Lawsuit Filed Against USU In Failed Business Deal

May 27, 2014

USU and investor Alan Hall are listed as defendants in a suit filed by GeoMetWatch for conspiring to drive them out of business by stealing trade secrets.

GeoMetWatch is a Las Vegas-based company that collects and delivers weather information to forecasters. They began working with Utah State's Advanced Weather Systems Foundation and Space Dynamic's Lab in 2010. The groups collaborated to build and finance a satellite-based weather system.

The company is now suing the university, stating USU conspired with a private investor Alan Hall to steal trade secrets and drive them out of business. Hall is now president and CEO of USU's new partner company, Tempus Global Data, which was announced as the new partner in April, about same time USU severed ties with GeoMetWatch.

USU Spokesman Tim Vitale said in an email that the allegations are without merit, and USU will defend itself in court if necessary. He says, "GMW’s comments in the media have been ludicrous -- complete misrepresentations of facts. GMW failed to meet clearly communicated, written contractual deadlines on multiple occasions, so we canceled the contract.”

UPR could not reach a spokesperson for GeoMetWatch.