Molly English-Bowers Sep. 10, 2015, 12:35pm


An Oregon corporation is suing because it claims a former employee violated a non-compete contract.

Climax Portable Machine Tools Inc. filed the suit Aug. 3 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas against a former employee, Miguel Rubio, and his current employer, Ventil USA Inc.

According to the complaint, Rubio resigned his position with Climax on June 16. He worked as the operations and engineering leader, valve testers. On Sept. 13, 2013, the defendant signed a non-disclosure agreement in which he agreed to maintain the confidentiality of the products he designed and engineered, as well as a non-compete agreement, both good for one year after the termination date.

A month after Rubio resigned, he was seen at the Valve World conference in Houston wearing a Ventil business shirt. He told former co-workers he was involved with customer service and technical support at Ventil, areas he worked in at Climax. The plaintiff considers Ventil a competitor, and Rubio could provide them with valuable knowledge and trade secrets.

The plaintiff is suing for breach of contract, misappropriation or threatened misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of duty of good faith and loyalty, and conspiracy to breach duty of good faith and loyalty.

The plaintiff seeks a hearing for the issuance of a temporary injunction against the defendant. Climax also seeks damages, court costs and attorneys' fees.

The plaintiff's attorneys are Robert M. O'Boyle and Jana Woelfel of Strasburger & Price LLP.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number 4:15-cv-02228.

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