When companies in Pennsylvania and around the country acquire the rights to use proprietary technology developed by others, they often agree to make ongoing payments based on future revenues or profits. When these payments are not made or profit figures are underreported, the developers of the proprietary technology may pursue the money they believe they are owed by filing lawsuits. One such lawsuit was recently filed against a commercial drone company by a satellite imaging business.

Contract includes commissions for six years

The lawsuit was filed in North Carolina in August 2020. The parties involved are all based in the state. According to the plaintiffs, the defendants acquired satellite imaging assets from them in 2015 and agreed to pay commissions for the next six years on the sales of products and services that used the assets. The plaintiffs also claim that they are entitled to compensation for products and services that use digital terrain models, elevation data and digital surface maps.

Breach of contract and deceptive trade practices

The plaintiffs claim that the defendants used deceptive and unfair business practices and breached the contract between the two parties nine times. They accuse the defendants of misclassifying and underreporting sales, failing to properly market commissionable products and services and withholding information that would have uncovered their tortious actions. Attorneys for the plaintiffs say that the lawsuit was only filed after efforts to resolve the dispute amicably were unsuccessful.

Avoiding costly litigation

Disputes like this one often drag on for months or even years and can be ruinously expensive to litigate. When efforts to reach an amicable resolution at the negotiating table end in failure, attorneys with experience in contract disputes may advise exploring alternatives to court that take a more cooperative approach such as arbitration or mediation.