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EQTEC PLC - EQTEC Response to Aries Clean Energy LLC Filing

RNS Number : 2246U
EQTEC PLC
28 July 2020
 

28 July 2020

EQTEC plc

("EQTEC", the "Company" or the "Group")

 

EQTEC Response to Aries Clean Energy LLC Filing

 

Strong rejection of US patent infringement claims and

Reaffirmation of commitment to North Fork Community project

 

EQTEC plc (AIM:  EQT), a world leading technology solutions company for waste gasification-to-energy projects, announces that, further to its announcement of 13 July 2020, its attorneys, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, have issued a letter to Aries Clean Energy LLC of Franklin, Tennessee, USA ("Aries") (the "Letter"). The Letter invites Aries to withdraw all of its claims of patent infringement made on 9 July 2020 (the "Complaint").  EQTEC reiterates its absolute rejection of those claims and of Aries' anti-competitive application of legal threat to achieve undue commercial ends.

 

EQTEC has been advised that Aries has yet to legally serve its Complaint on EQTEC.  As a result, EQTEC has not formally responded to Aries' lawsuit.  Nonetheless, the Letter has been sent in order to correct misinformation in Aries' Complaint and to put Aries on notice of its potential liability and legal obligations if it does not withdraw the Complaint immediately. 

 

The Letter explains that Aries' entire Complaint relies on infringement theories that would prove the asserted patents held by Aries are invalid.  EQTEC Iberia, wholly owned subsidiary of EQTEC plc, itself developed prior art gasifiers over 15 years ago.  The exact EQTEC gasifier pictured and discussed throughout the infringement claims in Aries' Complaint was first sold by EQTEC Iberia in 2008 and is virtually identical to an even earlier EQTEC gasifier, originally sold in 2005.  The Letter also discusses evidence that Aries did not invent any of the asserted patents but instead acquired them in a bankruptcy auction for US$140,000, a package that also included other plant and equipment.  That bankruptcy auction was in 2014, nine years after EQTEC Iberia sold gasifiers that predate all of the asserted Aries patents.

 

As the Letter also explains, months before Aries filed its suit, EQTEC demonstrated to Aries, with supporting evidence, that the asserted patents are not infringed and are irrelevant to EQTEC's far different, and far superior, technology.  Despite knowing this, and after initially agreeing to business discussions to resolve these issues, Aries abruptly filed suit on the same day that EQTEC announced its institutional fundraising effort.  EQTEC continues to refute every element of Aries' allegations.  Further, having reviewed the claims in detail, EQTEC believes it has a strong case to invalidate all four of the asserted patents held by Aries. 

 

The Letter further notifies Aries regarding the substantial liability Aries may incur for pursuing patent infringement claims in bad faith.  If Aries persists in its suit, EQTEC intends to pursue its available claims and defences to protect the market from the invalid patents that Aries acquired, bring Aries' unfair competition to an end, and prevent Aries from further interfering with EQTEC's contracts and business relations.  EQTEC further intends to ask the court to declare the case exceptional and award EQTEC all of its attorneys' fees and costs incurred in defending against Aries' claims.

 

EQTEC reaffirms its commitment to the North Fork Community Power ("NFCP") development in North Fork, California, USA, to the State of California and the interests of its residents in California's Sierra.  The NFCP development is a pioneering project to reduce forest fire hazard while producing clean, renewable energy and creating permanent rural employment in the Sierra Foothill community.  Investment from the State of California and the continuing support and dedication of the local community will result in the construction and operation of a 2MW biomass plant in California's Sierra.  EQTEC is proud to support the NFCP project and is more committed than ever to providing leading clean energy technologies to California and wider international markets.

 

EQTEC has received legal counsel from Isern Patentes y Marcas of Spain and from Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton LLP and Kirkland & Ellis LLP, both of the USA.

 

Further announcements will be made in due course as appropriate.

 

ENQUIRIES

EQTEC plc

+353 21 2409 056

David Palumbo / Gerry Madden

 

 

 

Strand Hanson - Nomad & Financial Adviser

+44 20 7409 3494

James Harris / James Dance / Jack Botros

 

 

 

Arden Partners - Broker

+44 20 7614 5900

Paul Shackleton (Corporate) / Fraser Marshall (Sales)

 

 

 

Maitland/AMO - Strategic Communications & IR Adviser

+44 20 7379 5151

James Benjamin

 

 

 

IFC Advisory - Retail PR & IR Adviser

+44 20 3934 6630

Tim Metcalfe / Graham Herring / Zach Cohen

 

 

About EQTEC plc

EQTEC is a technology partner with proven proprietary and patented technology for waste-to-value applications.

 

EQTEC designs and supplies advanced gasification solutions that have a higher efficiency product offering and are modular and scalable from 2MW to 30MW.  Of particular importance is the versatility of our solutions to process over 50 different types of feedstock, including industrial waste, agricultural waste, biomass and plastics.  Our solutions produce a uniquely pure high-quality synthesis gas (syngas), that is capable of being used for the widest applications in energy, hydrogen and biofuels.

 

Proprietary technology design together with deployment and maintenance capabilities mitigate the risks when using third party equipment.  Our Technology Integration capabilities enable us to lead collaborative ecosystems that build sustainable, waste elimination and green energy infrastructure.

 

The Company is quoted on AIM, bears the Green Economy Mark awarded by the London Stock Exchange and trades as EQT. 

 

Further information on the Company can be found at www.eqtec.com 


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