Louisiana Record

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Maker of innovative roller system alleges Benton Energy stole trade secrets


By Charmaine Little | Jun 24, 2018

NEW ORLEANS – If  Cajun Services Unlimited LLC gets its way, its lawsuit filed against Benton Energy Service Company will end in the defendant being found in violation of trademark laws. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on June 14. 

Cajun alleges it developed the patented Elevator Roller Insert System (ERIS) with no assistance from the defendant. In fact, Cajun said it didn’t even notify Besco about the ERIS until after it was already created. Besco wanted to acquire the product from Cajun, but Cajun refused and instead offered to rent it to Besco through an exclusive licensing agreement.

“Besco knew at all times that the ERIS was Cajun’s confidential and proprietary trade secret information,” Cajun added in its demand for trial by jury. Still, Besco allegedly rented the ERIS from Cajun while at the same time pretending it was its own product. Cajun added its issues with Besco went further after Besco  started accumulating partial payments and overdue invoices for Cajun. Cajun subsequently ended its partnership with Besco due to late payments. It stated Besco still owes it more than $700,000 in outstanding invoices and interest as of the filing date.

The lawsuit claims Besco attempted to reverse engineer Cajun's system to make its own.

In the complaint, Cajun accused Besco of violating the Defend Trade Secrets Act, Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and Louisiana Uniform Trade Secrets Act. It also accused Besco of fraud and breach of contract under Louisiana common law.  

Cajun requested declaratory and injunctive relief when it comes to Besco’s alleged “theft and misappropriation of its confidential and proprietary trade secret ERIS tool, as well as willful infringement of its recently issued U.S. Patent,” for the ERIS, according to the lawsuit.

Cajun seeks punitive damages as well as costs. 

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