Annual report pursuant to Section 13 and 15(d)


12 Months Ended
Jul. 31, 2014
Loss Contingency [Abstract]  
Contingencies Disclosure [Text Block]

Note 14 - Contingencies

On June 7, 2004, the Company and Enzo Life Sciences, Inc., filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut against Applera Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary Tropix, Inc., which became Life Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:LIFE) and was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (NYSE:TMO) on February 3, 2014. The complaint alleged infringement of six patents relating to DNA sequencing systems, labeled nucleotide products, and other technology. Yale University is the owner of four of the patents and the Company is the exclusive licensee. These four patents are commonly referred to as the “Ward” patents. On November 12, 2012, a jury in New Haven found that one of these patents (United States Patent No. 5,449,667) was infringed and not proven invalid. The jury awarded $48.5 million for this infringement. On January 6, 2014, the judge awarded prejudgment interest of approximately $12.5 million and additional post-interest on the full amount will also be awarded starting November 7, 2012 until the total award is satisfied.  The final award to Enzo could be reduced or be subject to possible claims from third parties. On February 3, 2014, Life Technologies filed a notice of appeal and there can be no assurance that the Company will be successful in this litigation. Even if the Company is not successful, management does not believe that there will be a significant adverse monetary impact on the Company.

As of August 1, 2013, the Company, as plaintiff, was engaged in litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against six parties (and certain of their related companies): Amersham plc, PerkinElmer, Inc., Molecular Probes, Inc., Orchid Biosciences, Inc., Affymetrix, Inc., and Roche Diagnostic GmbH (“Roche”). These cases were commenced at various times from October 2002 to June 2004. In each of the six cases, the Company had asserted similar (with some differences) causes of action against the defendants which can be generally described as contract, tort, fraud, and patent claims, except that no patent claims are asserted against Affymetrix. In the Roche case, Roche seeks a declaratory judgment of non-breach and patent invalidity against the Company. The cases were consolidated for pre-trial purposes in 2004 and there has been extensive discovery among the parties. In 2011, the defendants moved for summary judgment of non-infringement regarding the Company’s patent claims. In 2012, those motions were granted in part and denied in part. In December 2012, all six defendants moved for summary judgment on the Company’s non-patent claims. Additional discovery was taken and the Company responded to the motions in May 2013. On October 22, 2013, the Court granted Amersham’s motion for summary judgment.  Thereafter, on November 26, 2013, the parties settled and dismissed the Amersham case. On October 28, 2013, the Court granted in part and denied in part PerkinElmer’s motion for summary judgment. By decisions dated December 6, 2013, the Court granted in part and denied in part the summary judgment by Roche and Affymetrix. A jury trial was been ordered in Roche’s case on a date to be determined. On the same date, the Court granted the summary judgment for the remaining two motions by Molecular Probes and Orchid.

On April 22, 2014, the Company as plaintiff finalized and executed a settlement agreement with Affymetrix, Inc. to settle a patent litigation lawsuit (the “Agreement”) in the amount of $5.1 million. Under terms of the Agreement, Affymetrix paid to the Company $4.3 million and paid to the Company’s attorneys $0.8 million, which is included in legal fees in the statements of operations for the year ended July 31, 2014. The amount of the settlement is included in the statement of operations under Legal settlements, net within the Life Science segment.

On June 20, 2014 the Company, as plaintiff finalized and executed a settlement agreement with PerkinElmer, Inc., and PerkinElmer Health Sciences, Inc. (formerly known as PerkinElmer Life Sciences, Inc.) (together, “PerkinElmer”), with respect to an action between the Company and PerkinElmer before the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, Case No 03-CV-3817. PerkinElmer paid $7.0 million in escrow pursuant to the agreement because of a former attorney’s motion requesting a charging lien for fees allegedly owed for past services rendered to the Company. Because the settlement proceeds are held in escrow, the Company did not include the settlement or any additional amounts which may be payable to the attorney in the financial statements as of and for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2014.

As previously disclosed, in 2012, the Company received a Subpoena Duces Tecum (the “Subpoena”) from the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (“OIG”). The Subpoena was issued as part of an investigation being conducted by the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York in conjunction with the OIG. While a number of potential issues were raised initially by the government, the investigation came to focus primarily on an alleged failure to collect diagnosis codes from physicians who ordered tests through Enzo Clinical Labs. The time period initially covered by the investigation was from 2004 through 2011. In response to the Subpoena, the Company cooperated with the government. On September 22, 2014, the Company and the U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement agreement to resolve this matter, in substantive form as disclosed in the Company’s fiscal quarter ended April 30, 2014. During the quarter ended April, 30, 2014, the Company recorded a charge of $2.0 million in the statement of operations under legal settlements, net within the Clinical Labs segment. The settlement amount will be paid with interest over a five-year period and as a result the Company recorded $0.4 million as other current liabilities and $1.6 million as a non-current liability at July 31, 2014. Under certain circumstances, the Company may be required to accelerate payments and/or pay up to an additional $1.5 million based upon (i) a favorable recovery and collection related to the judgment in the Life Technologies matter discussed above, (ii) receipt of additional capital greater than $10.0 million in a fiscal year (in that case, the Company is required to pay 20% of any amount over $10.0 million plus interest, or (iii) sale of the Company. The final settlement covers the time period 2004 - 2014.

The Company is party to other claims, legal actions, complaints, and contractual disputes that arise in the ordinary course of business. The Company believes that any liability that may ultimately result from the resolution of these matters will not, individually or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on its financial position or results of operations.