Risk Factors Dashboard

Once a year, publicly traded companies issue a comprehensive report of their business, called a 10-K. A component mandated in the 10-K is the ‘Risk Factors’ section, where companies disclose any major potential risks that they may face. This dashboard highlights all major changes and additions in new 10K reports, allowing investors to quickly identify new potential risks and opportunities.

Risk Factors - CRNC

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.

You should carefully consider all of the information in this Form 10-K and each of the risks described below, which we believe are the material risks that we face. Some of the risks relate to our business, others to our intellectual property and technology, the consequences of the Spin-Off, the securities markets, our indebtedness and ownership of our securities. Some of the risks relate to our business, others to our intellectual property and technology, and the consequences of the Spin-Off. Any of the following risks could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and the actual outcome of matters as to which forward-looking statements are made in this Form 10-K.

Risks Relating to Our Business

The market in which we operate is highly competitive and rapidly changing and we may be unable to compete successfully.

There are a number of companies that develop or may develop products that compete in the automotive voice assistance market. The market for our products and services is characterized by intense competition, evolving industry and regulatory standards, emerging business and distribution models, disruptive software technology developments, short product and service life cycles, price sensitivity on the part of customers, and frequent new product introductions, including alternatives for certain of our products that offer limited functionality at significantly lower costs or free of charge. In addition, some of our competitors have business objectives that may drive them to sell their alternative offerings at a significant discount to our offerings in the automotive voice assistant market. Current and potential competitors have established, or may establish, cooperative relationships among themselves or with third parties to increase the ability of their technologies to address the needs of our prospective customers. Furthermore, existing or prospective customers may decide to develop competing products or have established, or may in the future establish, strategic relationships with our competitors. We also face significant competition with respect to cloud-based solutions in the automotive cognitive assistance market where existing and new competitors may have or have already established significant market share and product offerings.

The competition in the automotive cognitive assistance market has and could adversely affect in the future, our operating results by reducing the volume of the products and solutions we license or sell or the prices we can charge. Some of our current or potential competitors are large technology companies that have significantly greater financial, technical and marketing resources than we do, and others are smaller specialized companies that possess automotive expertise or regional focus and may have greater price flexibility than we do. These competitors may be able to respond more rapidly than we can to new or emerging technologies or changes in customer requirements, or may decide to offer products at low or unsustainable cost to win new business. 15 These competitors may be able to respond more rapidly than we can to new or emerging technologies or changes in customer requirements, or may decide to offer products at low or unsustainable cost to win new business. They may also devote greater resources to the development, promotion and sale of their products than we do, and in certain cases may be able to include or combine their competitive products or technologies with other of their products or technologies in a manner whereby the competitive functionality is available at lower cost or free of charge within the larger offering. To the extent they do so, penetration of our products, and therefore our revenue, may be adversely affected. Our large competitors may also have greater access to data, including customer data, which provides them with a competitive advantage in developing new products and technologies. Our success depends substantially upon our ability to enhance our products and technologies, to develop and introduce, on a timely and cost-effective basis, new products and features that meet changing customer requirements and incorporate technological enhancements, and to maintain

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our alignment with the OEMs, their technology and market strategies. If we are unable to develop new products and enhance functionalities or technologies to adapt to these changes and maintain our alignment with OEMs, our business will suffer.

Adverse conditions in the automotive industry or the global economy more generally could have adverse effects on our results of operations.

Our business depends on, and is directly affected by, the global automobile industry. Automotive production and sales are highly cyclical and depend on general economic conditions and other factors, including consumer spending and preferences, changes in interest rate levels and credit availability, consumer confidence, fuel costs, fuel availability, environmental impact, governmental incentives and regulatory requirements, and political volatility, especially in energy-producing countries and growth markets. Such factors have in the past and may in the future also negatively impact consumer demand for automobiles that include features such as our products. In addition, automotive production and sales can be affected by our customers’ ability to continue operating in response to challenging economic conditions, and in response to labor relations issues, regulatory requirements, trade agreements and other factors. The volume of global automotive production has fluctuated, sometimes significantly, from year to year, and such fluctuations give rise to fluctuations in the demand for our products. Moreover, the automotive industry has recently experienced, and may continue to experience, a semiconductor shortage, which has negatively impacted the production of new vehicles. Any significant adverse change in any of these factors, including, but not limited to, general economic conditions and the resulting bankruptcy of a customer, the closure of a customer manufacturing facility or the ability of a customer manufacturing facility to obtain supplies to manufacture automobiles and to ship or receive shipments of parts, supplies or finished product, may result in a reduction in automotive sales and production by our customers, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

In recent months, we have observed increased economic uncertainty in the United States and abroad. Impacts of such economic weakness include:

falling overall demand for goods and services, leading to reduced profitability;
reduced credit availability;
higher borrowing costs;
reduced liquidity;
volatility in credit, equity and foreign exchange markets; and
bankruptcies.

