Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Legal Proceedings

Legal Proceedings
3 Months Ended
Apr. 02, 2016
Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Legal Proceedings
Legal Proceedings

The Company is subject to various legal proceedings, claims, and litigation arising in the ordinary course of business. While the outcome of these matters is currently not determinable, we do not expect these matters will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations, or cash flows. However, the results of these matters cannot be predicted with certainty. Should the Company fail to prevail in any legal matter or should several legal matters be resolved against the Company in the same reporting period, then the financial results of that particular reporting period could be materially adversely affected.

On December 29, 2010, Lufthansa Technik AG (“Lufthansa”) filed a Statement of Claim in the Regional State Court of Mannheim, Germany. Lufthansa’s claim asserts that our subsidiary, AES sold, marketed and brought into use in Germany a power supply system which infringes upon a German patent held by Lufthansa. The relief sought by Lufthansa includes requiring AES to stop selling and marketing the allegedly infringing power supply system, a recall of allegedly infringing products sold to commercial customers since November 26, 2003 and compensation for damages. The claim does not specify an estimate of damages and a damages claim will be made by Lufthansa only if it receives a favorable ruling on the determination of infringement. The value of the dispute has been set by the Court to be €2 million. This is an estimate of the commercial value of the matter.

On February 6, 2015, the Regional State Court of Mannheim, Germany rendered its decision that the patent was infringed. The judgment does not require AES to recall products which are already installed in aircraft or have been sold to other end users. On July 15, 2015, Lufthansa advised AES of their intention to enforce the accounting provisions of the decision, which require AES to provide certain financial information regarding sales of the infringing product to enable Lufthansa to make an estimate of requested damages. Additionally, if Lufthansa provides the required bank guarantee specified in the decision, the Company may be required to offer a recall of products which are in the distribution channels in Germany. No such bank guarantee has been issued to date.

The Company appealed and believes it has valid defenses to refute the decision. The appeal process is estimated to extend up to two years. The enforcement of the accounting provision of the decision, as discussed above, has no impact on the appeals process. As a result, we do not currently have sufficient information to provide an estimate of AES’s potential exposure related to this matter. As loss exposure is neither probable nor estimable at this time, the Company has not recorded any liability with respect to this litigation as of April 2, 2016.

On November 26, 2014, Lufthansa filed a complaint in the United States District for the Western District of Washington. Lufthansa’s complaint in this action alleges that AES manufactures, uses, sells and offers for sale a power supply system which infringes upon a U.S. patent held by Lufthansa. The patent at issue in the U.S. action is based on technology similar to that involved in the German action. On April 25, 2016, the Court issued its ruling on claim construction, holding that the sole independent claim in the patent is indefinite, rendering all claims in the patent indefinite.  Based on this ruling, AES intends to seek an order dismissing the case on the grounds that the patent is invalid and unenforceable.   Lufthansa may appeal the Court’s ruling.   The Company believes that it has valid defenses to Lufthansa’s claims and would vigorously contest any appeal.  As loss exposure is neither probable nor estimable at this time, the Company has not recorded any liability with respect to this litigation as of April 2, 2016.