Form of Non-Qualified Stock Option Award Agreement under the AudioEye, Inc. 2020 Equity Incentive Plan
2020 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN
Non-Qualified Stock Option Award Agreement
AudioEye, Inc. (the “Company”), pursuant to its 2020 Equity Incentive Plan (the “Plan”), hereby grants an Option to purchase shares of the Company’s common stock to you, the Participant named below. The terms and conditions of the Option Award are set forth in this Non-Qualified Stock Option Award Agreement (the “Agreement”), consisting of this cover page and the Terms and Conditions on the following pages, and in the Plan document, a copy of which has been provided to you. Any capitalized term that is used but not defined in this Agreement shall have the meaning assigned to it in the Plan as it currently exists or as it is amended in the future.
|Name of Participant: [_______________________]|
|Number of Shares Covered: [_______]||Grant Date: [__________], 20[__]|
|Exercise Price Per Share: $[______]||Expiration Date: [__________], 20[__]|
|Vesting and Exercise Schedule:|
Scheduled Vesting Dates
Portion of Shares as to Which
Option Becomes Vested and Exercisable
By signing below or otherwise evidencing your acceptance of this Agreement in a manner approved by the Company, you agree to all of the terms and conditions contained in this Agreement and in the Plan document. You acknowledge that you have received and reviewed these documents and that they set forth the entire agreement between you and the Company regarding your right to purchase shares of the Company’s common stock pursuant to this Option.
2020 Equity Incentive Plan
Non-Qualified Stock Option Award Agreement
Terms and Conditions
1. Non-Qualified Stock Option. This Option is not intended to be an “incentive stock option” within the meaning of Section 422 of the Internal Revenue Code and will be interpreted accordingly.
|2.||Vesting and Exercisability of Option.|
(a) Scheduled Vesting. This Option will vest and become exercisable as to the number of shares of Common Stock (“Shares”) and on the dates specified in the Vesting and Exercise Schedule on the cover page to this Agreement, so long as you remain a Service Provider on such dates. The Vesting and Exercise Schedule is cumulative, meaning that to the extent the Option has not already been exercised and has not expired or been terminated or cancelled, you or the person otherwise entitled to exercise the Option as provided in this Agreement may at any time purchase all or any portion of the Shares subject to the vested portion of the Option.
(b) Accelerated or Continued Vesting. The vesting of outstanding Options will be accelerated or continued under the circumstances provided below:
(1) Death. If your Service terminates prior to the final Scheduled Vesting Date due to your death, then all of the unvested Options shall vest as of such termination date.
(2) Disability. If your Service terminates prior to the final Scheduled Vesting Date due to your Disability, then a pro rata portion (based on the number of days during which you were a Service Provider since the most recent Scheduled Vesting Date (or since the Grant Date if there was no previous Scheduled Vesting Date) as a percentage of 365) of the Options scheduled to vest as of the next Scheduled Vesting Date shall vest as of such termination date.
(3) Change in Control. If a Change in Control occurs while you continue to be a Service Provider and prior to the final Scheduled Vesting Date, the following provisions shall apply:
(a) If, within 12 months after a Change of Control (A) described in paragraphs (1) or (2) of Section 2(g) of the Plan or (B) that constitutes a Corporate Transaction as defined in paragraph (3) of Section 2(g) of the Plan and in connection with which the surviving or acquiring entity (or its parent entity) has continued, assumed or replaced this Option, you cease to be a Service Provider due either to an involuntary termination for reasons other than Cause or a resignation for Good Reason, then all unvested Options shall immediately vest in full.
(b) If this Option is not continued, assumed or replaced in connection with a Change in Control that constitutes a Corporate Transaction, then all unvested Options shall immediately vest in full upon the occurrence of the Change in Control.
(c) For purposes of this Section 2(b)(3), this Option will be considered assumed or replaced under the circumstances specified in Section 12(b)(1) of the Plan.
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(d) In addition, vesting of this Option may be accelerated during the term of the Option under the circumstances described in Sections 12(b) and 12(c) of the Plan.
