Thursday, 10 April 2008

Has AeroMechanical's Rival Punched Itself?

(TSX - V: AMA)
Basic Shares: 82.2 million
Fully Diluted: 90 million


Star Navigation landed on the ropes Wednesday April 09th after a U.S. court delivered a haymaker punch by dismissing Star’s patent infringement lawsuit against AeroMechanical.
But Star may have delivered another roundhouse punch to its own corporate jaw the following day through an April 10th Star press release that contained what AeroMechanical (AMA) said were two misleading statements.
In that controversial press release, Star stated that a California court “declined” AMA’s motion to dismiss Star’s patent infringement lawsuit.
Nothing could be further from the truth, AeroMechanical said in a same-day press release that followed Star’s release.
In fact, AMA pointed out that the California court granted its motion to have Star’s patent infringement lawsuit dismissed.
But there was a significant caveat in that court decision, AMA noted.
The court also ruled that the two individuals who claim to hold the patents to Star’s technology could revive a patent infringement lawsuit against AMA if those two individuals – instead of just the corporation – sued AMA.
That court caveat prompted Star to state in its April 10th press release that the two claimed patent holders – Star CEO Viraf Kapadia – and a former executive that Star fired – Hilary Vieira – would follow the court’s instructions.
“(Kapadia and Vieira) will now be added as co-plaintiffs,” the Star press release boldly stated.
Star then added:
“The patent infringement lawsuit is expected to continue following this technical correction.”
Well, hang onto your seats ladies and gentlemen because sometimes fact can be stranger than fiction.
Here's why.
Mr. Vieira followed up on that Star statement by penning a letter in which AMA says Mr. Vieira hotly denied he would lend his name to a patent infringment case against AMA.
AMA said Vieira then took one more step by filing a formal complaint to the Ontario Securities Commission alleging Star was issuing misleading statements about him.
Investors, meanwhile, felt like ping-pong balls as they bounced between the two starkly different press releases that AMA and Star issued.
To view AMA’s press release on the whole issue, please click here.