Events involving limited liquidity, defaults, non-performance or other adverse developments that affect financial institutions or the financial services industry generally, have in the past and may in the future lead to market-wide liquidity problems. For example, on March 10, 2023, Silicon Valley Bank (“SVB”), was placed into receivership with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), which resulted in all funds held at SVB being temporarily inaccessible by SVB’s customers. Although we do not have deposits with SVB, or any other financial institution currently in receivership, we maintain deposits at financial institutions as a part of doing business that could be at risk if another similar event were to occur. The terms of the Senior Credit Facilities include a number of restrictive covenants that impose significant operating and financial restrictions on us and limit our ability to engage in actions that may be in our long-term best interests. If other banks and financial institutions enter receivership or become insolvent in the future in response to financial conditions affecting the banking system and financial markets, then our ability to access our cash and cash equivalents may be threatened and could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. In addition, if any of our customers, suppliers or other parties with whom we conduct business are unable to access funds pursuant to such instruments or lending arrangements with such a financial institution, such parties’ ability to pay their obligations to us or to enter into new commercial arrangements requiring additional payments to us could be adversely affected. 21 Preparing for and complying with the evolving application of these laws has required and will continue to require us to incur substantial operational costs and may interfere with our intended business activities, inhibit our ability to expand into certain markets or prohibit us from continuing to offer services in those markets without significant additional costs.

These developments, along with continued uncertainty about economic stability related to the global outbreak of COVID-19 and more recently the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the developing conflict between Israel and Hamas, have resulted in supply chain disruption, inflation, higher interest rates, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, and uncertainty about business continuity, which may adversely affect our business and our results of operations. As our customers react to global economic conditions and the potential for a global recession, we may see them reduce spending on our products and take additional precautionary measures to limit or delay expenditures and preserve capital and liquidity. Reductions in spending on our solutions, delays in automobile production or purchasing decisions, lack of renewals or the inability to attract new customers, as well as pressure for extended billing terms or pricing discounts, would limit our ability to grow our business and negatively affect our operating results and financial condition.

Pandemics or disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19, have disrupted, and may continue to disrupt, our business, which could adversely affect our financial performance.

Our business depends on, and is directly affected by, the output and sales of the global automotive industry and the use of automobiles by consumers. Pandemics or disease outbreaks, such as COVID-19, have disrupted, and may continue to disrupt, global

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automotive industry customer sales and production volumes. Vehicle production initially decreased significantly in China, which was first affected by COVID-19, then Europe and also the United States. Subsequent events resulted in the shutdown of manufacturing operations in China, Europe and the United States, and even though manufacturing operations have resumed, the capacity of such global manufacturing operations remains uncertain. More recently, we have seen, and anticipate that we will continue to see, supply chain challenges in the automotive industry related to semiconductor devices that are used in automobiles. As a result, we have experienced, and may continue to experience, difficulties in entering into new contracts with our customers, a decline in revenues resulting from the decrease in the production and sale of automobiles by our customers, the use of automobiles, increased difficulties in collecting payment obligations from our customers and the possibility customers will stall or not continue existing projects. These all may be further exacerbated by the global economic downturn resulting from the pandemic which could further decrease consumer demand for vehicles or result in the financial distress of one or more of our customers.

The pandemic has already resulted in, and may continue to result in, work stoppages, slowdowns and delays, travel restrictions, and other factors that cause a decrease in the production and sale of automobiles by our customers. The production of automobiles with our products has been and may continue to be adversely affected with production delays and our ability to provide engineering support and implement design changes for customers may be impacted by restrictions on travel and quarantine policies put in place by businesses and governments. The full extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our financial performance will depend on future developments, many of which are outside of our control, are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including, but not limited to, the duration and spread of COVID-19, including variants, its severity, the effectiveness of actions to treat or contain the virus and its impact and the extent to which normal economic and operating conditions are impacted. The full extent to which the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our financial performance will depend on future developments, many of which are outside of our control, are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including, but not limited to, the duration and spread of COVID-19, including variants such as Delta and Omicron, its severity, the effectiveness of actions to treat or contain the virus and its impact and how quickly and to what extent normal economic and operating conditions can resume. The COVID-19 pandemic could also result in additional governmental restrictions and regulations, which could adversely affect our business and financial results. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has lessened or subsided, we may continue to experience adverse impacts on our business and financial performance, our ability to access needed capital and liquidity, and the value of our common stock as a result of its global economic impact. Even after the COVID-19 pandemic has lessened or subsided, we may continue to experience adverse impacts on our business and financial performance as a result of its global economic impact.

Our strategy to increase cloud connected services may adversely affect our near-term revenue growth and results of operations.

Our leadership position has historically been derived from our products and services based on edge software technology. We have been and are continuing to develop new products and services that incorporate cloud-connected components. The design and development of new cloud-connected components will involve significant expense. Our research and development costs have greatly increased in recent years and, together with certain expenses associated with delivering our connected services, are projected to continue to escalate in the near future. We may encounter difficulties with designing, developing and releasing new cloud-connected components, as well as integrating these components with our existing hybrid technologies. These development issues may further increase costs and may affect our ability to innovate in a manner demanded by the market. As a result, our strategy to incorporate more cloud-connected components may adversely affect our revenue growth and results of operations.

Pricing pressures from our customers may adversely affect our business.

