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Whelton Hiutin LLP Successful in Misappropriation of Corporate Opportunities Trial

Whelton Hiutin LLP lawyers Maureen Whelton and Ed Hiutin were recently successful in a lengthy Commercial List trial concerning the fiduciary duties owed under licensing agreements for the commercialization of intellectual property. Whelton Hiutin acted for the plaintiffs, who alleged that the defendants had breached licensing agreements for certain powder coating technologies by starting a competing business. The court ruled in favour of the plaintiffs and ordered disgorgement of profits and damages of approximately $2.5 million. The court also dismissed all of the defendants’ counterclaims. The decision addresses numerous legal issues including the enforceability of “in perpetuity” contracts, when such contracts can amount to an unenforceable restraint of trade, theft of corporate opportunities, and liability for knowing assistance of breaches of fiduciary obligations. A copy of the decision, 7868073 Canada Ltd. v. 1841978 Ontario Inc. and Sugar v. Vacuum Metallizing Limited, 2022 ONSC 4557, can be found here.