According to the Company’s FORM 10-Q for the quarterly period ended June 30, 200, the Company has approved a settlement agreement and related agreements which set forth the terms of a settlement between the Company, the Individual Defendants, the plaintiff class and the vast majority of the other approximately 300 issuer defendants. Among other provisions, the settlement provides for a release of the Company and the Individual Defendants for the conduct alleged in the action to be wrongful. The Company would agree to undertake certain responsibilities, including agreeing to assign away, not assert, or release certain potential claims the Company may have against its underwriters. The settlement agreement also provides a guaranteed recovery of $1 billion to plaintiffs for the cases relating to all of the approximately 300 issuers. To the extent that the underwriter defendants settle all of the cases for at least $1 billion, no payment will be required under the issuers’ settlement agreement. On April 20, 2006, JPMorgan Chase and the plaintiffs reached a preliminary agreement for a settlement of $425 million. The JPMorgan Chase settlement has not yet been approved by the Court. However, if it is finally approved, then the maximum amount that the issuers’ insurers will be potentially liable for is $575 million. To the extent that the underwriter defendants settle for less than $1 billion, the issuers are required to make up the difference. It is anticipated that any potential financial obligation of the Company to plaintiffs pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement and related agreements will be covered by existing insurance. On February 15, 2005, the court granted preliminary approval of the settlement agreement, subject to certain modifications consistent with its opinion. Those modifications have been made. On March 20, 2006, the Underwriter Defendants submitted objections to the settlement to the Court. The Court held a hearing regarding these and other objections to the settlement at a fairness hearing on April 24, 2006, but it has not yet issued a ruling. There is no assurance that the court will grant final approval to the settlement.
As disclosed by the same SEC filing, in Summer and early Fall 2001, four purported shareholder class action lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against the Company, certain of its current and former officers and directors (the “Individual Defendants”), and the underwriters of its initial public offering. The suits purport to be class actions filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company’s common stock during the period from October 19, 1999 to December 6, 2000. The complaints against the Company have been consolidated into a single action and a Consolidated Amended Complaint, which was filed on April 19, 2002 and is now the operative complaint. The action is being coordinated with approximately 300 other nearly identical actions filed against other companies. On July 15, 2002, the Company moved to dismiss all claims against it and the Individual Defendants. On October 9, 2002, the Court dismissed the Individual Defendants from the case without prejudice based upon Stipulations of Dismissal filed by the plaintiffs and the Individual Defendants. On February 19, 2003, the Court denied the motion to dismiss the complaint against the Company. On October 13, 2004, the Court certified a class in six of the approximately 300 other nearly identical actions and noted that the decision is intended to provide strong guidance to all parties regarding class certification in the remaining cases. The Underwriter Defendants sought leave to appeal this decision and the Second Circuit has accepted the appeal. Plaintiffs have not yet moved to certify a class in the Company’s case.
The complaint charges defendants with violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for issuing a Registration Statement and Prospectus (the"Prospectus") that contained materially false and misleading information and failed to disclose material information. The Prospectus was issued in connection with BSQUARE's initial public offering of 4 million shares of common stock at $15.00 per share that was completed on or about October 19, 1999 (the "IPO"). The complaint alleges that the Prospectus was false and misleading because it failed to disclose (i) Credit Suisse's agreement with certain investors to provide them with significant amounts of restricted BSQUARE shares in the IPO in exchange for exorbitant and undisclosed commissions; and (ii) the agreement between Credit Suisse and certain of its customers whereby Credit Suisse would allocate shares in the IPO to those customers in exchange for the customers' agreement to purchase BSQUARE shares in the after-market at pre-determined prices.