We have in the past, and may in the future experience pricing pressure from our customers, including from the strong purchasing power of major OEMs. As a developer of automotive cognitive assistance components, we have been in the past, and may be in the future, expected to quote fixed prices or be forced to accept prices with annual price reduction commitments for long-term sales arrangements or discounted reimbursements for our work. As a developer of automotive cognitive assistance components, we may be expected to quote fixed prices or be forced to accept prices with annual price reduction commitments for long-term sales arrangements or discounted reimbursements for our work. We have in the past, and may in the future encounter customers unwilling to accept the terms of our software license or non-recurring engineering agreements. Any price reductions could impact our sales and profit margins. Our future profitability will depend upon, among other things, our ability to continuously reduce the costs for our components and maintain our cost structure. Our profitability is also influenced by our success in designing and marketing technological improvements in automotive cognitive assistance systems. If we are unable to offset any price reductions in the future, our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected.

We invest effort and money seeking OEMs’ validation of our technology, and there can be no assurance that we will win or be able to renew service contracts, which could adversely affect our future business, results of operations and financial condition.

We invest effort and money from the time an OEM or a tier 1 supplier begins designing for an upcoming program to the date on which the customer chooses our technology to be incorporated directly or indirectly into one or more specific vehicle models to be produced by the customer. This selection process is known as a “design win.” We could expend our resources without success, and in the past we have not always been selected despite the investment of effort and money. After a design win, it is typically quite difficult for a product or technology that did not receive the design win to displace the winner until the customer begins a new selection process because it is very unlikely that a customer will change complex technology until a vehicle model is revamped. In addition, the company with the winning design may have an advantage with the customer going forward because of the established relationship between the winning company and such customer, which could make it more difficult for such company’s competitors to win the designs for other service contracts. Even if we have an established relationship with a customer, any failure to perform under a service

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contract or innovate in response to their feedback may neutralize our advantage with that customer. If we fail to win a significant number of customer design competitions in the future or to renew a significant number of existing service contracts, our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected. 17 If we fail to win a significant number of customer design competitions in the future or to renew a significant number of existing service contracts, our business, results of operations and financial condition would be adversely affected. Moreover, due to the evolution of our connected offerings and architecture, trending away from providing legacy infotainment and connected services and a change in our professional services pricing strategies, we expect our deferred revenue balances to decrease in the future, including due to a wind-down of a legacy connected service relationship with a major OEM, since the majority of the cash from the contract has been collected. To the extent we are unable to renew existing service contracts, such decrease could intensify. The period of time from winning a contract to implementation is long and we are subject to the risks of cancellation or postponement of the contract or unsuccessful implementation.

Our products are technologically complex and incorporate many technological innovations. Prospective customers generally must make significant commitments of resources to test and validate our products before including them in any particular vehicle model. The development cycles of our products with new customers are approximately six months to two years after a design win, depending on the customer and the complexity of the product. These development cycles result in us investing our resources prior to realizing any revenues from the customer contracts. Further, we are subject to the risk that a customer cancels or postpones implementation of our technology, as well as the risk that we will not be able to implement our technology successfully. Further, our sales could be less than forecast if the vehicle model is unsuccessful, including reasons unrelated to our technology. Long development cycles and product cancellations or postponements may adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Our business could be materially and adversely affected if we lost any of our largest customers.

The loss of business from any of our major customers, whether by lower overall demand for vehicles, cancellation of existing contracts or the failure to award us new business, has in the past and could in the future have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Alternatively, there is a risk that one or more of our major customers could be unable to pay our invoices as they become due or that a customer will simply refuse to make such payments given its financial difficulties. If a major customer becomes subject to bankruptcy or similar proceedings whereby contractual commitments are subject to stay of execution and the possibility of legal or other modification, or if a major customer otherwise successfully procures protection against us legally enforcing its obligations, it is likely that we will be forced to record a substantial loss. In addition, certain of our customers that are tier 1 suppliers exclusively sell to certain OEMs, including some of our other customers. A bankruptcy of, or other significant disruption to, any of these OEMs could intensify any adverse impact on our business and results of operations.

Our operating results may fluctuate significantly from period to period, and this may cause our stock price to decline.

Our revenue and operating results may fluctuate materially in the future. These fluctuations may cause our results of operations to not meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors which would likely cause the price of our stock to decline. Factors that may contribute to fluctuations in operating results include:

given our limited customer base, the volume, timing and fulfillment of large customer contracts;
renewals of existing customer contracts and wins of new customer programs;
our mix of variable, fixed prepaid or fixed minimum purchase commitment license contracts;
increased expenditures incurred pursuing new product or market opportunities;
the timing of the receipt of royalty reports;
fluctuating sales by our customers to their end-users;
contractual counterparties failing to meet their contractual commitments to us;
introduction of new products by us or our competitors;
cybersecurity or data breaches;
reduction in the prices of our products in response to competition, market conditions or contractual obligations;
impairment of goodwill or intangible assets;
accounts receivable that are not collectible;
higher than anticipated costs related to fixed-price contracts with our customers;
change in costs due to regulatory or trade restrictions;

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expenses incurred in litigation matters, whether initiated by us or brought by third-parties against us, and settlements or judgments we are required to pay in connection with disputes;
changes in our stock compensation practices, as it relates to employee short-term incentive payments; and
general economic trends as they affect the customer bases into which we sell.

