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CIVIL ACTION No. 4:14-cv-865


COMPLAINT Plaintiff, MacDermid Offshore Solutions, LLC (“MacDermid”), for its Complaint against the Defendants, Niche Products, LLC (“Niche LLC”) and Niche Products, Ltd. (“Niche Ltd.”), respectfully shows the Court as follows: NATURE OF THE ACTION 1. This is an action for patent infringement under the Patent Laws of the United

States of America, 35 U.S.C. § 1, et seq. 2. Niche LLC and Niche Ltd. have infringed one or more claims of U.S. Patent

Number 8,575,077, which was duly issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on November 5, 2013, and will continue to do so unless enjoined by this Court. PARTIES 3. MacDermid is a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of

Delaware and maintains a place of business in Pasadena, Texas.


Defendant, Niche LLC, is a limited liability company organized under the laws of

the State of Texas with its principal place of business in Texas at 10810 Katy Freeway, Suite 109, Houston, Texas 77043-5013. Niche LLC has appointed Douglas R. McCullough, 909 Fannin, Suite 3900, Houston, Texas 77010 as its agent for service of process. 5. Defendant, Niche Ltd., is a global company with headquarters located in

Manchester, England. Niche Ltd. can be served under United Kingdom and/or United States law, and pursuant to the Hague Convention. JURISDICTION AND VENUE 6. The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action pursuant to 28

U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1338(a), and 1338(b). 7. Venue is proper within this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b),

1391(c), and 1400(b). 8. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Niche Ltd. and Niche LLC because each:

(a) is registered to do business in this state, (b) transacts business in this state, (c) maintains a business location in this state, (d) engages in infringement in this state, (e) engages in wrongful acts inside this state, and/or (f) engages in wrongful acts outside this state that have caused harm in this state. Niche Ltd. and Niche LLC are also subject to the Court’s general jurisdiction, including regularly doing or soliciting business, engaging in other persistent courses of conduct, and/or deriving substantial revenue from goods and services provided to persons or entities in Texas.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND 9. In 2008, Niche Ltd. entered into an agreement with Trident Deepwater Solutions,

an entity formed in Texas and owned by two former MacDermid employees, Bradley Jeter and Michael Mahaney, to serve as a Niche Ltd. representative. 10. Niche LLC. 11. Since 1979, MacDermid has been an industry leader in the development and In September 2009, Trident Deepwater Solutions and Niche Ltd. together formed

marketing of water-based hydraulic control fluids for offshore deep water production and drilling applications. MacDermid’s dynamic chemistries are used by many oil and gas operating companies and drilling contractors, including in Texas and other locations within the United States. 12. Production control fluids are used in subsea equipment to control the functioning

of critical valves for the deep water oil extraction and transportation process. Drilling control fluids are used to operate valves in safety equipment on the ocean floor. 13. MacDermid’s Oceanic line of products has been tested to stringent environmental

acceptance criteria. They are approved for use by original equipment manufacturers, material suppliers and are specified for use by major and independent oil companies and by drilling rig operators, especially in the United States. They are recognized as the most dependable control fluids in the oil and gas industry today with field-proven history. 14. MacDermid is known for the high quality of its products and excellent customer

service. Its facilities are registered as an ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management System) certified company. Its facilities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia are also certified to ISO 14001:2004 (Environmental Management System).


MacDermid invests heavily in research and development. Its in-house research

and development teams engineer and test hydraulic fluids specifically designed to meet technological advancements in offshore exploration and production equipment, including subsea production systems, blow-out-preventer systems, motion compensator and tensioner systems, equipment flushing and testing, and long-term equipment storage. 16. As a result of these efforts, MacDermid is the market-leader in innovation in its

field. It has filed for and received numerous United States and foreign patents on its innovations and discoveries. These include U.S. Patent No. 8,575,077, invented by Ian Smith and John Kennedy (“the Smith Patent”). Exhibit A. 17. MacDermid is the sole assignee of the Smith Patent as a result of an assignment

from the inventors dated August 25, 2009 and recorded on September 24, 2009 at Reel 023278, Frame 0914 at the United States Patent Office. 18. Niche Ltd. and Niche LLC make, use, sell, offer to sell, and import a line of

aqueous hydraulic fluid products under the name “Pelagic,” including Pelagic 100, (hereinafter “Pelagic”) that competes with MacDermid’s Oceanic products. COUNT ONE – PATENT INFRINGEMENT 19. herein. 20. The composition of Pelagic meets each element of at least claim 1 and/or claim 16 Paragraphs 1 through 18 are hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth

of the Smith Patent. Niche Ltd. and Niche LLC has infringed and is still infringing the Smith Patent, including at least claim 1 and/or claim 16 of the Smith Patent, under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a) by making, using, selling, offering to sell, and/or importing Pelagic, and they will continue to do so unless enjoined by this Court.


Upon information and belief, given the narrowness of the market and the

competitive relationship of the parties, Niche Ltd. and Niche LLC have actual and/or constructive notice of the Smith Patent and their infringing activities. 22. As a result of the defendants’ infringing activity, MacDermid has suffered

monetary damages, and is entitled to an award of damages pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §§ 281 and 284. 23. MacDermid will suffer irreparable harm if this Court does not enjoin the

defendants under 35 U.S.C. § 283 from directly or indirectly infringing the claims of the Smith Patent. 24. The defendants are guilty of willful infringement entitling MacDermid to the

recovery of treble damages pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284. 25. This is an exceptional case entitling MacDermid to the recovery of its attorneys’

fees and costs under 35 U.S.C. § 285. PRAYER FOR RELIEF WHEREFORE, MacDermid respectfully prays for the following: 1. An Order enjoining the defendants, and those in active concert or participation with it, from making, using, importing, marketing, distributing, offering for sale and selling any products that infringe one or more of the claims of the Smith Patent, directly or indirectly, including, but not limited to hydraulic fluid compositions marketed by the defendants under the name Pelagic; 2. An award of money damages and/or a reasonable royalty pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284; 3. 4. Multiple damages pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284; An award of attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285;

5. 6.

Prejudgment interest; and Such other relief as this Court deems just and proper. JURY DEMAND

MacDermid requests a trial by jury of any issue so triable as of right pursuant to Rule 38(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

Dated: April 3, 2014

Respectfully submitted,

/s/ Matthew W. Caligur Matthew W. Caligur State Bar No. 24031788 Attorney In Charge Thomas Donaho State Bar No. 24078435 BAKER & HOSTETLER, L.L.P. 811 Main Street, Suite 1100 Houston, Texas 77002 Telephone: (713) 751-1600 Fax: (713) 751-1717 email:

John R. Horvack, Jr. CARMODY TORRANCE SANDAK & HENNESSEY LLP 195 Church Street New Haven, CT 06509 Telephone: (203) 784-3120 Fax: (203) 784-3199 email: (application for admission pro hac vice pending)