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Royal Dutch Shell Intellectual Property Pirates


By John Donovan

Last week came news of the outcome of  an “unjust enrichment” case in the US courts against Royal Dutch Shell Plc relating to alleged misuse of information disclosed in confidence to the company by the veteran American oilman, Jack J. Grynberg.

Grynberg disclosed confidential information to Shell concerning an oil and gas fields opportunity in Kazakhstan. Shell then allegedly “went around Grynberg and directly to Kazakhstan officials, cutting Grynberg out of the deal.” The extract is from a Court Opinion and Order relating to the Pricaspian Development Corporation, the company which brought the action against Royal Dutch Shell plc.

On 29 June 2010, the United States Court of Appeals confirmed a judgment of the district court, stopping the case from proceedings to trial. The arguments were of a technical nature and Grynberg may take the view that legal loop holes have allowed Shell to escape a trial in the USA. Grynberg is pursuing the matter in the EC.

For me and many other people and businesses who have had dealings with Royal Dutch Shell involving confidential disclosure of information to the oil giant, elements in the story have a very familiar ring, as will be plain from these articles:

Last week, I published another article about alleged Shell IP skulduggery:”Shell declines to comment on alleged industrial espionage targeting U.S. Navy Dept”

More will follow shortly…

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