That Philly cryptofight might not be a huge deal, says Wharton professor - Technical.ly Philly

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Oct. 27, 2017 12:59 pm

That Philly cryptofight might not be a huge deal, says Wharton professor

A defamation suit, a Canadian response, an academic's dismissal: here's the latest on the legal battle over the Etherparty ICO.

The case is pending at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

(Photo by Flickr user Ajay Suresh, used under a Creative Commons license)

We have three quick updates from that Philly-based founder’s suit over allegedly stolen intellectual property and an initial coin offering (ICO).

In case you missed our last dispatch: Bryan Doreian, cofounder of El3ven, is suing Vancouver-based blockchain technology company Vanbex. Doreian claims the company stole his intellectual property and used it to set up an ICO called Etherparty, which has so far raised over a reported $30 million.

The case is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

A response from Canada

In an email sent to Technical.ly on Thursday, we got a comment from Vanbex.

“As a matter of corporate policy, we do not comment on pending litigation,” said Todd Hauptman, PR manager for the Vancouver company. “After the litigation is complete, we will have further comment.”

Hauptman also sent us two documents from the court that’s dealing with the case. Both are denials to Elev3n’s request to get a restraining order over the Etherparty ICO, which is still active. One, dated Sept. 29; the other, Oct. 3.

A defamation suit

Vanbex and its CEO, Kevin Hobbs, are suing Kip Warner, former Vanbex director of engineering who is listed as a declarant in the El3ven lawsuit on the plaintiff’s side, for defamation.

In Vanbex Group Inc. and Kevin Hobbs v. Kipling Conrad Singh Warner, publicly listed in the Vancouver Registry, Hobbs claims his former employee breached an independent contractor agreement, unlawfully solicited Vanbex’s customers and business and published “injurious falsehoods and defamation.”

We reached out to Vanbex for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

An expert’s dismissal

Wharton professor Kevin Werbach, a business and technology scholar, took a look at the case and shared a lukewarm impression.

“It sounds like a garden variety business dispute,” Werbach said. “Substitute ‘website’ for ‘ICO’ for what the defendant was supposed to build, and see if anything at all changes in the lawsuit.”

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Werback said the SEC issues pertain to the responsibilities of companies launching ICOs to their investors.

“Unless I’m missing something, this suit wouldn’t have anything to do with that,” he said.

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