Roto-Gro Hit with Counterclaim in Patent Infringement Dispute

A case of patent infringement between an Australian company and a Canadian cannabis firm is heating up with confirmation of a response and a counterclaim.

A Canadian cannabis company is firing back at RotoGro International (ASX:RGI) with a statement of defence in the midst of a growing battle over a gardening patent infringement.

On Wednesday (December 18), RavenQuest BioMed (CSE:RQB,OTCQB:RVVQF) confirmed that it has served RotoGro with a statement of defence and counterclaim, which has been filed with the Federal Court of Canada.

RotoGro first filed a statement of patent infringement for its modular orbital gardening system against RavenQuest and other parties last month. Now, the Canadian player maintains it developed the intellectual property around the gardening system and it’s defending its right to use the machinery.

“The company strenuously denies any infringement of Roto-Gro Inc.’s alleged patent rights and has counterclaimed against Roto-Gro Inc. seeking, among other things, a declaration of invalidity of the recent patent upon which Roto-Gro, Inc. relies,” RavenQuest said in a statement.

The firm is also looking for RotoGro to cover the cost of its claims on a full indemnity basis.

The dispute between the two companies goes back to November when RotoGro filed a statement of patent infringement for its modular gardening system against RavenQuest, also naming CL2G Consulting, Synergy Solutions Management, 1052543 B.C. and William George Robinson, RavenQuest’s CEO himself.

RotoGro first received the patent for the system from the Canadian Intellectual Property Office in October, giving it exclusive rights construction and sale rights.

Adam Clode, CEO of RotoGro, previously said it was important for the company to protect its gardening system in the US and Canada since it is integral to its business plans. “We owe this duty to our shareholders, and to the company as a whole,” Clode said.

The patent in question protects “a stacked rotatable gardening system comprising numerous modular rotatable gardens being stacked vertically (i.e., one on top of the other) and horizontally (i.e., side by side), where each main frame is connected to the main frame of the other modular rotatable garden, forming system pods.”

RotoGro claims Robinson purchased two gardening systems in 2016 while operating as the sole proprietor of CL2G Consulting. At the end of 2017, Robinson began negotiations with RotoGro to obtain a licensing deal for the system, but no agreement was ever finalized.

According to the Australian firm, RavenQuest published a promotional paper using a drawing identical to RotoGro’s patented gardening system, prompting RotoGro to send the first of two cease and desist letters to RavenQuest and Robinson.

The second letter tagged RavenQuest for using the term “orbital gardens” in an advertisement, which infringes on RotoGro’s patent rights.

Following the claim, RavenQuest responded with its own statement in November, saying the claim was baseless.

RavenQuest shares have been down 8.3 percent since the beginning of the trading week and opened at C$0.11 on Wednesday.

RotoGro started the trading day at AU$0.14 before dropping to AU$0.13 near market close.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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