East Greenbush company settles suit over trade secrets

X-Ray Optical Systems has settled a federal lawsuit against a Russian physicist it accused of steali
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X-Ray Optical Systems has settled a federal lawsuit against a Russian physicist it accused of stealing trade secrets regarding patented X-ray guiding technology he helped develop.

The X-ray material analysis equipment manufacturer on Monday settled its year-old suit in U.S. District Court against Muradin Kumakhov, a pioneer in the field of capillary optics.

The settlement promises to end a nearly two-decade-old dispute that dates back to the founding of XOS. Kumakhov, of Moscow, has agreed to relinquish his stake in and legal challenges against XOS, though it is not clear if he will receive any monetary compensation.

Kumakhov in July countersued XOS for $40 million in damages. He accused executives of reducing his stake and role in the company after he was tricked into signing over to XOS his right to and interest in certain patent applications in the early 1990s. The East Greenbush company filed those patents with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The federal case in Albany was one of at least three XOS attempts to use the courts to prevent Kumakhov from eroding the legal coverage of its patents in Europe and the United States. A federal judge in Albany denied XOS’ motion for a permanent injunction against Kumakhov in a 1998 patent infringement suit.

XOS sued the Russian scientist in 2007 for $10 million in damages, accusing him of improperly aiding a chief competitor in Germany. Since at least 2004, he has served as a director of Unisantis GmbH, a manufacturer of analytical and medical X-ray equipment.

“We are pleased to resolve this matter in a manner that is acceptable to all parties. XOS is proud of its affiliation with Dr. Kumakhov and looks forward to putting past differences behind the parties so that XOS may focus on its underlying business,” XOS President David Gibson said in a statement.

In 1990, Kumakhov, Gibson and his father, Walter, used their polycapillary optics – made of bundles of small glass tubes – to launch XOS. The company has grown into a global provider of X-ray optics for material analysis systems, with customers including the military and petroleum-related companies. As of last year, it employed about 70.

Under the settlement agreement, Kumakhov will transfer his interest in XOS to the company. He will also withdraw all his pending litigation and put “measures in place to limit future disputes between them,” according to an XOS statement.

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