Transformer Protector Corporation is the manufacturer of transformer protection systems which protect electrical transformers from explosions and fire. In January of 2017, TPC brought suit against its former employee and sales representative, William Kendrick, and his company, Sentry Fast Depressurization Systems, Inc., which sells competing transformer protection systems. TPC’s lawsuit alleges, inter alia, that Sentry and Kendrick have made false and misleading statements to the industry concerning its transformer explosion protection systems, including that its systems comply with the NFPA 850 Recommendation for responding to dynamic pressure, depressurize transformer tanks within milliseconds, and activate as fast or faster than TPC’s systems. TPC’s lawsuit also asserts breach of contract, unfair competition, and tortious interference with TPC’s prospective business, and seeks assignment of a patent Kendrick filed while still employed by TPC, which he later assigned to Sentry.
The parties filed competing motions for summary judgment. TPC filed for summary judgment on all of Defendants’ counterclaims, including breach of contract, tortious interference with existing contract, and tortious interference with prospective contract. TPC also filed a motion for summary judgment on its breach of contract and declaratory judgment claim seeking assignment and ownership of Sentry’s patent. The Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on TPC’s false advertising and unfair competition claims, and also asked the Court to grant summary judgment in its favor on TPC’s breach of contract and declaratory judgment claims related to patent ownership. Following the parties arguments during a hearing on June 28, 2018, Judge Ellison granted summary judgment in TPC’s favor as to all of Defendants’ counterclaims. Judge Ellison also denied Defendants’ summary judgment motions on TPC’s false advertising and unfair competition claims. Judge Ellison reserved judgment on the parties’ competing summary judgment motions related to TPC’s claim of patent ownership. In an order and opinion issued on July 23, 2018, Judge Ellison granted TPC’s motion for summary judgment and denied Defendants’ cross-motion as to TPC’s claim of patent ownership. In that order, Judge Ellison ordered Kendrick to assign the Sentry patent to TPC.
The trial date has been set for September 4, 2018 and will be heard in Houston, TX.
TPC is represented by Paul Morico, Danny David, Natalie Alfaro Gonzales, Thomas Rooney and Amy Bergeron.
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