Due to the foregoing factors, among others, our financial and operating results may fluctuate significantly from period to period. Our expense levels are based in significant part on our expectations of future revenue, and we may not be able to reduce our expenses quickly to respond to near-term shortfalls in projected revenue. Therefore, our failure to meet revenue expectations would seriously harm our operating results, financial condition and cash flows.

We may not be successful with the adoption of new products.

Part of our growth strategy includes the successful introduction of new products that will rely on subscription or transactional-based revenue generation. These represent new applications and we cannot assure the introduction of these new products, the level of adoption of these new products, or how quickly they can ramp to generate meaningful revenue. The development and launch of new products will require maintaining adequate resources, such as the appropriate personnel and technology to develop such products. We may experience delays between the time we incur expenses associated with the development and launch of new products and the revenue generated from the products. In addition, anticipated demand for the new products could decrease after we have spent time and resources on the development of the new product, or our efforts may not lead to the successful introduction of new products that are competitive, which would harm our business, results of operations and financial condition.

If we are unable to attract and retain management and other key personnel, our business could be harmed.

If any of our management or other key employees were to leave, we could face substantial difficulty in hiring qualified successors and could experience a loss in productivity while any successor obtains the necessary training and experience. Although we have arrangements with some of our executive officers designed to promote retention, our employment relationships are generally at-will and we have had management and other key employees leave in the past. We cannot assure you that one or more management or other key employees will not leave in the future. The departure of key leadership personnel, in particular, can take significant knowledge and experience from the Company. While this loss of knowledge and experience can be mitigated through a successful transition, there can be no assurance that we will be successful in such efforts. If we do not successfully manage the transition of management positions, it could be viewed negatively by our customers, employees or investors and could have an adverse impact on our business and strategic direction. A change in senior management, such as we experienced over the past years, also could result in our future strategy and plans differing from those of the past. A change in senior management, such as we experienced over the past year, also could result in our future strategy and plans differing from those of the past. Further, we intend to continue to hire additional highly qualified personnel, including research and development and operational personnel, but may not be able to attract, assimilate or retain qualified personnel in the future. Any failure to attract, integrate, motivate and retain these employees could harm our business.

We depend on skilled employees and could be impacted by a shortage of critical skills.

Much of our future success depends on the continued service and availability of skilled employees, particularly with respect to technical areas. Skilled and experienced personnel in the areas where we compete are in high demand, and competition for their talents is intense. We expect that many of our key employees will receive a total compensation package that includes equity awards. New regulations or volatility in the stock market could diminish our use, and the value, of our equity awards. This would place us at a competitive disadvantage in attracting qualified personnel or force us to offer more cash compensation.

Some of our employees are represented by workers councils or unions or are subject to local laws that are less favorable to employers than the laws of the U.S.

Most of our employees in Europe are represented by workers councils or unions. Although we believe we have a good working relationship with our employees and their legal representatives, they must approve any changes in terms which may impede efforts to restructure our workforce.

Cybersecurity and data privacy incidents or breaches may damage client relations and inhibit our growth.

The confidentiality and security of our information, and that of third parties, is critical to our business. In particular, our services involve the transmission, use, and storage of customers’ and their customers’ information, which may be confidential or contain personally identifiable information. Our internal computer systems and those of our current or future service providers, contractors and consultants are vulnerable to damage from computer viruses, unauthorized access, natural disasters, terrorism, war and telecommunication and electrical failures. Attacks on information technology systems are increasing in their frequency, levels of

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persistence, sophistication and intensity, and they are being conducted by increasingly sophisticated and organized groups and individuals with a wide range of motives and expertise. The prevalent use of mobile devices also increases the risk of data security incidents.

While we maintain a broad array of information security and privacy measures, policies and practices, our networks may be breached through a variety of means, resulting in someone obtaining unauthorized access to our information, to information of our customers or their customers, or to our intellectual property; disabling or degrading service; or sabotaging systems or information. In addition, hardware, software, systems, or applications we develop or procure from third parties may contain defects in design or manufacture or other problems that could unexpectedly compromise information security. Unauthorized parties may also attempt to gain access to our systems or facilities, or those of third parties with whom we do business, through fraud or other forms of deceiving our employees, contractors, and vendors. Because the techniques used to obtain unauthorized access, or to sabotage systems, change frequently and generally are not recognized until launched against a target, we may be unable to anticipate these techniques or to implement adequate preventative measures.

While we have not experienced any material system failure, accident or security breach to date, if such an event were to occur and cause interruptions in our operations or the operations of third-party service providers, contractors and consultants, it could result in significant reputational, financial, legal, regulatory, business or operational harm. Any cybersecurity or data privacy incident or breach may result in:

loss of revenue resulting from the operational disruption;
loss of revenue or increased bad debt expense due to the inability to invoice properly or to customer dissatisfaction resulting in collection issues;
loss of revenue due to loss of customers;
material remediation costs to recreate or restore systems;
material investments in new or enhanced systems in order to enhance our information security posture;
cost of incentives offered to customers to restore confidence and maintain business relationships;
reputational damage resulting in the failure to retain or attract customers;
costs associated with potential litigation or governmental investigations, enforcement actions or regulatory fines;
claims by third parties asserting that we have breached our privacy, confidentiality, data security or similar obligations;
costs associated with any required notices of a data breach;
costs associated with the potential loss of critical business data;
difficulties enhancing or creating new products due to loss of data or data integrity issues; and
other consequences of which we are not currently aware of but will discover through the remediation process.

