Silverbrook Research hives off employees to new Memjet R&D Pty Ltd
The Australian developer of Memjet printing technology has put its entire workforce on enforced annual leave until April 23 to give itself breathing space while setting up a new company to help settle a $600 million US lawsuit.
An estimated 250 employees at Silverbrook Research have been on enforced leave since the end of March. Their employment was terminated and transferred to the new entity, which will be responsible for the future commercialisation of the Memjet project.
The new company will re employ those who accept the deal on Monday April 23. It is understood there have been a number of redundancies at the high-tech research company.
The move comes as principals, Kia Silverbrook and Janette Lee, battle allegations of fraud and misrepresentation from giant US investor, George Kaiser Family Foundation, an Oklahoma Corporation. The suit claims that among other harmful acts, Silverbrook threatened to gut the Memjet Companies of their most valuable asset – the patents and intellectual property underlying Memjet’s revolutionary printing technology.
The saga of the commercialisation of the memjet technology took a critical turn with the lodging of the suit in the USA. Silverbrook maintains it is simply part of a tussle for ownership of the memjet intellectual property.