ABERDEEN oil services company Omega Completion Technology has welcomed a High Court ruling on litigation instigated by Westhill-based Red Spider Technology against it.
Red Spider is now facing a bill potentially exceeding £500,000.
The court decided that Omega did not infringe a patent held by Red Spider for water injection valve equipment and also that Omega did not infringe design rights for that equipment.
Red Spider requested permission to appeal the design rights case, but this has been initially refused by the court.
The judge also ruled the patent would be revoked. Last June, Red Spider also asserted against Omega a patent for its equalising valve tool. This involved an application by Red Spider to the court for advance disclosure of Omega materials. This application was refused by the court.
In the case of the equalising valve tool, £10,000 of costs were paid by Red Spider to Omega.
In the most recent case, costs of £330,000 stand to be claimed by Omega against Red Spider, although Red Spider could contest this.
Red Spider is now facing a bill for the total cost of the litigation estimated to be well in excess of £500,000.
Mark Buyers, Omega’s managing director, said: “We were bemused when the first writ for the water injection valve case was served. We contacted the Spiders and pointed out that we obviously did not infringe their rights, but they ignored this advice.
“They had various opportunities to back out, but they persisted.”
Red Spider chairman Mike Salter said: “We are extremely disappointed by the ruling and don’t believe Red Spider got the result it truly deserved. Red Spider invests heavily in patents and protecting its intellectual property as best it can.
“Court action is a last resort and is entered into with considerable reluctance, but we would absolutely do the same again where necessary.” Red Spider said it was business as usual and the availability of its injection valves was unaffected by the court case.
Privately-owned Omega employs 42 people at its Aberdeen office, and is also looking to expand geographically in the coming year. It has enjoyed continued growth over the last five years of around 50% year-on-year, growing turnover to more than £9million in 2009.
Omega has acquired larger premises at Kirkhill Road, Dyce, to allow expansion and will be moving from its present premises at Howe Moss Avenue, Kirkhill Industrial Estate, Dyce, by the end of next month.