Judge Orders Sigma Drilling Technologies to Turn Over Documents in Trade Secret Theft Lawsuit

DALLAS – Oilfield services and industrial equipment supplier Performance Pulsation Control Inc. (PPC) has obtained a court order requiring Sigma Drilling Technologies to produce previously requested internal documents and electronic files as part of a federal lawsuit filed by PPC to protect its trade secrets and confidential business data. The Feb. 13 order follows an earlier ruling by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant rejecting Sigma’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which charges that former PPC employees Justin Manley and William Garfield used PPC’s confidential information, technology and business contacts to start a competing business. The judge’s order requires Sigma to turn over a range of documents previously requested by PPC, including:

  • Communications by the defendants to PPC’s clients, customers and vendors
  • Communications related to trade secrets associated with PPC products, including CFC Kits, the Acoustic Assassin®, and Automated Charging Kits
  • Communications related to information that belongs to or is owned by PPC
  • Communications related to Sigma’s “competitive business activities” including formation documents, corporate governance documents, revenues and net profits earned, employees, and agreements with third parties.

Having secured the order to produce the requested information within 14 days, PPC is moving forward with its lawsuit seeking monetary damages and a declaratory judgment establishing that PPC is the owner of copyrights and trade secrets in use by Sigma. Sigma has tried to block our efforts to protect PPC’s products and market share, but these rulings show PPC’s lawsuit has merit and that Sigma must comply with discovery requests, said attorney John Palter of Dallas-based Palter Stokley Sims PLLC. PPC designs and manufactures a line of pulsation dampeners for pumps used in oil, gas and mining operations that protect pump components from damage and improve their efficiency, reliability and overall safety. According to the June 2017 lawsuit, despite his confidentiality agreements with PPC, Mr. Manley secretly formed Sigma during his PPC employment using PPC’s trade secrets, marketing materials and other confidential information to compete for business while he was still employed by PPC. The case is Performance Pulsation Control v Sigma Drilling Technologies et al., filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. For more information, visit http://www.pulsationcontrol.com/.

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Robert Tharp

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