In addition, our liability insurance may not be sufficient in type or amount to cover us against claims related to security breaches, cyberattacks and other related breaches. While we expect to continue to incur significant costs to continuously enhance our information security measures to defend against the threat of cybercrime, there can be no assurance that such measures will successfully prevent service interruptions, data security incidents and other security breaches. Any cybersecurity or data privacy incidents could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Compliance with global privacy and data security requirements could result in additional costs and liabilities to us or inhibit our ability to collect and process data globally, and the failure to comply with such requirements could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Privacy and data security have become significant issues in the U.S., Europe and in many other jurisdictions where we conduct or may in the future conduct our operations. The regulatory framework for the collection, use, safeguarding, sharing and transfer of information worldwide is rapidly evolving and is likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. Globally, virtually every jurisdiction in which we operate has established its own data security and privacy frameworks with which we must comply.

Notably, for example, on May 25, 2018, the European General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679, which is commonly referred to as GDPR, took effect. The GDPR applies to any company established in the European Economic Area (“EEA”) as well as any company outside the EEA that collects or otherwise processes personal data in connection with the offering of goods or services to individuals in the EEA or the monitoring of their behavior. The GDPR applies to any company established in the EEA as well as any company outside the EEA that collects or otherwise processes personal data in connection with the offering of goods or services to individuals in the EEA or the monitoring of their behavior. The GDPR enhances data protection obligations for processors and controllers of personal data, including, providing information to individuals regarding data processing activities, implementing

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safeguards to protect the security and confidentiality of personal data, providing notification of data breaches, requirements to conduct data protection impact assessments and taking certain measures when engaging third-party processors. The GDPR imposes additional obligations and risk upon our business and substantially increases the penalties to which we could be subject in the event of any non-compliance. Failure to comply with the requirements of the GDPR may result in warning letters, mandatory audits, orders to cease/change the use of data, and financial penalties.

Further, European data protection laws also prohibit the transfer of personal data from the EEA and Switzerland to third countries that are not considered to provide adequate protections for personal data, including the U.S. With regard to transfers of personal data from the EEA, transfers to third countries that have not been approved as “adequate” are prohibited unless an appropriate safeguard specified by the GDPR is implemented, such as the Standard Contractual Clauses, or SCCs, approved by the European Commission or binding corporate rules, or a derogation applies. European regulators have issued recent guidance that imposes significant new diligence requirements on transferring data outside the European Union, including under an approved transfer mechanism. Where relying on the SCCs for data transfers, we may also be required to carry out transfer impact assessments to assess whether the recipient is subject to local laws which allow public authority access to personal data.

In addition, we are subject to Swiss data protection laws, including the Federal Act on Data Protection, or the FADP. While the FADP provides broad protections to personal data, on September 25, 2020, the Swiss federal Parliament enacted a revised version of the FADP, which became effective September 1, 2023. The new version of the FADP aligns Swiss data protection law with the GDPR. While the FADP provides broad protections to personal data, on September 25, 2020, the Swiss federal Parliament enacted a revised version of the FADP, which is anticipated to become effective in 2022 or the beginning of 2023. The new version of the FADP aligns Swiss data protection law with the GDPR.

Further, in addition to existing European data protection law, the European Union also is considering another draft data protection regulation. The proposed regulation, known as the Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications, or ePrivacy Regulation, would replace the current ePrivacy Directive. New rules related to the ePrivacy Regulation are likely to include enhanced consent requirements in order to use communications content and communications metadata, as well as obligations and restrictions on the processing of data from an end-user’s terminal equipment, which may negatively impact our product offerings and our relationships with our customers.

As another prominent example, we are also subject to data protection regulation in the UK. Following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on January 31, 2020 and the end of the transitional arrangements agreed between the UK and EU as of January 1, 2021, the GDPR has been incorporated into UK domestic law. United Kingdom-based organizations doing business in the European Union will need to continue to comply with the GDPR. Although the UK is regarded as a third country under the EU’s GDPR, the European Commission recognizes the UK as providing adequate protection under the EU GDPR and, therefore, transfers of personal data originating in the EU to the UK remain unrestricted. Like the EU GDPR, the UK GDPR restricts personal data transfers outside the UK to countries not regarded by the UK as providing adequate protection. The UK government has confirmed that personal data transfers from the UK to the EEA remain free flowing. The Information Commissioner’s Office, or ICO, has recently introduced new mechanisms for international transfers of personal data originating from the UK (an International Data Transfer Agreement, or IDTA, along with a separate addendum to the EU SCCs). We will be required to implement these new safeguards when conducting restricted cross-border data transfers and doing so will require significant effort and cost.

