Jabil, a worldwide manufacturing services company, has officially filed a lawsuit against the industrial 3D printing solutions provider Essentium, and three of Jabil’s former employees and a Jabil contractor for stealing the designs for its new 3D printing system to produce a knock-off product.
Jabil filed suit last month in U.S. District Court in Tampa which relates to the commercialisation of Essentium’s High Speed Extrusion platform which Jabil believes is based on its stolen designs and wrongfully used by its ex-employees and is in direct violation of the signed confidentially agreements. According to Jabil, it has spent millions of dollars to develop the new system and this new system was launched by Essentium in a matter of one year.
In its complaint, Jabil said, “Simply put, Essentium has stolen Jabil’s trade secrets and capitalized on confidential information that Jabil invested thousands of hours over a period of years and millions of dollars to develop.”
Jabil’s former employees, Erik Gjovik, Greg Ojeda, William Jack ‘Terry’ MacNeish III and Jabil’s contractor Lars Uffhausen were involved in the project of developing the printing system named as ‘TenX’ as the system printed with speeds ten times faster than its competitors.
All three, Gjovik, Ojeda and MacNeish had visited the Jabil headquarters multiple times for discussions on the project and they have also represented Jabil in some previous collaboration discussions with Essentium. Following this discussion, MacNeish resigned from Jabil and joined Essentium Materials in September 2017. Soon after rest of the two employees and contractor, Uffhausen, and Gjovik and Ojeda as well followed and joined Essentium by late 2017. And within a year of this event, in November 2018, Essentium launched its High Speed Extrusion system, which Jabil accuses to be a result of the stolen designs.
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As per an official statement released by Jabil, “As a global leader in additive manufacturing, Jabil is committed to protecting our intellectual property in our cutting-edge 3D printer innovations. The misappropriation of our confidential designs, vendor relationships, and other trade secrets by these former employees alleged in the lawsuit necessitated Jabil to protect our substantial investment.”
Jabil has clearly mentioned that its former employees and the contractor have all helped Essentium in replicating its TenX system to launch the High Speed Extrusion system as all three of them are now credited as co-founders of Essentium. As of today, three of them remain at the company, while Ojeda is now founder and CEO of RapidNPI in Los Angeles.
The lawsuit also suggests that Gjovik, Ojeda, and MacNeish had already planned to use the TenX technology to launch their own Spin-off Company as early as 2016 then the system was still being developed.
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