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Clare Goldsberry

July 11, 2016

2 Min Read
Updated: Long-running battle between Athena and Husky comes to an end

The three-year legal battle between Husky Injection Molding Systems (Bolton, ON, Canada) and Athena Automation Ltd. (Woodbridge, ON, Canada) has finally come to an end, leaving Athena free to continue its business. On April 22, Justice Frank Newbould of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that Robert Schad, founder of Husky in 1953 and subsequently the founder of Athena in 2008 after selling Husky, found that while Schad “had breached the confidentiality agreement he had in place with Husky . . .  Athena didn’t make any material use of the information in developing its own technology,” said a news item in Canadian Plastics.

On May 27, a court in Ontario, Canada, dismissed legal actions against Athena brought by Husky, but Husky appealed. On July 7, Athena announced that Husky “has now abandoned its appeal of the judge’s decision released in April 2016 and paid a cost settlement to the defendants—Robert Schad, Athena, Stephen Mason (former General Manager of Niigon) and SIPA. Further, Husky has agreed that it is barred from appealing the decision.”

“I am glad that this stressful period is behind us, and we look forward to competing on a level playing field,” said Schad, President of Athena. “We can already see some considerable benefits of having an integrated team of mechanical and controls engineers, purchasing, IT, and patents working out of the new facility. This, and Athena’s unique product line, is already attracting significant industry interest in the form of a growing number of customer visits.”

Athena recently invested in a new 155,000-square-foot plant for just-in-time manufacturing of molding machines and automation, and is ramping up operations. Athena currently builds 150, 300 and 450 metric ton injection molding machines. The company’s existing 40,000-square-foot building houses the administrative offices including sales and customer service.

Athena explained that its “simple and flexible machine platform features energy efficiency, process repeatability and reduced space requirements.” The Athena machine platform is built for customization with options such as a stack mold carrier, multi-material injection, rotary table, cube and integrated robotics and hot runner controller.

In a separate release, Sipa SpA (Vittorio Veneto, Italy) confirmed the end of the legal battle in which it was involved, quoting Justice Newbould: “In this case, those allegations of what Sipa knew have not been proven and Husky has not argued willful blindness, which is understandable given the lack of any evidence that could support such an argument in the circumstances, for the law to now tell Sipa that it is liable for proceeding with its agreement with Athena in the face of allegations that Sipa denied from the start does not make sense and would work an injustice. In [our] view, Husky has not established that it has a claim against Sipa for breach of confidence and the action against Sipa is dismissed.”

This article was updated with a statement from Sipa SpA on July 15.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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