In addition to European data protection requirements, we face a growing body of privacy and data security requirements in the United States. At the legislative level, for example, in June 2018, California enacted the CCPA, which became operative on January 1, 2020 and broadly defines personal information, gives California residents expanded privacy rights and protections, and provides for civil penalties for violations and a private right of action for data breaches. For example, in June 2018, California enacted the CCPA, which became operative on January 1, 2020 and broadly defines personal information, gives California residents expanded privacy rights and protections, and provides for civil penalties for violations and a private right of action for data breaches. Additionally, the CPRA, a ballot initiative approved in November 2020, which went into effect on January 1, 2023 significantly modified the CCPA, including by expanding consumers’ rights and establishing a new state agency that has authority to implement and enforce the CPRA. Notably, twelve other states have passed comparable legislation and many others are considering proposals for similar broad consumer privacy laws. Moreover, other states have enacted privacy laws with a more limited scope, such as the state of Washington which has enacted legislation that is focused on health privacy and a small number of states have enacted laws that target biometric privacy. Furthermore, the United States Federal Trade Commission and many state attorney generals are interpreting existing federal and state consumer protection laws as imposing standards for the online collection, use, dissemination, and security of data. In addition to European data protection requirements, the United States Federal Trade Commission and many state attorney generals are interpreting federal and state consumer protection laws as imposing standards for the online collection, use, dissemination, and security of data.

The regulatory framework governing the collection, processing, storage, use and sharing of certain information, particularly financial and other personal data, is rapidly evolving and is likely to continue to be subject to uncertainty and varying interpretations. In addition to new and strengthened laws and regulations in the U.S., European Union, and United Kingdom, many foreign jurisdictions have passed new laws, strengthened existing laws, or are contemplating new laws regulating personal data. For example, we are subject to stringent privacy and data protection requirements in many countries including Singapore and Japan. Additional jurisdictions with stringent data protection laws include Brazil and China. We also continue to see jurisdictions, such as Russia, imposing data localization laws, which under Russian laws require personal information of Russian citizens to be, among other data processing operations, initially collected, stored, and modified in Russia.

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Preparing for and complying with the evolving application of these laws has required and will continue to require us to incur substantial operational costs and may interfere with our intended business activities, inhibit our ability to expand into certain markets or prohibit us from continuing to offer services in those markets without significant additional costs. It is possible that these laws may impose, or may be interpreted and applied to impose, requirements that are inconsistent with our existing data management practices or the features of our services and platform capabilities. Any failure or perceived failure by us, or any third parties with which we do business, to comply with our posted privacy policies, changing consumer expectations, evolving laws, rules and regulations, industry standards, or contractual obligations to which we or such third parties are or may become subject, may result in actions or other claims against us by governmental entities or private actors, the expenditure of substantial costs, time and other resources, may cause our customers to lose confidence in our solutions, harm our reputation, expose us to litigation, regulatory investigations and resulting liabilities including reimbursement of customer costs, damages, penalties or fines imposed by regulatory agencies; and require us to incur significant expenses for remediation.

The development and use of artificial intelligence or AI (AI) presents risks and challenges that can impact our business including by posing security risks to our confidential information, proprietary information, and personal data and could give rise to legal and/or regulatory actions, damage our reputation or otherwise materially harm our business.

We develop and incorporate AI technology in certain of our products and services and plan to develop and incorporate additional AI technology in future products and services. Issues in the development and use of AI, including generative AI tools and large language models, combined with an uncertain regulatory environment, may result in reputational harm, liability, or other adverse consequences to our business operations. AI presents risks, challenges, and unintended consequences that could affect our and our customers’ adoption and use of this technology. AI algorithms and training methodologies may be flawed. Additionally, AI technologies are complex and rapidly evolving, and we face significant competition in the market and from other companies regarding such technologies. Our vendors may incorporate generative AI tools into their offerings without disclosing this use to us, and the providers of these generative AI tools may not meet existing or rapidly evolving regulatory or industry standards with respect to privacy and data protection and may inhibit our or our vendors’ ability to maintain an adequate level of service and experience. If we, our vendors, or our third-party partners experience an actual or perceived breach of privacy or security incident because of the use of AI, we may lose valuable intellectual property and confidential information and our reputation and the public perception of the effectiveness of our security measures could be harmed. Further, bad actors around the world use increasingly sophisticated methods, including the use of AI, to engage in illegal activities involving the theft and misuse of personal information, confidential information, and intellectual property. While we aim to develop and use AI responsibly and attempt to identify and mitigate ethical and legal issues presented by its use, we may be unsuccessful in identifying or resolving issues before they arise. AI-related issues, deficiencies and/or failures could (i) give rise to legal and/or regulatory actions, including with respect to proposed legislation regulating AI in jurisdictions such as the EEA, and as a result of new applications of existing data protection, privacy, intellectual property, and other laws; (ii) damage our reputation; or (iii) otherwise materially harm our business.

A significant portion of our revenues are derived, and a significant portion of our research and development activities are based, outside the United States. Our results could be harmed by economic, political, and regulatory risks associated with these international regions and foreign currency fluctuations.

