On March 15, 2021, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Womble Bond Dickinson clients Nexus Technologies, Inc., Daniel Conti and Benjamin Bomer (collectively Nexus) in a patent inventorship dispute in the Western District of North Carolina. Pursuant to the complaint, Nexus alleged that Defendants Unlimited Power, Ltd. and Christopher Petrella deceived Nexus into divulging technical information regarding the design, functionality and operation of a portable renewable energy power system (“PREPS”), and thereafter used such information to file four separate patent applications naming Mr. Petrella as the sole inventor. Nexus further alleged that after doing so, the defendants wrongfully transferred the patent applications to an affiliated company, Ravensafe, Inc., that is owned by Unlimited Power’s majority shareholder, Arthur Maxwell, and that Ravensafe thereafter improperly sued Nexus for patent infringement after the patents had issued.
After a lengthy litigation and trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor or Nexus, finding that Mr. Conti and Mr. Bomer were the true inventors and owners of the patents. The jury further found that the defendants’ acts of stealing the patents and using them to sue Nexus for infringement violated North Carolina’s unfair and deceptive trade practices act (the “UDTPA”), and awarded Nexus $10,650,000 in damages. Under the UDTPA, the damages award is automatically trebled, resulting in a final award of $31,950,000.
The trial team consisted of attorneys John Morrow and Minnie Kim, Senior Research Analyst Tammy Theriot, and Legal Practice Assistants Karen Angell and Amy Slusher.