Award winning Sydney trading-technology company, Zeptonics, has been ordered to cease using its suite of trading products in a Federal Court action brought by former colleagues.
The Federal Court’s Justice Michelle Gordon has ruled in favour of another trading-technology company, Zomojo Ltd, which claimed that its former co-managing director and head of research, Matthew Hurd, had taken the company’s technology while serving on its board.
Zomojo claimed Hurd had broken his employment contract, fiduciary obligations and directors’ duties during his time at the company, where he was employed between 2005 and February 2011. Zeptonics was established in September 2010.
Justice Gordon has ordered Zeptonics and its customers to cease all use of its trading devices and return them to Zomojo, and turn over any profits, although the figure is yet to be determined.
The ruling is a major blow for Zeptonics, which has been a rising star in the Australian financial technology industry, winning two prizes and $40,000 last October at the 2012 Tech 23 Conference for two of its low-latency network devices, ZeptoMux and ZeptoLink.
At the time, conference judges said Zeptonics was a “standout company, showing that we can create technology locally and compete globally in the IT hardware market”.
The Zeptonics extremely high-latency products are used in high-speed trading environments, and the company claimed to have the world’s fastest trading switch.
In her judgement, Justice Gordon said Hurd has been “flagrant and deplorable,” “dishonest,” and “reprehensible” in his actions in adapting Zomojo technology for Zeptonics.
Hurd has reportedly said he’d explore the appeal process, but did not respond to calls from I&T News.