This excerpt taken from the LLTC 8-K filed Apr 17, 2007.
We are subject to litigation risks, including litigation relating to allegations regarding our stock option granting practices.
We are subject to various legal proceedings arising out of a wide range of matters, including, among others, patent suits, securities issues and employment claims. From time to time, as is typical in the semiconductor industry, we receive notice from third parties alleging that our products or processes infringe the third parties intellectual property rights. If we are unable to obtain a necessary license, and one or more of our products or processes are determined to infringe intellectual property rights of others, a court might enjoin us from further manufacture and/or sale of the affected products. In that case, we would need to re-engineer the affected products or processes in such a way as to avoid the alleged infringement, which may or may not be possible. An adverse result in litigation arising from such a claim could involve an injunction to prevent the sales of a portion of our products, a reduction or the elimination of the value of related inventories, and/or the assessment of a substantial monetary award for damages related to past sales. We do not believe that our current lawsuits will have a material impact on our business or financial condition. However, current lawsuits and any future lawsuits will divert resources and could result in the payment of substantial damages. In addition, we may incur significant legal costs to assert our intellectual property rights when we believe our products or processes have been infringed by third parties.
We previously disclosed in press releases that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the United States Justice Department have initiated informal inquiries into our stock option granting practices. In addition, on September 5, 2006, we received an Information Document Request from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) concerning our stock option grants and grant practices. We are cooperating with the SEC, IRS and the Department of Justice. In addition, various of our current and former directors and officers have been named as defendants in two consolidated stockholder derivative actions filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, captioned In re Linear Technology Corporation Stockholder Derivative Litigation (N.D. Cal.) (the Federal Action); and three substantially similar consolidated stockholder derivative actions filed in California state court, captioned In re Linear Technology Corporation Stockholder Derivative Litigation (Santa Clara County Superior Court) (the State Action). Plaintiffs in the Federal and State Actions allege that the defendant directors and officers backdated stock option grants during the period from 1997 through 2002. Both actions assert claims for breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment. The Federal Action also alleges that the defendants breached their fiduciary duty by allegedly violating Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, while the State Action also alleges that certain of the defendants aided and abetted one anothers alleged breach of fiduciary duty, wasted corporate assets, engaged in insider trading in connection with the purportedly backdated option grants, in violation of the California Corporations Code. Both Actions seek to recover unspecified money damages, disgorgement of profits and benefits, equitable relief and attorneys fees and costs. The State Action also seeks restitution, rescission of certain defendants option contracts, and imposition of a constructive trust over the option contracts. We are named as a nominal defendant in both the Federal and State Actions, thus no recovery against us is sought. We have engaged its outside counsel to represent us in the government inquiries and pending lawsuits. We reviewed our historical option-granting practices and option grants with the assistance of outside counsel and an independent forensic accounting firm. The primary scope of the review covered the periods calendar year 1995 through 2006. Based on the findings of the review, we have concluded that there is no need to restate any previously filed financial statements. The review found no evidence of fraud or misconduct of any kind in our practices in granting of stock options.