AMERICAN FORK, Utah, Sept. 24, 2019 /CNW/ -- On January 4, 2019, IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc. ("IBC") filed a Complaint in the Third District Court of the State of Utah, against Ucore Rare Metals, Inc. ("Ucore"), Jim McKenzie, Mark MacDonald, Randy McGillivray, and John Does I and II (collectively, the "Defendants"), seeking damages of no less than USD $20 million based on violation of common law and statutory claims, including misappropriation of IBC's trade secrets and confidential information, infringement of IBC's trademarks, unfair competition, misrepresentation of IBC's intellectual property as its own; defamation of IBC and Steven Izatt, CEO of IBC, painting IBC and Steven Izatt in a false light, tortious interference with IBC's economic relations, and unjust enrichment (the "Complaint"). See link for additional information:
On June 25, 2019, IBC filed a motion to amend with the First Amended Complaint in which it sought to add Michael Schrider, Chief Operating Officer ("COO") of Ucore, as a Defendant. See link for additional information:
Utah Jurisdiction Over Ucore COO Schrider
In a recent ruling, dated September 19, 2019, Judge Laura Scott of the Third Judicial District Court, Salt Lake County, State of Utah, stated that "…the court may have specific jurisdiction over Schrider with respect to the breach of contract claim because he consented to jurisdiction [of the Utah courts] in the NDA[.]"
Schrider signed a non-disclosure agreement ("NDA") with IBC dated December 8, 2015. Section 8 of the NDA specifically stipulates Utah law and exclusive jurisdiction in Utah:
This Agreement shall be construed and governed by the laws of the State of Utah, U.S.A. The courts of Utah, and the U.S. District Court for the State of Utah, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A. shall have exclusive jurisdiction with respect to any disputes between the parties arising out of this Agreement, and each party irrevocably consents to such exclusive jurisdiction."
IBC alleges, among other things, that Schrider traveled to Utah frequently, in his capacity as agent of Ucore, to monitor and assess IBC's technical work and gather economic and engineering data, which was then misappropriated by Ucore, Schrider and others.
Preservation of IBC's Claims
With respect to Ucore and the other Defendants (excluding Schrider), Judge Scott's ruling dismissed the Complaint, without prejudice, based solely on jurisdictional grounds. However, the ruling:
- Was not based on the merits of IBC's Complaint. In fact, there have been no rulings on the merits of the IBC/Ucore dispute by any court in any jurisdiction;
- Preserves IBC's claims, thereby allowing IBC to take further actions to enforce its rights and seek damages from Ucore and the other Defendants in other jurisdictions and/or subject to different pleadings; and
- Suggested that IBC may have claims against Ucore COO Schrider, that are enforceable in Utah courts.
Background of IBC
IBC is an award-winning provider of proprietary and innovative Molecular Recognition Technology ("MRT") products and processes, based on green chemistry and green engineering, to premier customers worldwide. IBC's SuperLig®, AnaLig® and MacroLig® products and associated processes are used in manufacturing, analytical and laboratory applications.
In 1988, IBC was founded by and named after three Brigham Young University professors: Dr. Reed M. Izatt, Dr. Jerald S. Bradshaw and Dr. James J. Christensen.
IBC is the proud sponsor of the International Izatt-Christensen Award. This Award, founded in 1991 and named after Dr. Reed M. Izatt and Dr. James J. Christensen, two of the founders of IBC, recognizes excellence in macrocyclic and supramolecular chemistry. It is known as one of the most prestigious small awards in chemistry. The Award is presented annually at the International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry ("ISMSC"). Two of the early recipients of the Award later shared the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The precursor of the ISMSC was founded by Dr. Izatt and Dr. Christensen in 1977.
A privately held Utah corporation, IBC counts among its shareholders a multi-billion dollar international manufacturing company, which has been a major customer and benefactor of IBC for over thirty (30) years. IBC has built its business upon integrity, trust and excellence and values its close association with such top-tier companies.
IBC provides proprietary, green chemistry and green engineering SuperLig® Molecular Recognition Technology products and processes worldwide. More information can be found at www.ibcmrt.com
SOURCE IBC Advanced Technologies, Inc.