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Starfire, ex-employees settle trademark suit

Thursday, January 10, 2013
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— Two companies that develop polymer/ceramic technology for automotive parts have settled a trademark infringement lawsuit.

Starfire Systems and Extreme Environment Materials Solutions announced separately Monday that they settled the suit under mutually acceptable terms with no admission of liability.

Starfire, of Schenectady, filed the lawsuit against Extreme Environment Materials Solutions and former Starfire employees Herbert Armstrong and Walter Sherwood, alleging they infringed on Starfire trademarks. The lawsuit, filed in August 2011 in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of New York, also aimed to prevent the newer company from using trade secrets.

Armstrong and Sherwood run EEMS, which Armstrong started in February 2010. It is located on Geyser Road in Saratoga Springs.

“We are satisfied that both parties were able to resolve all claims and controversies relating to the matters alleged in the complaint,” Armstrong said in a statement.

EEMS makes polymers that can withstand high temperatures, as well as coatings and performance chemicals.

The settlement stops EEMS from making and marketing a product chemically similar to a Starfire product called SMP-10 and using names or logos similar to Starfire’s.

It also required EEMS to shut down an Internet domain name www.starfire.co.

U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe signed the settlement on Dec. 21.

Starfire was founded in 1988 and manufactures silicon carbide composites and ceramics used in the fields of aerospace, armor, friction materials and electronics.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this lawsuit, which will continue to ensure that our intellectual property and our trademarks are protected,” David Devor, CEO of Starfire Systems, said in a statement. “Starfire has developed and refined confidential and trade secret technologies for well over a decade that have allowed us to become innovators in our field.”

Starfire is located on Technology Drive in Schenectady but used to be in Malta. The company had financial difficulties during the recession and filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Armstrong was CEO at that time.

The company reorganized in October 2010 and U.S. Bankruptcy Court closed the company’s Chapter 11 case in March 2011.

Sherwood was formerly Starfire’s president and chief technology officer.

 
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