Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
6 Months Ended
Jun. 30, 2021
Commitments And Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies

NOTE 10 —Commitments and Contingencies

Royalty payments—The Company is required to pay per unit royalties to wireless essential patent holders and other providers of integrated technologies on mobile devices delivered, which, in aggregate, amount to less than 5% of net revenues associated with each unit and expire in 2021 and 2023. Royalty expense for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021, and 2020 was $483 and $843, respectively and $845 and $1,194, respectively. The Company may be required to pay additional royalties to additional patent holder and technology providers on future products.

Securities litigationOn September 20, 2019, a purported Sonim stockholder who allegedly purchased stock registered in Sonim’s initial public offering (“IPO”) filed a putative class action complaint in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Mateo, captioned Pearson v. Sonim Technologies, Inc., et al., Case No. 19CIV05564, on behalf of himself and others who purchased shares of Sonim registered in the IPO (the “Pearson Action”). On October 4 and 16, 2019, two additional purported class action complaints substantially similar to the Pearson Action were filed on behalf of different plaintiffs yet the same putative class of Sonim stockholders, in the same court as the Pearson Action (the “’33 Act State Court Actions”). The defendants asked the Superior court to dismiss the “33 Act State Court Actions based on the provision in the Company’s Amended and Restated Certificate of Incorporation requiring stockholders to file and litigate in federal court any claims under the Securities Act of 1933. On December 7, 2020, the Superior Court entered an order granting defendants’ motion to dismiss. On October 7, 2019, a substantially similar putative class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (the “’33 Act Federal Action”). All four complaints allege violations of the Securities Act of 1933 by Sonim and certain of its current and former officers and directors for, among other things, alleged false or misleading statements and omissions in the registration statement issued in connection with the IPO, relating primarily to an alleged failure to disclose software defects in Sonim’s phones and alleged misstatements about performance characteristics of Sonim’s phones. In July 2020, the Company entered into an agreement with the Lead Plaintiff in the ‘33 Act Federal Action to settle that case on a class wide basis for $2.0 million. As a result, the Company has paid out the $2.0 million settlement as of December 31, 2020. On March 5, 2021, the court presiding over the ’33 Act Federal Action granted final approval of the settlement.

Securities and Exchange Commission Formal Order of Private Investigation: In March 2020, the Company received a voluntary document request from the SEC San Francisco Regional office, and in August 2020, the Company was informed that the SEC Staff was conducting a formal investigation.  The SEC’s investigation is ongoing. The Company has been cooperating with the SEC in the matter.  The Company is unable to predict the likely outcome of the investigation or determine its potential impact, if any, on the Company.

Derivative litigation—On September 21, 2020, the Company, and certain of its current and former directors and officers were sued by a stockholder on behalf of our Company in a derivative action in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, captioned Kusiak v. Plaschke, et al., Case No 20-cv-1270-MN (“Kusiak”). The Kusiak complaint is based largely on the same underlying factual allegations as the ’33 Act Federal Action.  The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Kusiak derivative action based on plaintiff’s failure to make a litigation demand on Sonim’s directors.   On February 1, 2021, plaintiff in Kusiak voluntarily dismissed the action without prejudice.

On February 1, 2021, the same plaintiffs’ lawyers in the Kusiak action filed a new derivative action in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware against the Company and certain of its current and former directors and officers, captioned Gupta v. Plaschke, et al., Case No. 1:21-cv-130-MN (“Gupta”). The allegations in the Gupta complaint are generally similar to those in the Kusiak action. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Gupta derivative action based on plaintiff’s failure to make a litigation demand on Sonim’s directors. Given the early stages of this proceeding and the limited information available, we cannot predict the outcome of this legal proceeding or determine its potential impact, if any, on the Company.

General litigationThe Company is involved in various other legal proceedings arising in the normal course of business. The Company does not believe that the ultimate resolution of these other matters will have a material adverse effect on its condensed consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows.

The results of any future litigation cannot be predicted with certainty and, regardless of the outcome, litigation can have an adverse impact on us because of defense and settlement costs, diversion of management time and resources and other factors.

Indemnification—Under the terms of its agreements with wireless carriers and other partners, the Company has agreed to provide indemnification for intellectual property infringement claims related to Company’s product sold by them to their end customers. From time to time, the Company receives notices from these wireless carriers and other partners of a claim for infringement of intellectual property rights potentially related to their products. These infringement claims have been settled, dismissed, have not been further pursued by the customers, or are pending for further action by the Company.

Contingent severance obligations—The Company has agreements in place with certain key employees (Executive Severance Arrangement) guaranteeing severance payments under certain circumstances. Generally, in the event of termination by the Company without cause, termination due to death or disability, or resignation for good reason, the Company is obligated to the pay the employees. On May 31, 2021, the Company and Tom Wilkinson agreed that he will cease serving as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.  In connection with his departure, the Company entered into a Separation and Release Agreement with him pursuant to which he will continue to be paid his base salary of $400, the rate in effect on the effective date for a period of twelve months, subject to tax withholding and any other authorized deductions, and will continue to be eligible for the Transaction Bonus Plan until November 30, 2021.


On December 11, 2019, the Board of Directors approved the Sonim Technologies Inc. Transaction Bonus Plan (the “Plan”) that is intended to incentivize Company employees who are in a position to significantly impact the value received by the Company’s stockholders in a change of control transaction. Pursuant to the Plan, upon consummation of a change of control transaction, 10% of the consideration payable to Company stockholders, after deducting transaction expenses, will be distributed to Plan participants, including the Company’s named executive officers. The Plan has a three-year term and may be extended by the administrator of the Plan. Subject to the terms of the Plan, participants must be continuously providing services to the Company through the date of the closing of a change in control transaction to be eligible to receive a bonus thereunder, except in the event of death or disability or involuntary termination without cause as further described in Section 5(c) and 5(d) of the Plan, and payment is contingent upon delivery and non-revocation of a general release of claims. In connection with the adoption of the Plan, the Board of Directors allocated a 50% interest in the Plan to Tom Wilkinson, the Company’s former Chief Executive Officer, and a 10% interest in the Plan to Robert Tirva, the Company’s President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, and 35% to 7 other key employees and consultants.