Because we operate worldwide, our business is subject to risks associated with doing business internationally. We generate most of our international revenue in Europe and Asia, and we anticipate that revenue from international operations will increase in the future. In addition, some of our products are developed outside the United States. We conduct a significant portion of the development of our voice recognition and natural language understanding solutions in Canada and Germany. We also have significant research and development resources in Belgium, China, India, Italy, and the United Kingdom. We are exposed to fluctuating exchange rates of foreign currencies, including the euro, British pound, Canadian dollar, Chinese RMB, Japanese yen, Indian rupee and South Korean won. Accordingly, our future results could be harmed by a variety of factors associated with international sales and operations, including:

adverse political and economic conditions, or changes to such conditions, in a specific region or country;
trade protection measures, including tariffs and import/export controls, imposed by the United States and/or by other countries or regional authorities such as China, Canada or the European Union;
the impact on local and global economies of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union;
changes in foreign currency exchange rates or the lack of ability to hedge certain foreign currencies;
compliance with laws and regulations in many countries, including with respect to data protection, anticorruption, labor relations, tax, foreign currency, anti-competition, import, export and trade regulations, and any subsequent changes in such laws and regulations;

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geopolitical turmoil, including terrorism and war, such as the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the developing conflict between Israel and Hamas;
changing data privacy regulations and customer requirements to locate data centers in certain jurisdictions;
evolving restrictions on cross-border investment, including recent enhancements to the oversight by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States pursuant to the Foreign Investment Risk Preview Modernization Act and substantial restrictions on investment from China;
changes in applicable tax laws;
difficulties in staffing and managing operations in multiple locations in many countries;
longer payment cycles of foreign customers and timing of collections in foreign jurisdictions; and
less effective protection of intellectual property than in the United States.

Our business in China is subject to aggressive competition and is sensitive to economic, market and political conditions.

We operate in the highly competitive automotive cognitive assistance market in China and face competition from both international and smaller domestic manufacturers. We anticipate that additional competitors, both domestic and international, may seek to enter the Chinese market resulting in increased competition. Increased competition may result in price reductions, reduced margins and our inability to gain or hold market share. There have been periods of increased market volatility and moderation in the levels of economic growth in China, which resulted in periods of lower automotive production growth rates in China than those previously experienced. In addition, political tensions between China and the United States may negatively impact our ability to conduct business in China. If we are unable to grow or maintain our position in the Chinese market, the pace of growth slows or vehicle sales in China decrease, our business, results of operations and financial condition could be materially adversely affected. Government regulations and business considerations may also require us to conduct business in China through joint ventures with Chinese companies. 22 Government regulations and business considerations may also require us to conduct business in China through joint ventures with Chinese companies. Our participation in joint ventures would limit our control over Chinese operations and may expose our proprietary technologies to misappropriation by joint venture partners. The above risks, if realized, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Interruptions or delays in our services or services from data center hosting facilities or public clouds could impair the delivery of our services and harm our business.

Because our services are complex and incorporate a variety of third-party hardware and software, our services may have errors or defects that could result in unanticipated downtime for our customers and harm to our reputation and our business. We have from time to time, found defects in our services, and new errors in our services may be detected in the future. In addition, we currently serve our customers from data center hosting facilities or third-party public clouds we directly manage. Any damage to, or failure of, the systems and facilities that serve our customers in whole or in part could result in interruptions in our service. Interruptions in our service may reduce our revenue, cause us to issue credits or pay service level agreement penalties, cause customers to terminate their on-demand services, and adversely affect our renewal rates and our ability to attract new customers.

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If our goodwill or other intangible assets become impaired, our operating results could be negatively impacted.

We have significant intangible assets, including goodwill and other intangible assets, which are susceptible to valuation adjustments as a result of changes in various factors or conditions. The most significant intangible assets are goodwill, customer relationships and patents and core technologies. Customer relationships are amortized over their estimated economic lives based on the pattern of economic benefits expected to be generated from the use of the asset. Technologies and patents are amortized on a straight-line basis over their estimated useful lives. We assess the potential impairment of goodwill on an annual basis. Whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable, we will be required to assess the potential impairment of goodwill and other intangible assets. Factors that could trigger an impairment of such assets include the following:

changes in our organization or management reporting structure that could result in additional reporting units, which may require alternative methods of estimating fair values or greater disaggregation or aggregation in our analysis by reporting unit;
significant under performance relative to historical or projected future operating results;
significant changes in the strategy for our overall business;
significant negative industry or economic trends;
significant decline in our stock price for a sustained period; and
our market capitalization declining to below net book value.

During the fiscal year ended September 30, 2022, we recorded a goodwill impairment charge of $213.7 million within the Consolidated Statement of Operations. Due to the update of our multi-year target plan, we concluded that indicators of impairment were present and performed a quantitative impairment test as of September 30, 2023. Based upon the results of the impairment test, no goodwill impairment was recorded as of September 30, 2023.

Future adverse changes in these or other unforeseeable factors could result in additional impairment charges that would impact our results of operations and financial position in the reporting period identified.

Risks Relating to our Intellectual Property and Technology

Third parties have claimed and may claim in the future that we are infringing their intellectual property, and we could be exposed to significant litigation or licensing expenses or be prevented from selling our products if such claims are successful.

