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National Oilwell Varco Beats Mud King In Stolen Trade Secrets Case
May 18, 2015

HOUSTON – Houston-based National Oilwell Varco LP (NYSE:NOV), the worldwide designer and manufacturer of oil and gas drilling and production equipment, has won nearly $400,000 from Mud King Products Inc. after a bankruptcy judge found that Mud King paid an NOV employee to steal hundreds of NOV’s secret mud pump blueprints that Mud King was using to start manufacturing Chinese knockoffs when the scheme was uncovered.

The court ruling against Houston-based Mud King was issued in its bankruptcy proceeding, which was filed soon after NOV sued the company for trade secret theft. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Karen Brown ruled that Mud King violated the Texas Theft Liability Act and was liable for misappropriation of trade secrets, awarding $395,327 in damages and attorneys’ fees to NOV.

Mud King recently announced the conclusion of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing with a press release that did not address the court-ordered payment of nearly $400,000 that resulted from the company’s egregious misconduct as a condition of the confirmation of Mud King’s bankruptcy plan.

“We are happy to see the bankruptcy court made Mud King pay for wrongfully bribing an NOV employee and stealing NOV’s trade secrets, although we’re disappointed that Mud King’s press release to the public failed to fully explain what happened in their bankruptcy,” says John Zavitsanos, a founding partner of Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, who filed the successful lawsuit against Mud King with partner Tim Shelby and associate Monica Uddin.

The Mud King bankruptcy is In Re Mud King Products, Inc., No. 13-32101-H5-11, in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston.

Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing P.C., or AZA, is a Houston-based law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, intellectual property, and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized in Chambers USA 2015 among the best in Texas commercial law; U.S. News & World Report and The Best Lawyers in America as one of the country’s best commercial litigation firms in 2014; Law360 as a Texas Powerhouse law firm and Texas Lawyer as a 2015 Litigation Department of the Year. Read more at http://www.azalaw.com.

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