3. Expiration. This Option will expire and will no longer be exercisable at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the earliest of:
(a) The expiration date specified on the cover page of this Agreement;
(b) Upon your Termination Date if you are terminated for Cause;
(c) Upon the expiration of any applicable period specified in Sections 2 and 4 of this Agreement during which this Option may be exercised after your termination of service; or
(d) The date (if any) fixed for termination or cancellation of this Option pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Plan.
4. Service Requirement. Except as otherwise provided in Section 6(e) of the Plan or Section 2 of this Agreement, this Option may be exercised only while you continue to provide Service to the Company or any Affiliate, and only if you have continuously provided such Service since the Grant Date of this Option.
5. Exercise of Option. Subject to Section 4, the vested and exercisable portion of this Option may be exercised in whole or in part at any time during the Option term by delivering a written or electronic notice of exercise to the person or entity designated by the Company, and by providing for payment of the exercise price of the Shares being acquired and any related withholding taxes. The notice of exercise must be in a form approved by the Company and state the number of Shares to be purchased, the method of payment of the aggregate exercise price and the directions for the delivery of the Shares to be acquired, and must be signed or otherwise authenticated by the person exercising the Option. If you are not the person exercising the Option, the person submitting the notice also must submit appropriate proof of his/her right to exercise the Option.
6. Payment of Exercise Price. When you submit your notice of exercise, you must include payment of the exercise price of the Shares being purchased through one or a combination of the following methods:
(a) Cash or by promissory note;
(b) By means of a broker-assisted cashless exercise in which you irrevocably instruct your broker to deliver proceeds of a sale of all or a portion of the Shares to be issued pursuant to the exercise to the Company in payment of the exercise price of such Shares;
(c) By delivery to the Company of Shares (by actual delivery or attestation of ownership in a form approved by the Company) already owned by you that are not subject to any security interest and that have an aggregate Fair Market Value on the date of exercise equal to the exercise price of the Shares being purchased; or
(d) By authorizing the Company to retain, from the total number of Shares as to which the Option is being exercised, that number of Shares having a Fair Market Value on the date of exercise equal to the exercise price for the total number of Shares as to which the Option is being exercised.
7. Withholding Taxes. You may not exercise this Option in whole or in part unless you make arrangements acceptable to the Company for payment of any federal, state, local or foreign withholding taxes that may be due as a result of the exercise of this Option. You hereby authorize the Company (or its Affiliates) to withhold from payroll or other amounts payable to you any sums required to satisfy such withholding tax obligations, and otherwise agree to satisfy such obligations in accordance with the provisions of Section 10(b) of the Plan. You may satisfy such withholding tax obligations by delivering Shares you already own or by having the Company retain a portion of the Shares being acquired upon exercise of the Option, provided you notify the Company in advance of any exercise of your desire to pay withholding taxes in this manner. Delivery of Shares upon exercise of this Option is subject to the satisfaction of applicable withholding tax obligations.
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8. Delivery of Shares. As soon as practicable after the Company receives the notice of exercise and payment of the exercise price as provided above, and has determined that all other conditions to exercise, including satisfaction of any withholding obligations and compliance with applicable laws, have been satisfied, it shall deliver to the person exercising the Option, in the name of such person, the Shares being purchased, as evidenced by issuance of a stock certificate or certificates, electronic delivery of such Shares to a brokerage account designated by such person, or book-entry registration of such Shares with the Company’s transfer agent. The Company shall pay any original issue or transfer taxes with respect to the issue or transfer of the Shares and all fees and expenses incurred by it in connection therewith. All Shares so issued shall be fully paid and nonassessable.
9. Transfer of Option. During your lifetime, only you may exercise this Option except in the case of a transfer described below. You may not assign or transfer this Option except for (a) a transfer upon your death in accordance with your will, by the laws of descent and distribution or pursuant to a beneficiary designation submitted in accordance with Section 6(d) of the Plan, or (b) pursuant to a domestic relations order. The Option held by any such transferee will continue to be subject to the same terms and conditions that were applicable to the Option immediately prior to its transfer and may be exercised by such transferee as and to the extent that the Option has become exercisable and has not terminated in accordance with the provisions of the Plan and this Agreement.
