RENO, Nev., May 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On April 4, 2017, federal bankruptcy court Judge Bruce T. Beesley approved the sale of the USPTO-registered trademark "METALAST®" from its legal owner, Metalast International, Inc. founder David M. Semas, to MI-16 LLC (United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Nevada Case No. 13-52337-BTB). MI-16 LLC is an entity formed to manage the affairs of the more than 900 investor/members in the company formally known as Metalast International, LLC and who are now the Plaintiffs in Alexander et al v. Meiling et al, a $90 million class action lawsuit alleging, among other things, fraud, conspiracy, unjust enrichment, bad faith, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty (Nevada Federal District Court Case No. 3:16-cv-00572-MMD-VPC).
Metalast International, LLC (MILLC) was a provider of METALAST® chemical products used for corrosion control, aluminum anodizing and other metal finishing processes. The company was founded by David M. Semas in 1993 when he first put the USPTO registered METALAST® trademark into commerce. After more than a decade of R&D and testing, METALAST® branded chemicals were approved and/or specified by hundreds of leading manufacturers worldwide including many Fortune 500 companies and the US Military. The company is perhaps best known for its development in partnership with the US Navy of METALAST TCP-HF, the highly effective green chemical replacement to the very harmful anti-corrosion chemical hexavalent chromium.
Semas filed for bankruptcy in 2013 and listed the METALAST® trademark as an asset; requiring that the bankruptcy court approve any sale of the trademark. A January 2015 order issued by Judge Beesley in that proceeding barred Alexander et al defendants Dean & Madylon Meiling from using the trademark in "any form or fashion whatsoever." (PRNewsire Release dated May 1, 2015 http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/metalast-trademark-awarded-to-founder-and-settlement-agreement-approved-by-us-federal-court-300075863.html.
Ownership of the METALAST® trademark had been in dispute with the Meilings who, despite having affirmed on the record their agreement to be bound by the terms of the bankruptcy court's order, and despite the court reaffirming a second time that the order was "an absolute prohibition"--even issuing a warning of finding them in contempt--have continued to use the name in all of their business dealings with impunity.
This past January, the Meilings rejected an offer by Semas to sell the trademark as part of a settlement of yet another suit they have filed in federal court against he and his children (Nevada District Court Case No. 3:15-cv-00294-MMD-VPC). Subsequently, Marc Harris, a co-Plaintiff in Alexander et al, the appointed Representative for the 900+ member class, and Manager of MI-16, approached Semas with a proposal to purchase the trademark.
The parties entered into an agreement and submitted it for approval by Judge Beesley in the bankruptcy court in early February 2017. Despite considerable opposition to the sale by the Meilings, the court denied their motions, and in a final hearing on April 4, 2017 the court approved the sale.
The final sale documents were duly executed, and the purchasers within MI-16 LLC and the class Plaintiffs paid the agreed purchase price in full, consummating the transaction.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Las Vegas law firm of Lee, Hernandez, Landrum & Garofalo.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/federal-court-approves-sale-of-the-metalast-trademark-to-mi-16-llc-300456586.html
SOURCE MI-94 News Service