Last week, Federal Judge Nicholas McHaffie awarded $277,400 in damages to Ark Innovation Technology Inc and Ark Platforms Inc (collectively “Ark”) as “damages arising from the infringement of copyright and passing off and the defendants’ profits made from the infringement of copyright.”
Defendants were both Wing Chuen Lam, aka Vincent Lam, and Matidor Technologies. Lam is pictured (left) with co-founder Sean Huang.
The judgement concludes a two-year court battle between Ark and its former co-founder, who retained a copy of the software unauthorized when he resigned.
According to McHaffie Lam later used the copy to found Matidor. Matidor is backed by Y Combinator and participated in their recent YC Summer 2021 Demo Day.
McHaffie stated that “I infer that the Matidor software continued to infringe after the June 2020 version [and] Mr. Lam’s infringement can be taken to be knowing and deliberate. I also have significant concerns with Mr. Lam’s conduct in presenting the infringing copies of Arkit as Matidor’s own product.”
Mr. McHaffie found that multiple case studies, an information sheet and a promotional video on top of the original Arkit Software were used by the defendant to create a new product and promote it on the market. That caused inevitable confusion on the marketplace, as on some occasions, the new product was referred to as a re-branded Arkit Software (now known as Fieldshare).
As the injunction states, apart from damages, Lam and Matidor are prohibited from further infringing the copyright of Ark for both the software and promotional materials.
Lam issued a public statement taking full responsibility for his actions.
“Integrity is not about not making mistakes; it’s about owning up to them. As the co-founder of Arkit, and now the CEO of Matidor, I admit for the lesser part of myself that I used remnants of my creations, but no longer owned, as a starting point, intending to build something new. I soon realized the mistake of starting off on the wrong foot and took steps to correct it. In retrospect, it would have been a better technical decision to build from scratch, especially when I never needed any of my prior work,” writes Lam.
Lam reiterated that the judgement made no finding regarding Matidor’s current operations, nor any finding of infringement by the latest Matidor.com software, which means that Matidor’s current product and services remain unaffected.