10. No Stockholder Rights Before Exercise. Neither you nor any permitted transferee of this Option will have any of the rights of a shareholder of the Company with respect to any Shares subject to this Option until a certificate evidencing such Shares has been issued, electronic delivery of such Shares has been made to your designated brokerage account, or an appropriate book entry in the Company's stock register has been made. No adjustments shall be made for dividends or other rights if the applicable record date occurs before your stock certificate has been issued, electronic delivery of your Shares has been made to your designated brokerage account, or an appropriate book entry in the Company’s stock register has been made, except as otherwise described in the Plan.
11. Notices. Every notice or other communication relating to this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be mailed to or delivered (including electronically) to the party for whom it is intended at such address as may from time to time be designated by it in a notice mailed or delivered to the other party as herein provided. Unless and until some other address is so designated, all notices or communications by you to the Company shall be mailed or delivered to the Company, to the attention of its Chief Executive Officer, at its office at 5210 E. Williams Circle, Suite 750, Tucson, Arizona 85711, [e-mail address], and all notices or communications by the Company to you may be given to you personally or may be mailed or, if you are still a Service Provider, emailed to you at the address indicated in the Company's records as your most recent mailing or email address.
12. Additional Provisions.
(a) No Right to Continued Service. This Agreement does not give you a right to continued service with the Company or any Affiliate, and the Company or any such Affiliate may terminate your Service at any time and otherwise deal with you without regard to the effect it may have upon you under this Agreement.
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(b) Governing Plan Document. This Agreement and Option are subject to all the provisions of the Plan, and to all interpretations, rules and regulations which may, from time to time, be adopted and promulgated by the Committee pursuant to the Plan. If there is any conflict between the provisions of this Agreement and the Plan, the provisions of the Plan will govern.
(c) Governing of Law. This Agreement, the parties’ performance hereunder, and the relationship between them shall be governed by, construed, and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware, without giving effect to the choice of law principles thereof.
(d) Severability. The provisions of this Agreement shall be severable and if any provision of this Agreement is found by any court to be unenforceable, in whole or in part, the remainder of this Agreement shall nevertheless be enforceable and binding on the parties. You also agree that any trier of fact may modify any invalid, overbroad or unenforceable provision of this Agreement so that such provision, as modified, is valid and enforceable under applicable law.
(e) Binding Effect. This Agreement will be binding in all respects on your heirs, representatives, successors and assigns, and on the successors and assigns of the Company.
(f) Other Agreements. You agree that in connection with the exercise of this Option, you will execute such documents as may be necessary to become a party to any stockholder, voting or similar agreements as the Company may require.
(g) Compensation Recovery Policy. To the extent that any compensation paid or payable pursuant to this Agreement is considered “incentive-based compensation” within the meaning and subject to the requirements of Section 10D of the Exchange Act, such compensation shall be subject to potential forfeiture or recovery by the Company in accordance with any compensation recovery policy adopted by the Board or any committee thereof in response to the requirements of Section 10D of the Exchange Act and any implementing rules and regulations thereunder adopted by the SEC or any national securities exchange on which the Common Stock is then listed. This Agreement may be unilaterally amended by the Company to comply with any such compensation recovery policy.
(h) Electronic Delivery and Acceptance. The Company may deliver any documents related to this Option Award by electronic means and request your acceptance of this Agreement by electronic means. You hereby consent to receive all applicable documentation by electronic delivery and to participate in the Plan through an on-line (and/or voice activated) system established and maintained by the Company or the Company’s third-party stock plan administrator.
By signing the cover page of this Agreement or otherwise accepting this Agreement in a manner approved by the Company, you agree to all the terms and conditions described above and in the Plan document.
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