Utah Nuisance Litigation Settled
About a year ago a little supplement company in Utah called "Novex" -- a company so little that I cannot even find their website -- which sells a supplement called "Oxydrene," filed a copycat lawsuit against ChromaDex cribbing some of Elysium's bullshit New York allegations into a Utah complaint alleging similar harms.
In response, ChromaDex hired one of the world's most prestigious law firms, Sidley Austin, and fired back at Novex very hard, accusing Novex of making bullshit claims about its Oxydrene product.
Novex responded by lamely complaining that Novex could not have harmed ChromaDex because the two companies' products don't compete.
That was very funny, because, if true, it would dispose of both lawsuits at once, which would, of course, be fine.
Sidley, in its response to Novex's motion to dismiss, suggested that Novex was a practitioner of shakedown lawsuits, and that this was not a serious competitor complaint:
On behalf of Novex and its sister companies, this team of lawyers have brought many Lanham Act false advertising lawsuits against other supplement manufacturers in the past few years. See e.g., Fiber Research Int’l, LLC v. Nutrigold Inc., 2:16-cv-01251 (D. Utah), complaint filed Feb. 12, 2016; Fiber Research Int’l, LLC v. North South Science, LLC, 2:16-cv-02727 (D. Nev.), complaint filed Nov. 29, 2016; Novex Biotech, LLC v. Performix LLC, 2:19-cv-00021 (D. Utah), complaint filed Jan. 15, 2019; Novex Biotech, LLC v. Herbal Research, Inc., 0:17-cv-61863 (S.D. Fl.), complaint filed Sept. 25, 2017; Sanmedica Int’l, LLC v. Quantum Wellness Botanical Inst., LLC, 2:16-cv-00191 (D. Utah), complaint filed March 9, 2016; Sanmedica Int’l, LLC v. LA Nutrition, Inc. 3:17-cv-000965 (M.D. Tenn.), complaint filed June 21, 2017.
That litigious history tells us that Novex was hoping for a quick settlement with a modest payday; instead, they got sued back in a ferocious way. That response was a best practice by ChromaDex, and an effective way to discourage future shakedown lawsuits.
So we knew how it would end, but we did not know when.
The answer, it turns out, is today.
Novex earlier today filed a stipulated motion to dismiss the entire thing with prejudice, with both sides paying their own expenses.
Stipulated Motion to Dismiss in Utah
Whether there were any other terms to the settlement besides Novex paying its attorneys and taking nothing, we don't know, because we can't see the settlement itself.
Maybe Novex promised to mind its own business in the future, or perhaps it would write 100 times "I will not file bullshit shakedown lawsuits" in this industry, or maybe nothing.
But ChromaDex is now free from another legal entanglement, which is good news by itself, and ChromaDex accomplished this in such a way as to minimize future risk, which is even better.
FDA dispute: GONE
Covance litigation: GONE
Inter Partes Review: GONE
Novex bullshit: GONE
We'll miss Sidley; they did a good job on this case. We'll also miss Steptoe, for that matter, which did a great job on the PTAB appeal.
In May we'll finish up in California, and then later this year in New York, next year in Delaware, and that will be that -- except for maybe mopping up some bullshit appeals.
You'd almost swear we were seeing light at the end of the tunnel.