Wednesday, July 07, 2010, 7/07/2010 10:27:00 AM

Ohio Federal Jury Awards Allied Erecting Over $3 Million in Trade Secrets Verdict

By Todd

The Youngstown Business Daily Journal is reporting that a federal jury has given Allied Erecting a $3.046 million verdict in a contested trade secret theft case. The verdict brings an end to a more than four-year legal battle in U.S. District Court between Allied Erecting and defendants Mark Ramun, son of Allied's president John Ramun, and Genesis Equipment & Manufacturing Inc.

After a two-week trial before U.S. Judge Peter C. Economus, the eight-member jury decided that Allied is entitled to $3.046 million in "unjust enrichment" that Genesis received because of trade secrets it used to develop a new product without Allied's consent.

The jury also found that Genesis was not liable for additional punitive damages sought by Allied, and that Allied did not suffer lost profits because of the misappropriation of trade secrets.

At the center of the dispute is a product Allied and its sister company, Allied-Gator Inc., developed called the Allied MT. The tool is an attachment the company designed, engineered and manufactured and is used in the scrapping and dismantling industry. The multi-purpose attachment allows an operator to change from a shear jaw set used to cut steel to a concrete crusher jaw set in minutes.

Between 1992 and 2001, court papers say, Mark Ramun had access to "highly confidential proprietary information and documentation" related to the Allied MT while employed at the company. Those trade secrets, Allied alleged, were given to Genesis after the company hired the younger Ramun in 2003.

Allied argued in its case that Mark Ramun kept nearly 15,000 documents that contained "a substantial array of highly confidential and proprietary information."

Allied filed its complaint in January 2006 in the U.S. Court for the Northern District of Ohio, alleging that Genesis started to sell in November 2005 its Genesis LXP, a product similar to the Allied MT.

"Genesis was able to develop, manufacture, and then market the LXP because of the confidential and proprietary information and documentation it wrongfully appropriated from Allied and Gator, by and through Ramun," the company said.

A separate federal case between Allied and Genesis that involves patent infringement is ongoing.
Allied filed in March 2008 a complaint against Genesis and its parent company, Paladin Brands LLC, asking the court to award damages and enjoining Genesis from producing its "multiple tool attachment systems." Discovery in this case is extended until September 1, because of conflicts arising out of the trade secrets case.


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