Volume 48, Issue 1 - January 2013

Legislation&Legal

Court Documents Detail Charges
Against Shower Door Executive

Sage Electrochromics of Faribault, Minn., filed a suit against Milpitas, Calif.-based View Inc. (formerly known as Soladigm Inc.) alleging patent infringement. The suit is based on Sage’s patents titled “Electrochromic Devices and Methods” (the ‘177 patent), and Electrochromic Devices and Methods” (the ‘610 patent).

The complaint alleges that on November 12, 2012 View announced that “its large-scale electrochromic dynamic glass product was ready for global deployment.”

“View’s dynamic glass product directly competes with Sage’s dynamic glass product in the market that Sage created,” writes the company. “On information and belief, View plans to unfairly compete in the marketplace by using Sage’s patented technology to market and sell products that infringe Sage’s intellectual property.”

Sage further alleges that View has “had knowledge of the ‘177 patent [and the ‘610 patent] prior to the filing of this complaint for patent infringement and injunctive relief, at least as a result of the numerous rounds of financing obtained by View and the attendant due diligence accompanying such financings.”

Sage is seeking an injunction against the company to cease the alleged infringement and damages with pre- and post-judgment interest.

View responded it “does not believe it has infringed any valid claim of any patent and therefore has no liability to Sage. View Dynamic Glass is manufactured using proprietary technology and processes, creating a unique product that is being well received by customers.”

briefly …
Andrew Shepherd, a former ASI Ltd. employee who filed suit in early 2012 against the company alleging that he and about 200 of his co-workers were terminated from the Whitestown, Ind.-based company upon its closing without proper notification is seeking to add two additional defendants, S & S Racing LLC and Winton Development, alleging that they should be held jointly and severally liable for alleged violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.

Vitro Seeks to Recover $1.6 Billion in Damages
Vitro has initiated a process in a Mexican court aimed at recovering close to $1.6 billion USD in damages resulting from lawsuits which it claims placed the company and 17 subsidiaries into involuntary bankruptcy, later dismissed on appeal. The Mexican glassmaker completed a bankruptcy restructuring plan in Mexico in February 2012 and enforcement of the same restructuring plan was denied in the U.S. last November.

According to the Mexican restructuring plan, newly issued bonds and payments currently are held in a trust for noteholders who do not accept the Mexican plan.

“It should be noted that under the approved restructuring plan, the new bonds issued and payments made by Vitro to bondholders who opposed the restructuring were placed in a trust which stipulates that Vitro may collect from this trust the amounts that these creditors are liable for due to these actions,” says Vitro in a statement. “The funds that are exposed to these damages are Moneda, Brookville Horizons Fund, Davidson Kempner Distressed Opportunities Fund and Knighthead Master Fund.”

“Under the applicable legal framework in Nuevo Leon, the amount claimed could reach $1.59 billion [USD], which corresponds to 20 percent of the total amount claimed at the time by the so-called vulture funds from each of the companies in those proceedings,” continues Vitro in the statement.

"If they do have such agreements, we will pursue such recoveries from all relevant parties, including Aurelius and Elliott," says Claudio del Valle, chief restructuring officer of Vitro.

The Court of Appeals of the United States Fifth Circuit in New Orleans had ruled in favor of granting a motion to lift the temporary restraining orders put in place that initially prevented collection actions against Vitro and its subsidiaries.

“In view of this decision the company could be facing a unique situation, since it has two conflicting orders and therefore two markedly different obligations in both countries,” says Vitro. “The debt that could form the basis for the dissident funds' collection actions in the United States has been restructured and replaced with new debt in Mexico. Consequently the company is evaluating the financial implications of this particular situation.”

Donald C. Cutler, spokesperson for the noteholders, declined to comment.

In February 2009, the Mexico-based manufacturer defaulted on more than $1 billion in bonds. Vitro completed a Mexican court approved debt restructuring plan last February. A Texas court ruled against enforcement of the reorganization in the U.S. in June which led to the appeal decided in November. Mexican officials showed their support of the appeal by filing Amicus Curiae with the Fifth Circuit. Additionally, Mexico's Second Circuit Court in Monterrey ruled in favor of Vitro November 27, 2012, upholding the legitimacy of the company's restructuring under Mexican law. Vitro filed a petition for reconsideration of the U.S. appeal case December 13.

USG
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