Court rule in favour of Neodrill in legal dispute with Equinor
23rd June 2018
On the 22nd June 2018, the court ruled in favour of Neodrill in recent litigation between Neodrill and Equinor.
Equinor claimed that some of Neodrill’s IP were invalid, and that their use of the Cap-X well foundations was therefore lawful. Equinor installed five Cap-X foundations in the Barents sea in the summer of 2017. In Neodrill’s view, this installment was an infringement on Neodrill’s patents, and Neodrill therefore claimed damages for this illegal use. In Neodrill’s view, the preliminary injunction in May of 2017 was correct. Equinor claimed damages for costs which occurred as a result of the preliminary injunction in May 2017, which prohibited Equinor from using the Cap-X foundations.
Neodrill has always claimed that their IP is valid, and that Equinor’s Cap-X foundations are an infringement of these patents. Neodrill further claimed that Equinor has illegally misused confidential Neodrill information in relation to the design and development of Cap-X. The latter constitutes, in Neodrill’s view, a breach of good business practice and is in itself a violation of Neodrill’s proprietary rights.
The court ruled in favour of Neodrill on all counts and Equinor have been instructed to cover costs and pay damages totaling 45M NOK. Equinor have until the beginning of September 2018 to appeal this ruling.
Neodrill have had a close relationship with Equinor since 2001 when they were part of Equinor’s supplier development program. Since 2010, Equinor has been the second largest owner of Neodrill and they continue to hold these shares.