» 2014 » April

Texas Company Sues Cisco for Patent Infringement

A small data storage technology company has filed lawsuits against Cisco Systems Inc. and others in Texas federal court, claiming patent infringement.

The lawsuits were filed by Crossroads Systems Inc. against Cisco, NetApp Inc. and Quantum Corp. in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, alleging infringement of U.S. Patents 6,425,035 and 7,934,041, which are part of Crossroads’ 972 Patent Family.

Crossroads has licensed the patent family to over 40 different companies since 2001, receiving more than $60 million in revenue from licenses and settlements.

The lawsuits allege that the defendant companies have incorporated technology patented by Crossroads into their data storage systems, including storage arrays and series switches, illegally.

Crossroads said that its technology is fundamental to efficient and secure access to network data storage systems. The company stated that it always seeks to avoid litigation, but that it has a responsibility to its shareholders to pursue legal action when companies engage in unlicensed use of its patented technology.

The lawsuit is seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages. Crossroads is based in Austin and employs about 60 people. The company is led by CEO Richard K. Coleman Jr.

Crossroads also filed patent infringement lawsuits of a similar nature against Dell Inc. and other companies in November 2013.

Nigerian Oil Company Sues Rivals in Texas State Court, Alleging Tortious Interference

A Nigerian oil company filed a lawsuit in Texas state court claiming that competing companies spread false information to derail a $1 billion lease offer the company made to Chevron.

Brittania-U Nigeria Ltd. said that after its bids had been accepted by Chevron, Belema Oil Producing Ltd., Amni International Petroleum Development Co. Ltd., and principals of the companies told executives from Chevron that Brittania-U did not have the resources necessary to complete the deal. The lawsuit alleges that the companies’ actions caused Chevron to repudiate its contract with Brittania-U and sell the leases to Belema, Amni and Seplat Petroleum Development Co.

According to the lawsuit, Chevron’s cancellation of the deal with Brittania-U caused the company to lose the benefit of the contract and any future earnings from the exploration of the leases. In addition, the company claimed that its other business interests suffered due to the time spent pursuing the Chevron bidding process.

The lawsuit was filed approximately two months after a court in Nigeria issued an injunction preventing Chevron from selling the leases to the competing companies until a ruling had been issued regarding Brittania-U’s claim.

According to the suit, in June 2013, a two-stage bidding process was initiated by Chevron’s affiliate in Nigeria to sell the company’s participating interest of 40 percent in oil leases with reserves of 555 million barrels. Brittania-U’s bid of $1.6 billion won out over several other offers.

However, after Belema and Amni received rejection letters from Chevron, their officers organized a meeting in Houston with Chevron executives, where they made the false claim that Brittania-U would not be financially capable of following through with the deal, according to the lawsuit.

The complaint also alleges that the two companies spread false information to the international and Nigerian business media, attacking the credibility and financial health of Brittania-U.

Brittania-U’s bankers had stringent terms imposed on them by Chevron, but the two companies still agreed to a revised offer, and Brittania-U met the initial terms of the deal, the suit claims.

However, according to the complaint, the companies’ rivals then convinced Chevron to repudiate the contract completely, while negotiating the sale of the leases to themselves. Reportedly, the leases were sold to Belema, Amni and Seplat for $800 million.

The lawsuit alleges tortious interference, business disparagement and civil conspiracy, and the plaintiff seeks actual and exemplary damages.

Nigerian Oil Company Sues Rivals in Texas State Court, Alleging Tortious Interference

A Nigerian oil company has filed a lawsuit in Texas state court, claiming that competing companies spread false information to derail a $1 billion lease offer the company made to Chevron.

Brittania-U Nigeria Ltd. said that after its bids had been accepted by Chevron, Belema Oil Producing Ltd., Amni International Petroleum Development Co. Ltd. and principals of those companies told executives from Chevron that Brittania-U did not have the resources necessary to complete the deal. The lawsuit alleges that the companies’ actions caused Chevron to repudiate its contract with Brittania-U and sell the leases to Belema, Amni and Seplat Petroleum Development Co.

According to the lawsuit, Chevron’s cancellation of the deal with Brittania-U caused the company to lose the benefit of the contract and any future earnings from the exploration of the leases. In addition, the company claimed that its other business interests suffered due to the time spent pursuing the Chevron bidding process.

The lawsuit was filed approximately two months after a court in Nigeria issued an injunction preventing Chevron from selling the leases to the competing companies until a ruling had been issued regarding Brittania-U’s claim.

According to the suit, in June 2013, a two-stage bidding process was initiated by Chevron’s affiliate in Nigeria to sell the company’s participating interest of 40 percent in oil leases with reserves of 555 million barrels. Brittania-U’s bid of $1.6 billion won out over several other offers.

According to the lawsuit, after Belema and Amni received rejection letters from Chevron, their officers organized a meeting in Houston with Chevron executives, where they allegedly made the false claim that Brittania-U would not be financially capable of following through with the deal.

The complaint also alleges that the two companies spread false information to the international and Nigerian business media, attacking the credibility and financial health of Brittania-U.

The suit claims that Brittania-U’s bankers had stringent terms imposed on them by Chevron, but that the two companies still agreed to a revised offer. Brittania-U met the initial terms of that deal.

However, the companies’ rivals allegedly then convinced Chevron to repudiate the contract completely, while negotiating the sale of the leases to themselves. Reportedly, the leases were sold to Belema, Amni and Seplat for $800 million.

The lawsuit alleges business disparagement, civil conspiracy and tortious interference, in which a business intentionally damages the dealings and contracts of another. The plaintiff seeks actual and exemplary damages.

Royalty owners ask Texas Supreme Court to allow lawsuit to proceed against Exxon Mobil

Royalty owners have asked the Texas Supreme Court to allow litigation to move forward in their $21 million royalty lawsuit against Exxon Mobil after a new trial was granted on appeal.

The royalty owners accuse Exxon of falsely informing them that the productivity of their wells was diminishing. This allegedly caused them to sell the oil and gas interests to a different buyer for less than their true value.

The dispute has been in litigation since 1996, having already reached the Texas Supreme Court in 2009 on different issues.

The royalty owners claim that they relied on false statements by Exxon about the value of the wells when they sold the leases to another company at a reduced rate. According to the royalty owners, Exxon claimed that the wells had only two years of production left, when in reality, they had 12. When the royalty owners refused to accept less than the 50 percent royalty rate they had previously received, Exxon canceled its leases. According to court records, the royalty owners later sold their interests to another party for a 30 percent royalty rate.

Exxon argues that because the royalty owners denied Exxon’s statements about the diminished productivity of the wells, the statements could not have influenced their later decision to sell to another company at a lower price.

The royalty owners argue that Exxon is raising new arguments at too late a stage in the litigation. Furthermore, they claim, the company is relying on evidence that was not originally presented to the trial court, including evidence supporting the argument that Exxon’s representations were only opinions — and therefore should not have been relied upon by the royalty owners.

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