DIRTT expands litigation against Falkbuilt in Texas and
CALGARY, Alberta, June 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – DIRTT Environmental Solutions Ltd. (“DIRTT”) (TSX: DRT, NASDAQ: DRTT) an interior construction company that uses proprietary software to design, manufacture and install fully customizable environments, announces that it has expanded its litigation against Falkbuilt (a company started by two of DIRTT’s founders, Mogens Smed and Barrie Loberg), and continues to aggressively pursue Smed, Loberg and Falkbuilt via four separate lawsuits across North America, as shown below.
Kevin O’Meara, Chief Executive Officer, said, “Our primary focus is on the successful execution of our strategic plan and capturing the benefits of improving construction market conditions, but we also remain firm. in our commitment to vigorously defend the value of our company, our brand and the interests of our employees, customers, channel partners, suppliers and shareholders. We are disappointed that the actions of Falkbuilt and its founders necessitated any such litigation, but we are determined to continue these actions to the fullest extent of the law.
DIRTT files new lawsuit in Texas
Today, DIRTT’s US operating subsidiary filed a federal complaint in the US District Court for the North District of Texas (Case # 3: 21-CV-1483) against Falkbuilt (the “Texas Litigation”) . Lawsuit Alleges Falkbuilt unlawfully used DIRTT’s confidential information in the United States and intentionally caused confusion in the United States for the purpose of stealing customers, opportunities and business information, in order to establish a business competitor in the American market. Among other things, the lawsuit alleges violations of US Lanham Law, the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the Federal Trade Secret Defense Act, the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and Ohio Deceptive Practices Act. In addition, the lawsuit seeks an injunction that was previously granted in Utah, which is also sought in Canada.
DIRTT continues to pursue Utah litigation
In addition to the Texas litigation, DIRTT continues to pursue its trade secret misappropriation claims against Falk Mountain States, an entity allegedly operated as the Salt Lake City “branch” of Falkbuilt, and several individuals affiliated with the branch in court. United States District Court for the District of Utah (Case No .: 1:19: CV-00144) (the “Utah Litigation”). DIRTT is currently reviewing the discovery and intends to make deposits in the near future. Falkbuilt and Smed were previously parties to the Utah litigation, but the Utah litigation judge recently ruled that it would be “more practical” for certain aspects of the case to be heard in Canada. DIRTT does not agree with this decision and intends to appeal the decision.
DIRTT seeks order compelling Smed and Loberg to attend depositions; Increases claim to $ 25 million
In Canada, DIRTT is aggressively pursuing its claims against Falkbuilt, Smed, Loberg and several other former DIRTT employees in a lawsuit filed on May 9, 2019 in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench alleging, between others, breaches of restrictive covenants; fiduciary duties; and the duties of loyalty, fidelity and confidentiality; conspiracy; and the misappropriation of confidential DIRTT information (the “Canadian Litigation”).
DIRTT recently filed a motion seeking a court order requiring numerous defendants, including Smed and Loberg, and others, to attend depositions. In addition, DIRTT is asking that the preliminary injunction previously granted in the Utah litigation be seized in Alberta, and it is seeking leave to file an amended claim bringing its damages to C $ 25 million, this which she says reflects Falkbuilt’s income to date.
U.S. patent case continues
In addition to the three lawsuits described above, DIRTT also filed a federal patent infringement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Case # 1: 20-cv-04637) against Falkbuilt. Patent Lawsuit Alleges Falkbuilt’s “EchoDome” Software Infringes Some of DIRTT’s Patents Relating to Its Proprietary ICE® software (the “US Patent Case”), one of the inventors of which was Barrie Loberg, founder of Falkbuilt and defendant in the Canadian litigation.
DIRTT is a construction process powered by technology. DIRTT uses proprietary 3D software to help design, fabricate and install fully custom interior environments. This same software provides customers with certainty of cost, schedule and outcome. With modular components and a streamlined construction process, complete interior spaces are built faster, cleaner and more sustainably. The Company works with distribution partners across North America. DIRTT trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol “DRTT” and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “DRT”.