SAN FRANCISCO – Halo Space, Eos X Space Technologies Corp. and Arthur D. Little Spain were indicted Oct. 31 in Madrid on charges of unlawful discovery of the trade secrets of Spanish high-altitude balloon company Zero 2 Infinity.
The case stems from Zero 2 Infinity’s allegations that the people and organizations the company hired to raise money for its space tourism business used funds obtained from investors to establish two competing businesses based on Zero 2 Infinity’s intellectual property.
After asking for extensive documentation to share with potential investors, the individuals and organizations indicted “changed the logo in the presentations and managed to raise 1 million euros for a company that was just a website with some” computer generated imagery, Jose Mariano Lopez-Urdiales, Zero 2 Infinity founder and CEO, told SpaceNews. “They thought they could do that because Zero 2 Infinity was in financial distress, in part because we were expecting that 1 million euros to arrive.”
Halo Space denied the charges. Halo Space “is ready to take all legal actions available to defend Halo from false accusations,” the Spanish company said in a statement. “Space tourism to the stratosphere is based on aerospace technologies developed and tested for more than 60 years, such as stratospheric balloons, pressurized capsules and parachutes for descent and landing. Besides HALO Space, all the companies working on the development of space tourism systems to the stratosphere in the United States, France, and Japan are using those mature technologies, all developed decades before Zero 2 Infinity was created.”
What’s more, “Zero 2 Infinity has never had any contractual relationship with Halo Space or Arthur D Little,” according to the emailed statement.
Kamal Kharbachi Jader, Eos-X Space founder and chairman, did not respond to a request for comment.
Arthur D. Little Spain and Carlos Mira Martin, former Arthur D. Little…