The American Chemical Society and Leadscope Inc. and its three founders have reached a settlement in their long-running intellectual property dispute. ACS, which publishes C&EN, has agreed to pay Leadscope and its three founders $22.6 million to settle and resolve all claims associated with American Chemical Society v. Leadscope Inc.
The settlement, which was announced on Oct. 5, also makes clear that all parties agree that “all right, title, interest, and ownership in the Leadscope software and products that were the subject of the litigation belong exclusively to Leadscope.”
“Each party is pleased to put an end to this long-standing dispute,” say ACS, Leadscope, and the company’s founders in a joint statement.
The case involved an initial allegation by ACS that Leadscope founders had misappropriated ACS intellectual property in order to develop a software product to compete with the society’s Chemical Abstracts Service. Leadscope then countersued, seeking damages for unfair competition, tortious interference with business relations, deceptive trade practices, and defamation.
A jury found in favor of Leadscope in 2008 on three of its claims, and an appellate court upheld the verdict in 2010. The Ohio Supreme Court weighed in last month, partially reversing the lower court ruling (C&EN, Sept. 24, page 5). The top state court overturned the defamation finding but left in place the finding of unfair competition and tortious interference.
ACS will be able to cover the settlement with “a portion of its cash and investments,” the society says in a statement. “This payment will not impact the society’s member dues; extensive products, programs, and services advancing chemistry; staffing levels; or the ability of ACS to achieve its mission,” ACS says.