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Las Vegas' GeoMetWatch sues USU for intellectual property theft

Intellectual property is an important aspect of many Las Vegas businesses. The protection of this valuable information is closely guarded by management and executives, and corporate contracts will usually include provisions that help ensure confidential documents are not compromised. When companies suspect that their intellectual property has been stolen, they may choose to uphold their rights through contract litigation.

GeoMetWatch, a Las Vegas-based company, is suing Utah State University for intellectual property theft. The two entities had been in a contractual partnership to develop a weather system that was estimated to be worth $420 million to USU. The company is now alleging that the school shared trade secrets with a competitor, who then used the information to squeeze GeoMetWatch out of a business transaction.

The company’s court filing claims that the university engaged in trade secret theft, breach of contract and unfair competition. GeoMetWatch did not request specified damages, instead asking for a court to take action that will stop the business from being irreparably harmed.

In reaction to these claims, USU has stated that there were legitimate reasons for the termination of business relations with GeoMetWatch. Specifically, it cited missed deadlines on the company’s part.

Businesses often rely on contractual relationships in order to maintain important intellectual property, such as trade secrets, corporate strategies and client lists. When a contract dispute arises that places this type of information in jeopardy, the parties involved often feel that they must act quickly in order to contain the issue. Those who find themselves in such situations may wish to consult with an attorney as soon as possible.

Source: abcnews.go.com, “Las Vegas Company Sues Ex-Business Partner, USU,” Brady McCombs, May 27, 2014. 

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