Cement-Lock v. Gas Tech. Institute, No. 05 C 0018, 2007 WL 3374401 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 8, 2007) (Pallmeyer, J.).
Judge Pallmeyer granted in part defendants’ summary judgment motion. This is a dispute over the control and use of Cement –Lock technology (the “Technology”) which decontaminated certain waste products and used the decontaminated waste as a beneficial cement additive. Plaintiffs Cement-Lock LLC and Richard Mell, a Chicago Alderman, brought this derivative action on behalf of the Cement-Lock Group (“CLG”) which owns the Technology. Plaintiffs asserted various IP claims, including Lanham Act unfair competition, deceptive trade practices and trademark infringement. This opinion focused primarily on plaintiff’s state law claims, including alleged breach of fiduciary duties. So, I will not address most of the opinion, but I will discuss the most IP-related breach of fiduciary duty allegations. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants permitted defendant Gas Technology Institute (“GTI”) to secure funding for Technology-related activities, despite defendants’ knowledge that GTI had no license to use the Technology and kept knowledge of the funding from CLG. GTI also allegedly claimed to own and have developed the Technology. The Court held that there was no written license between CLG and GTI regarding the Technology. But there was a question of fact as to whether GTI’s efforts to secure finding for the Technology was improper. Additionally, there was a question of fact as to whether GTI misrepresented its ownership or control over the Technology.