25 August 2010


Sunovia accuses EPIR of fraud, misappropriation of funds and non-performance

Last week Sunovia Energy Technologies Inc of Sarasota, FL, which is commercializing cadmium telluride on silicon (CdTe/Si) solar technology as well as LED lighting products, filed a response to a legal complaint by EPIR Technologies Inc of Bolingbrook, IL, USA, which develops infrared sensor, biosensor and solar photovoltaic products.

EPIR filed the lawsuit in a federal district court in Chicago in response to what are claimed to be multiple breaches by Sunovia of the firms' research, development and supply (RDS) agreement. EPIR says that in July, having delivered on all of its obligations, it terminated the RDS agreement for Sunovia’s various breaches, including Sunovia’s failure to make payments required under the agreement.

“EPIR initiated and worked tirelessly to amicably resolve the parties’ dispute, but ultimately they were unsuccessful when Sunovia terminated discussions,” says EPIR’s president Dr Chelva Kumar. “With this litigation, we seek to enforce EPIR’s rights," he adds. "As a shareholder in Sunovia, we are deeply concerned about the direction of Sunovia, and we will vigilantly guard our rights.”

Sunovia’s counterclaims include allegations against EPIR, CEO Dr Sivalingam Sivananthan (who founded EPIR in 1998 to develop infrared materials based on mercury cadmium telluride for US military imaging applications), and Sivananthan Laboratories Inc (an Illinois company incorporated by Sivananthan on 9 September 2009 with operations adjacent to EPIR).

Sunovia alleges that EPIR: (a) diverted funds paid by Sunovia, and then attempted to conceal them when Sunovia requested information to which it was entitled; (b) fraudulently concealed from Sunovia patent applications claiming technology developed under the agreement; and (c) attempted to destroy or appropriate Sunovia’s investment in EPIR and the joint development effort.

“Sunovia and EPIR established and agreed upon timeframes, in writing and signed by both companies, that required EPIR to deliver a 1–3MW pilot production facility in early 2010 for solar CPV cadmium telluride wafers. This date was not met by EPIR,” said Sunovia’s chairman & CEO Carl Smith earlier in June.

“We did everything within our power to resolve these issues amicably; however, it became apparent that a fair and reasonable resolution would not be possible without a legal fight,” says Smith now. “We are prepared to vigorously protect and defend Sunovia against the complaints filed by EPIR, and will continue to pursue a resolution to this matter that is in the best interest of Sunovia’s shareholders,” he adds.

“We will do everything in our power to prove such allegations to be false and pursue any and all other claims that we have against Sunovia based on its conduct and its counterclaims,” comments EPIR’s Kumar.

See related items:

Sunovia and EPIR in contract dispute

Sunovia claims CdTe solar breakthrough

Sunovia and EPIR complete closed space sublimation system

Sunovia and EPIR expanding R&D and pilot manufacturing facility

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