AUGUST 19, 2013 — Polarcus Limited (OSE: PLCS) today issued the following additional information on the the law suit filed against it by WesternGeco L.L.C. (See earlier story).
Following is the text of the Polarcus statement:
WesternGeco on 15 August 2013 filed a lawsuit against Polarcus US Inc and Polarcus Limited, in the United States federal court in Houston, Texas, alleging that four of WesternGeco's United States method and apparatus patents regarding control systems for marine seismic streamer steering devices (the "U.S. patents") have been infringed by Polarcus through the use of ION Geophysical Corp's DigiFIN(TM) and Lateral Controller (the "DigiFIN technology") in Polarcus's marine seismic data acquisition activities.
DigiFIN technology has on a survey by survey basis been used by Polarcus' vessels. DigiFIN technology assists in steering and positioning streamers while they are in the water. The devices are strapped on the streamers and controlled from the vessels. The total cost of the devices acquired over a three year period is in the region of USD 20 million. No Polarcus entity has used the DigiFIN technology in US territorial waters.
WesternGeco has alleged that the two Polarcus entities have willfully infringed the U.S. patents by making, offering for sale, selling, supplying and/or causing to be supplied in or from the United States products and services incorporating the DigiFin technology - or components thereof - and inducing or contributing to such conduct. WesternGeco further alleges that it has not been compensated for some or all of such alleged infringement through its litigation against ION Geophysical Corp. On this basis WesternGeco has asked the court to award WesternGeco damages adequate to compensate for Polarcus' alleged infringement of the U.S. patents together with interest and costs in an amount to be fixed by the court. WesternGeco has furthermore asked the court to enjoin the two Polarcus entities from using or offering to use or supply the DigiFIN technology or components of other systems or methods that infringes the U.S. patents. WesternGeco has demanded a jury trial.
The Polarcus entities have not received the official service of the lawsuit, but the case now has been assigned to a judge who has scheduled a preliminary hearing (dealing with scheduling matters and the like) for 4 November 2013. More detailed information concerning the schedule for the lawsuit should be available at that time.
Based on its preliminary review of the lawsuit and its allegations, Polarcus believes that it has strong and valid defenses against the claims made by WesternGeco and that the Polarcus entities' activities have not and do not infringe the U.S. patents. In addition, Polarcus believes there is a serious question whether the US court even has jurisdiction over the Company. Polarcus is confident that the lawsuit will not disrupt the activities of Polarcus operationally.