From time to time, we are subject to claims and legal actions alleging that we or our customers may be infringing or contributing to the infringement of the intellectual property rights of others. We may be unaware of intellectual property rights of others that may cover some of our technologies and products. If it appears necessary or desirable, we may seek licenses for these intellectual property rights. However, we may not be able to obtain licenses from some or all claimants, the terms of any offered licenses may not be acceptable to us, and we may not be able to resolve disputes without litigation. Any litigation regarding intellectual property could be costly and time-consuming and could divert the attention of our management and key personnel from our business operations. Intellectual property disputes could subject us to significant liabilities, require us to enter into royalty and licensing arrangements on unfavorable terms, prevent us from licensing certain of our products, cause severe disruptions to our operations or the markets in which we compete, or require us to satisfy indemnification commitments with our customers including contractual provisions under various arrangements. Any of these could seriously harm our business, financial condition or operations.

Unauthorized use of our proprietary technology and intellectual property could adversely affect our business and results of operations.

Our success and competitive position depend in large part on our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property rights protecting our products and services. We rely on a combination of patents, copyrights, trademarks, service marks, trade secrets, confidentiality provisions and licensing arrangements to establish and protect our intellectual property and proprietary rights. Unauthorized parties may attempt to copy or discover aspects of our products or to obtain, license, sell or otherwise use information that we regard as proprietary. Policing unauthorized use of our products is difficult and we may not be able to protect our technology from unauthorized use. Additionally, our competitors may independently develop technologies that are substantially the same or superior to our technologies and that do not infringe our rights. In these cases, we would be unable to prevent our competitors from selling or licensing these similar or superior technologies. In addition, the laws of some foreign countries do not protect our proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. Although the source code for our proprietary software is protected both as a trade secret and as a copyrighted work, litigation may be necessary to enforce our intellectual property rights, to protect our trade secrets, to determine the validity and scope of the proprietary rights of others, or to defend against claims of infringement or invalidity. Litigation, regardless of the outcome, can be very expensive and can divert management’s efforts.

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Our software products may have bugs, which could result in delayed or lost revenue, expensive correction, liability to our customers and claims against us.

Complex software products such as ours may contain errors, defects or bugs. Defects in the solutions or products that we develop and sell to our customers could require expensive corrections and result in delayed or lost revenue, adverse customer reaction and negative publicity about us or our products and services. Customers who are not satisfied with any of our products may also bring claims against us for damages, which, even if unsuccessful, would likely be time-consuming to defend, and could result in costly litigation and payment of damages. Such claims could harm our reputation, financial results and competitive position.

We may be unable to respond quickly enough to changes in technology and technological risks and to develop our intellectual property into commercially viable products.

Changes in legislative, regulatory or industry requirements or in competitive technologies may render certain of our products obsolete or less attractive to our customers, which could adversely affect our results of operations. Our ability to anticipate changes in technology and regulatory standards and to successfully develop and introduce new and enhanced products on a timely basis will be a significant factor in our ability to be competitive. There is a risk that we will not be able to achieve the technological advances that may be necessary for us to be competitive or that certain of our products will become obsolete. Moreover, restrictions on the use of our technology over the next year under the Intellectual Property Agreement which we entered into with Nuance in connection with the Spin-Off may limit our ability to adapt to technology and regulatory developments and thereby compete effectively in the market. Moreover, restrictions on the use of our technology over the next two years under the Intellectual Property Agreement which we entered into with Nuance in connection with the Spin-Off may limit our ability to adapt to technology and regulatory developments and thereby compete effectively in the market. We are also subject to the risks generally associated with new product introductions and applications, including lack of market acceptance, delays in product development and failure of products to operate properly. These risks could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

We utilize certain key technologies, content and services from, and integrate certain of our solutions with, third parties and may be unable to replace those technologies, content and services if they become obsolete, unavailable or incompatible with our solutions.

We utilize certain key technologies and content from, and/or integrate certain of our solutions with, hardware, software, services and content of third parties. Some of these vendors are also our competitors in various respects. These third-party vendors could, in the future, seek to charge us cost prohibitive fees for such use or integration or may design or utilize their solutions in a manner that makes it more difficult for us to continue to utilize their solutions, or integrate their technologies with our solutions, in the same manner or at all. Any significant interruption in the supply or maintenance of such third-party hardware, software, services or content could negatively impact our ability to offer our solutions unless and until we replace the functionality provided by this third-party hardware, software and/or content. In addition, we are dependent upon these third parties’ ability to enhance their current products, develop new products on a timely and cost-effective basis and respond to emerging industry standards and other technological changes. There can be no assurance that we would be able to replace the functionality or content provided by third-party vendors in the event that such technologies become obsolete or incompatible with future versions of our solutions or are otherwise not adequately maintained or updated. Any delay in or inability to replace any such functionality could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, delays in the release of new and upgraded versions of third-party software applications could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Risks Relating to the Spin-Off

If the Spin-Off were determined not to qualify as tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we could have an indemnification obligation to Nuance, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

On October 1, 2019, we were spun off from Nuance. Completion of the Spin-Off was conditioned on Nuance’s receipt of a written opinion from its tax counsel to the effect that the Distribution will qualify for non-recognition of gain and loss under Section 355 and related provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code.

The opinion of counsel does not address any U.S. state or local or foreign tax consequences of the Spin-Off. The opinion assumed that the Spin-Off was completed according to the terms of the Separation and Distribution Agreement and relied on the facts as stated in the Separation and Distribution Agreement, the Tax Matters Agreement, the other anci