COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2017
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES||
NOTE 15: COMMITMENTS AND CONTINGENCIES
The Company has a commitment under an operating lease to pay future minimum lease payments of $19,720, all of which is due in the year ending December 31, 2018.
The total rent expense for the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016 was $33,285 and $325,960, respectively. Rent expense was included in general and administrative expenses for both years.
Besins Healthcare Luxembourg Settlement Agreement
On January 28, 2016, the Company filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware captioned Atossa Genetics Inc. v. Besins Healthcare Luxembourg SARL, Case No. 1:16-cv-00045-UNA. The complaint asserts claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and for declaratory relief against Defendant Besins Healthcare Luxembourg SARL (“Besins”). The complaint was served upon Besins on February 15, 2016. The Company’s claims arise from Besins’ breach of an Intellectual Property License Agreement dated May 14, 2015 (the “License Agreement”), under which Besins licensed to the Company the worldwide exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Afimoxifene Topical Gel, or AfTG, for the potential treatment and prevention of hyperplasia of the breast. The complaint sought compensatory damages, a declaration of the parties’ rights and obligations under the License Agreement, and injunctive relief. On March 7, 2016, Besins filed its response to the Company’s complaint, generally denying liability for the Company’s claims and asserting counterclaims for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and declaratory judgment. Besins sought unspecified money damages and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, among other forms of relief, for its counterclaims. The Company filed its answer to Besins’ counterclaims on March 31, 2016, in which the Company disputed Besins’ allegations and denied that Besins is entitled to relief on its counterclaims. On August 4, 2016, the parties entered into a settlement agreement pursuant to which the parties dismissed this legal action and have settled all claims and counterclaims. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, Besins assumed, and Atossa shall have no further rights to, 4-hydroxy tamoxifen and AfTG in return for a termination payment to Atossa in the total amount of $1,762,931. The termination payment was received in August 2016 and was included in other income in the consolidated statement of operations for year ended December 31, 2016.
Litigation and Contingencies
On October 10, 2013, a putative securities class action complaint, captioned Cook v. Atossa Genetics, Inc., et al., No. 2:13-cv-01836-RSM, was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against us, certain of our directors and officers and the underwriters of our November 2012 initial public offering. The complaint alleged that all defendants violated Sections 11 and 12(a)(2), and that we and certain of our directors and officers violated Section 15, of the Securities Act by making material false and misleading statements and omissions in the offering’s registration statement, and that we and certain of our directors and officers violated Sections 10(b) and 20A of the Exchange Act and SEC Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by making false and misleading statements and omissions in the registration statement and in certain of our subsequent press releases and SEC filings with respect to our NAF specimen collection process, our ForeCYTE Breast Health Test and our MASCT device. The complaint sought, on behalf of persons who purchased our common stock between November 8, 2012 and October 4, 2013, inclusive, damages of an unspecific amount.
On February 14, 2014, the district court appointed plaintiffs Miko Levi, Bandar Almosa and Gregory Harrison (collectively, the “Levi Group”) as lead plaintiffs, and approved their selection of co-lead counsel and liaison counsel. The Court also amended the caption of the case to read In re Atossa Genetics, Inc. Securities Litigation No. 2:13-cv-01836-RSM. An amended complaint was filed on April 15, 2014. The Company and other defendants filed motions to dismiss the amended complaint on May 30, 2014. On October 6, 2014 the Court granted defendants’ motion dismissing all claims against Atossa and all other defendants. On October 30, 2014, the Court entered a final order of dismissal. On November 3, 2014, plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal with the Court and appealed the Court’s dismissal order to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On August 18, 2017, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s judgment.
On September 11, 2017, the Ninth Circuit entered an order and mandate remanding the case to the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. On October 19, 2017, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint that conforms to the ruling by the Ninth Circuit. Since the claims under Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 were dismissed by the district court and not appealed, the amended complaint only alleges violations of Section 10(b) and 20A of the Exchange Act and SEC Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder against the company and one officer. All other claims and defendants have been dismissed. The alleged class period in the amended complaint is December, 2012 through October 4, 2013. On December 8, 2017, defendants filed an answer to the amended complaint. On February 7, 2018, following a mediation, the parties notified the district court that they had reached an agreement in principle to settle the action. The parties expect to file a stipulation of settlement with the court no later than March 15, 2018. The settlement will be funded by the company’s insurance carriers, and is subject to both preliminary and final approval by the district court. We do not believe the ultimate resolution of this matter will have a material effect on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
We are subject to other legal proceedings and claims that arise in the normal course of business. We believe these matters are either without merit or of a kind that should not have a material effect, individually or in the aggregate, on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef