Stereotaxis
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10-K
STEREOTAXIS, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 03/15/2019
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Risks associated with international manufacturing and trade could negatively impact the availability and cost of our products because materials used to manufacture our magnets, one of our key system components, are sourced from overseas.

 

We purchase the permanent magnets for our robotic magnetic system from a manufacturer that uses material produced in Japan, and we anticipate that certain of the production work for these magnets will be performed for this manufacturer in China. In addition, our subcontractor purchases magnets for our disposable interventional devices directly from a manufacturer in Japan. Any event causing a significant increase in price or a disruption of imports, including the imposition of import restrictions, could adversely affect our business. The flow of components from our vendors could also be adversely affected by financial or political instability in any of the countries in which the goods we purchase are manufactured, if the instability affects the production or export of product components from those countries. Trade restrictions in the form of tariffs or quotas, or both, could also affect the importation of those product components and could increase the cost and reduce the supply of products available to us. In addition, decreases in the value of the U.S. dollar against foreign currencies could increase the cost of products we purchase from overseas vendors.

 

We may encounter problems at our manufacturing facilities or those of our subcontractors or otherwise experience manufacturing delays that could result in lost revenue.

 

We subcontract all or part of the manufacture and assembly of components of our Niobe ES system, Odyssey Solution, and Vdrive system, and all of our disposable devices. The products we design may not satisfy all of the performance requirements of our customers and we may need to improve or modify the design or ask our subcontractors to modify their production process in order to do so. In addition, we or our subcontractors may experience quality problems, substantial costs and unexpected delays related to efforts to upgrade and expand manufacturing, assembly and testing capabilities. If we incur delays due to quality problems or other unexpected events, our revenue may be impacted.

 

Security breaches and other disruptions to our information technology infrastructure could interfere with our operations, compromise confidential information, and expose us to liability which could materially adversely impact our business and reputation.

 

Security breaches and other disruptions to our information technology infrastructure could interfere with our operations; compromise information belonging to us, our employees, customers, and suppliers; and expose us to liability which could adversely impact our business and reputation. In the ordinary course of business, we rely on information technology networks and systems, some of which are managed by third parties, to process, transmit, and store electronic information, and to manage or support a variety of business processes and activities. Additionally, we collect and store certain data, including proprietary business information and customer and employee data, and may have access to confidential or personal information in certain of our businesses that is subject to privacy and security laws, regulations, and customer-imposed controls. Despite our cyber security measures (including employee and third-party training, monitoring of networks and systems, and maintenance of backup and protective systems) which are continuously reviewed and upgraded, our information technology networks and infrastructure may still be vulnerable to damage, disruptions, or shutdowns due to attack by hackers, breaches, employee error or malfeasance, power outages, computer viruses, telecommunication or utility failures, systems failures, natural disasters, or other catastrophic events. Any such events could result in legal claims or proceedings, liability or penalties under privacy laws, disruption in operations, and damage to our reputation, which could materially adversely affect our business. While we have experienced, and expect to continue to experience, these types of threats to our information technology networks and infrastructure, to date none of these threats has had a material impact on our business or operations.

 

We may be unable to protect our technology from use by third parties.

Our commercial success depends in part on obtaining patent and other intellectual property right protection for the technologies contained in our products and on successfully defending these rights against third party challenges. The patent positions of medical device companies, including ours, can be highly uncertain and involve complex and evolving legal and factual questions. We cannot assure you that we will obtain the patent protection we seek, that any protection we do obtain will be found valid and enforceable if challenged or that it will confer any significant commercial advantage. U.S. patents and patent applications may also be subject to interference proceedings and U.S. patents may be subject to re-examination proceedings in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and foreign patents may be subject to opposition or comparable proceedings in the corresponding foreign patent office, which proceedings could result in either loss of the patent, or denial of the patent application, or loss or reduction in the scope of one or more of the claims of the patent or patent application. In addition, such interference, re-examination, and opposition proceedings may be costly. Thus, any patents that we own or license from others may not provide any protection against competitors. Our pending patent applications, those we may file in the future, or those we may license from third parties may not result in patents being issued and certain foreign patent applications for medical related devices and methods may be found unpatentable. If issued, they may not provide us with proprietary protection or competitive advantages against competitors with similar technology.

 

Some of our technology was developed in conjunction with third parties, and thus there is a risk that a third party may claim rights in our intellectual property. Outside the U.S., we rely on third-party payment services for the payment of foreign patent annuities and other fees. Non-payment or delay in payment of such fees, whether intentional or unintentional, may result in loss of patents or patent rights important to our business. Many countries, including certain countries in Europe, have compulsory licensing laws under which a patent owner may be compelled to grant licenses to third parties (for example, the patent owner has failed to “work” the invention in that country, or the third party has patented improvements). In addition, many countries limit the enforceability of patents against government agencies or government contractors. In these countries, the patent owner may have limited remedies, which could materially diminish the value of the patent. We also cannot assure you that we will be able to develop additional patentable technologies. If we fail to obtain adequate patent protection for our technology, or if any protection we obtain becomes limited or invalidated, others may be able to make and sell competing products, impairing our competitive position.

 

Our trade secrets, nondisclosure agreements and other contractual provisions to protect unpatented technology provide only limited and possibly inadequate protection of our rights. As a result, third parties may be able to use our unpatented technology, and our ability to compete in the market would be reduced. In addition, employees, consultants and others who participate in developing our products or in commercial relationships with us may breach their agreements with us regarding our intellectual property, and we may not have adequate remedies for the breach.

 

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