DENVER, June 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Arrows Up, LLC, an affiliate of OmniTRAX, Inc., one of the largest privately held transportation service companies in North America, announced today that it has filed a federal complaint for patent infringement against SandBox Logistics and its owner, U.S. Silica (NYSE: SLCA), in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.
Arrows Up has been and continues to be an industry leader in last mile logistics solutions and SandBox has a history of attempting to reduce competition in the marketplace through litigation. The companies are involved in another lawsuit that SandBox filed in January 2016 in Texas District Court against Arrows Up, alleging breach of a 2014 mutual NDA.
"The complaint Arrows Up filed today has unfortunately become a necessary effort to protect our patent portfolio while we deal with the lawsuit SandBox filed against us last January," said John Allegretti, founder and CEO of Arrows Up. "While we are confident we did not breach our NDA with SandBox, the company continues to pursue frivolous trade secrets litigation with the intent of reducing competition in the marketplace when the industry needs it most. At this point, Arrows Up has no choice but to enjoin SandBox to prevent it from effectively eliminating key industry players through litigation. We are seeking to promote industry innovation and fair competition and we hope we can ultimately come to a mutual agreement that will advance collaboration and progress."
Arrows Up provides an innovative, patented last-mile containerized bin-to-blender proppant delivery solution, and is actively providing services and working with Oil Field Service Companies in three basins, with plans to be in all major basins by year's end. The innovative patented system eliminates the need for pneumatic trucks, increases truck turn times, reduces demurrage and virtually eliminates crew's exposure to silica. Arrows Up began developing its bulk material shipping containers and filed multiple U.S. patent applications starting in October 2010, well before SandBox filed its initial U.S. patent application for its containers in December 2011. The containers disclosed in the first set of Arrows Up patent applications include five major components common to both Arrows Up and SandBox's containers. Because Arrows Up is first-in-time in the eyes of the U.S. Patent Office and entitled to broader patent protection, Arrows Up believes it will prevail over SandBox in this litigation.
Arrows Up supports competition in the marketplace. Further, Arrows Up wants to collaborate with the industry to develop solutions that benefit and advance the industry. These lawsuits come at a time when exploration and production companies are experiencing tremendous growth, with frac sand use in 2017 on pace to greatly exceed its peak set in 2014. In fact, experts project industry demand for frac sand to exceed 100M tons per year in 2019. Meanwhile, the industry continues to grapple with issues related to the large-scale transport of frac sand. High levels of truck traffic and demurrage costs, long unload times, elevated levels of dust and noise and their impact on infrastructure and communities near oil and gas fields all continue to present challenges. Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations to control silica dust will take effect in 2018, requiring the industry to adopt better frac sand transport, delivery and storage mechanisms.
"To achieve U.S. energy independence, the industry requires solutions for safe, efficient and cost-effective transportation of frac sand," OmniTRAX CEO Kevin Shuba said. "OmniTRAX and Arrows Up's patent portfolio is superior to that of SandBox's and Arrows Up began developing its containers in 2010, filing multiple patent applications in October 2010. I have spoken with Bryan [Shinn, CEO of SLCA] and leadership on multiple occasions asking that they drop this case. It's baseless, bad for the industry and it's an attempt to diminish competition through litigation. Filing this complaint today is now our only way forward."
About OmniTRAX, Inc.
As one of North America's largest private railroad and transportation management companies, OmniTRAX's core capabilities range from providing management services to railroad and port services and to intermodal and industrial switching operations. Through its affiliation with The Broe Group and its portfolio of managed companies, OmniTRAX also has the unique capability of offering specialized industrial development and real estate solutions, both on and off the rail network managed by OmniTRAX. More information is available at www.omnitrax.com.
About Arrows Up, LLC.
Arrows Up, LLC began following a company's request to create better products to serve the bulk storage and transportation industry. The management and operations teams of Arrows Up have over 65 years of combined experience in the packaging and logistics industry. Our mission is to create innovative, efficient and safer solutions for the bulk storage and transportation industries. This will be accomplished by research, customer involvement and continued experimentation with materials, design and assemble concepts. More information is available at http://www.arrowsupllc.com/.
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SOURCE Arrows Up, LLC