Pressure-exchanger court case goes to Hauge

The latest round of the “pressure-exchanger wars” between inventor Leif J Hauge, his company Isobarix Inc and energy-recovery equipment manufacturer Energy Recovery Inc (ERI) has gone in favour of Hauge.

A four-week jury trial at the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, ended in early December with the acquittal of Hauge and Isobarix on all charges of misappropriation of trade secrets. ERI had claimed damages in excess of US$ 13 million, but was awarded just US$ 2,285 for intentional misrepresentation by a former employee.

ERI’s California complaint was associated with a pending lawsuit in Virginia based on the same set of facts and alleging breach of a settlement agreement from 2001, where Hauge retained ownership to future patents and was to observe a two-year non-compete order.

An order and Injunction against Hauge, issued on 25 June 2013 by the federal district court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which found that he had breached the 2001 order, was subsequently stayed in September 2013 pending review of the Court of Appeals.

Isobarix has developed and is marketing a proprietary axle-based ceramic pressure-exchanger for use in seawater reverse osmosis. The company currently has installations in Mexico, Greece and Denmark.