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Shell Springboard: Is it safe to disclose your idea to Shell?

Shell International committed fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, conversion of intellectual property, theft of trade secrets, and tortious interference with the Deep Water Parties business relationships and prospective business relationships. (Click on the link “alleged misappropriation of the plaintiffs alleged oilfield-technology trade secrets”. )

SHELL TRAWLING FOR BUSINESS IDEAS. MAKE SURE YOU DON’T GET CAUGHT IN THEIR NET. 

By John Donovan

Shell operates a number of schemes such as Shell GameChanger and Shell Ideas360 encouraging people and businesses to disclose innovative ideas to the oil giant.

It has just kicked off its latest search for clean tech pioneers.

The obvious question arises. Can Shell be trusted not to steal ideas knowing, as it does, that most people would be frightened to take Shell on in any legal battle given its army of lawyers and unlimited financial resources.

Shell could not be trusted in the 1990’s. I successfully sued Shell UK Limited four times in the UK high courts for breach of confidence and breach of contract in regard to a series of ideas I had disclosed to Shell in strictest confidence. All were adopted without my consent A lawyer acting for Shell threatened in writing to make the litigation drawn out and difficult.

At that time, the company was totally ruthless and unscrupulous, not just with my company, but other parties who complained on similar grounds.

Shell has also been sued in more recent years in the USA and the Netherlands by James G. Wood of Preda Consultants (Deep Water Slender Wells) for “alleged misappropriation of the plaintiffs alleged oilfield-technology trade secrets“. As far as I am aware, the litigation ended in 2016 after the untimely death of Mr. Wood, a man of the highest integrity and reputation.

Hence the question in the headline. Be warned.

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2 Comments on “Shell Springboard: Is it safe to disclose your idea to Shell?”

  1. #1 John Donovan
    on May 12th, 2019 at 21:52

    Dear John Ricketts.

    The question presumably stems from the following paragraph in the article:

    Shell has also been sued in more recent years in the USA and the Netherlands by James G. Wood of Preda Consultants (Deep Water Slender Wells) for “alleged misappropriation of the plaintiffs alleged oilfield-technology trade secrets“. As far as I am aware, the litigation ended in 2016 after the untimely death of Mr. Wood, a man of the highest integrity and reputation.

    I described his death as untimely because it came completely out of the blue. I was in contact with him several times a week, receiving the last email on 14 April 2014, days before his sudden unexpected death.

    Although friends for many years, we never met.

    We had a strong common interest: Suing Shell.

    James brought proceedings against Shell in the USA for alleged IP theft.

    He was warned by his lawyers in July 2005:

    ‘Shell’s lawyers will “lie, cheat and steal” to avoid losing the case, will not settle under any circumstances, and will probably try to appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court if they lose in the local court.’

    He later instigated action against Shell in the Dutch courts, again for alleged theft of intellectual property. The litigation was still in progress at the time of his death.

    His late father, Mr. Peter Wood, was the lead plaintiff against Shell in respect of a global class action brought against Shell in the USA in respect of the Shell oil and gas reserves securities fraud. I was instrumental in arranging for Peter Wood to become lead plaintiff. The action was subsequently settled by Shell.

    I have no reason to suspect that there was anything untoward in the deaths of the father or the son, both of whom were hard-working successful businessman, James with a flair for innovation in deepwater drilling for oil company clients such as Shell.

  2. #2 John Ricketts
    on May 12th, 2019 at 08:59

    Do you have more information on James Wood’s untimely death?

    A friend From Magdalene College, Cambridge.

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