2012, actual historical performance was used for awards exercised or cancelled. For awards that remained unexercised and outstanding, even exercise over the remaining contractual term was assumed. Each category was weighted for its relative size in the population and was then multiplied by the indicated expected term for each category to arrive at the expected term for the population. For options granted subsequent to the changes in our operations during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, we used the simplified method to determine expected term. The simplified method was adopted since we do not believe that historical experience is representative of future performance because of the impact of the changes in our operations and the change in terms from historical options which vested immediately to terms including vesting periods of up to three years.
Under the Black-Scholes pricing model we estimated the expected volatility of our shares of common stock based upon the historical volatility of our share price over a period of time equal to the expected term of the options. We estimated the risk-free interest rate based on the implied yield available on the applicable grant date of a U.S. Treasury note with a term equal to the expected term of the underlying grants. We made the dividend yield assumption based on our history of not paying dividends and our expectation not to pay dividends in the future.
For options vesting if the trading price of the Company’s common stock exceeds two separate price targets we used a Monte Carlo Simulation in estimating the fair value.
Under ASC 718, the amount of stock-based compensation expense recognized is based on the portion of the awards that are ultimately expected to vest. Accordingly, if deemed necessary, we reduce the fair value of the stock option awards for expected forfeitures, which are forfeitures of the unvested portion of surrendered options. Based on our historical experience we have not reduced the amount of stock-based compensation expenses for anticipated forfeitures.
We will reconsider use of the Black-Scholes pricing model if additional information becomes available in the future that indicates another model would be more appropriate. If factors change and we employ different assumptions in the application of ASC 718 in future periods, the compensation expense that we record under ASC 718 may differ significantly from what we have recorded in the current period.
Net Loss Per Share of Common Stock
In accordance with ASC 260, “Earnings Per Share”, basic net loss per common share (“Basic EPS”) is computed by dividing net loss by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding. Diluted net loss per common share (“Diluted EPS”) is computed by dividing net loss by the weighted average number of common shares and dilutive common share equivalents and convertible securities then outstanding. Diluted EPS for all years presented is the same as Basic EPS, as the inclusion of the effect of common share equivalents then outstanding would be anti-dilutive. For this reason, excluded from the calculation of Diluted EPS for the years ended October 31, 2013 and 2012, were options to purchase 63,122,845 shares and 60,670,045 shares, respectively, warrants to purchase 9,878,759 shares and 7,500,000 shares, respectively, and debentures convertible into 9,60,4820 shares and 8,152,170 shares respectively.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities and disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. Estimates and assumptions are used for, but not limited to, determining stock-based compensation, asset impairment evaluations, tax assets and liabilities, license fee revenue, the allowance for doubtful accounts, depreciation lives and other contingencies. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Effect of Recently Issued Pronouncements
In December 2011, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) issued Accounting Standards Update 2011-12 (“ASU 2011-12”), Deferral of the Effective Date for Amendments to the Presentation of Reclassifications of Items Out of Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income in Accounting Standards Update No. 2011-05. This amendment defers the effective date of the requirement to present separate line items on the income statement for reclassification adjustments of items out of accumulated other comprehensive income into net income. ASU 2011-12 is effective at the same time as Accounting Standards Update 2011-05, Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Presentation of Comprehensive Income (“ASU 2011-05”), so that entities will not be required to comply with the presentation requirements in ASU 2011-05 that this ASU 2011-12 is deferring. ASUs 2011-12 and 2011-05 are effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2011. The Company adopted ASUs 2011-05 and 2011-12 on November 1, 2012. The adoption of these new disclosure requirements did not have a material impact on our disclosures or consolidated financial statements.
In October 2012, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update 2012-04 (“ASU 2012-04”), Technical Corrections and Improvements. The amendments in this update cover a wide range of topics and include technical corrections and improvements to the Accounting Standards Codification. The amendments in ASU 2012-04 will be effective for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2012. The Company adopted ASU 2012-04 on February 1, 2013. The adoption of ASU 2012-04 did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
In October 2012, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update 2012-03 (“ASU 2012-03”), Technical Amendments and Corrections to SEC Sections. ASU 2012-03 is issued to amend certain SEC paragraphs in the FASB Accounting Standards Codification, including Amendments to SEC Paragraphs Pursuant to SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin, Technical Amendments, and Corrections Related to FASB Accounting Codification. The amendments in ASU 2012-03 will be effective for interim and annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2012. The Company adopted ASU 2012-03 on February 1, 2013. The adoption of ASU 2012-03 did not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flows.