Affinor Growers: Washington State Court Allows Herbal Analytics to Compete With Abattis and Phytalab
MONTREAL, CANADA–(Marketwired – Dec 30, 2014) – Affinor Growers (CSE:AFI)(1AF.F)(RSSFF) (“Affinor” or the “Corporation) wishes to advise its shareholders that a preliminary injunction was entered on December 23, 2014, by the Washington state court in King County against, among others, Herbal Analytics, LLC (HA Defendants). Notably, the preliminary injunction allows Herbal Analytics to compete with Phytalab.
The Court denied any request to impose a restriction on competition and the court refused to enjoin Herbal Analytics and it partners from competing with Abattis Bioceuticals or Phytalab.
Although the Court technically included Affinor Growers, LLC, and Nick Brusatore, in the preliminary injunction, the Court made no finding that either were involved, assisted, or encouraged anyone to breach a fiduciary duty; nor did the Court make findings that Affinor Growers, LLC or Brusatore had knowledge of, or involvement in, the receipt of Phytalab documents and information. Further, the Court noted it only had jurisdiction over the primary parties, and that Affinor Growers Inc. had not been served; the Court did not individually name Affinor Growers Inc. as an “injunction defendant”.
The injunction simply states:
- Injunction Defendants shall cease and desist from any and all use of Phytalab’s trade secrets and confidential information and documents obtained from Phytalab, including but not limited to, all materials contained in Phytalab’s 1-502 application which in turn includes but is not limited to SOPs and the Quality Assurance Plan.
- Injunction Defendants are restrained from copying, transferring, using or disclosing to any other person or entity any documentation taken from Phytalab and must either return it to Phytalab or preserve it intact. If the materials are not immediately returned, a log shall be provided that details what documentation is being retained.
- Injunction Defendants shall retain and preserve all existing documents and files, including electronic files and email messages, that mention, refer to, or are derived from Phytalab, Phytalab and Abattis’ customers, or Phytalab and Abattis’ prospective customers.
- The Court denies any request to impose a restriction on competition but does direct that Defendant Herbal Analytics shall keep a detailed, complete, and accurate accounting of its business operations.
The preliminary ruling is very early in the case, before Defendants have had the opportunity to conduct any discovery. The Court has not decided any issue on the merits; Defendants intend to vigorously defend against these claims and establish that the Plaintiffs’ claims are frivolous.
James Baxter, Herbal Analytics director of operations, stated: “Herbal Analytics was very pleased that the court refused to take any measures to prevent it from competing directly with Phytalab or Abattis.” Phytalab has contended that it developed trade secrets when some of Herbal Analytics employees worked for Phytalab, but Herbal Analytics has strongly contested these claim. Herbal Analytics has said that it plans to go forward with its business model under Washington’s legalized marijuana laws. Herbal Analytics has also stated that it is not using and has no plans to use information it obtained from Phytalab’s application with the state. “The court’s refusal to enjoin shows that the court recognizes our right to compete American free enterprise system,” explained Baxter.
Affinor Growers is a diversified publicly traded company on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the symbol (“AFI”). Affinor is focused on growing high quality crops such as romaine lettuce, spinach, strawberries and high quality medical Marijuana. Affinor is committed to becoming a pre-eminent grower, using exclusive vertical farming techniques.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
AFFINOR GROWERS INC.
“Sebastien Plouffe”, President & CEO
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