Solexia - Cease and Desist

January 28, 2016:

Lobo Tech targets the acquisition of Solexia by Stark Industries (emits by Aspect)

Stark Tower - New York

Characters

NPCs: Ingrid Carver

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Pepper has an… appointment. A rather interesting appointment. Her acquisitions department had been looking at a tech startup in the city. Something with real promise but not nearly enough resources to get off the ground. Clean energy. Not arc reactor quality stuff but a breakthrough in photovoltiac technology that would make solar energy workable even in New York… in three to five years. With a lot of money. There had been… negotiations. But apparently her people weren't the only ones negotiating. While she'd been working Lobotech had been pursuing a more… carrot and stick approach. Carrot, we buy you out, you make a lot of money. Stick: We have a fairly good patent infringement suit based on technology we filed but never developed eight years ago. Fail to play ball, and we'll sink you.

That's making Mister Costanza a bit jumpy. He's not here today. He'd be too… well he wouldn't have anything useful to say. No today it's Ingrid Carver and her team. They're due in five minutes.


When she heard that Lobo and his ilk had been after Mr. Costanza and his company, she promptly scheduled this appointment and contacted Brinley Myers. They have five minutes. She's given her accompanying legal team a last few instructions, then offers Brinley the stack of folders and tablet she'd been carrying. "If we can get this, it'll be a major step forward for Stark Industries." She leaves it unsaid that it'd also be a good step toward stopping whatever nefarious plans Lobo has.


Brinley's arrived, dressed the part. A smart business suit, skirt and jacket, and hair pulled up in a neat bun. Lobo is of particular interest to her, and likely X-Red, because of a suspected tie-in with The Purifiers.

Taking the tablet and folder from Pepper as they move towards the meeting. "I agree, Miss Potts." the young woman agrees, ready to play the part of 'assistant'.


Miss Carver comes in with two aides who may also be lawyers. Hard to say. She has a folder under one arm. They'll stand until asked to sit. "Miss Potts. Miss Meyers." It's a formal but rather curt. "So nice to see you again."

Yeah. It's not.

"So I understand we're here to discuss the Solexia acquisition. I have to say I was surprised Stark was even bothering with such a… small fish."


Pepper Potts doesn't dignify that comment about 'small fish' with a response. Instead she just gestures to the conference table. "Please, have a seat." She'll claim the seat at the 'head' of the table, leaving spots for her legal team and Brinley.

Once everyone is seated she starts straight away. "It's come to my attention that Solexia's negotiations with Stark Industries were abruptly terminated after a threat of lawsuit was levied against Mr. Costanza regarding a number of submitted patents."


"Miss Carver." Brinley speaks quietly as the woman greets her. "A pleasure to meet you again, as well." She's professional, at least. Reaching her mind out, she lets Ingrids emotions wash over her, seeing what she might be able to sense from them.

Sliding into a chair, next to Pepper, the small brunette takes a folder from the pile, setting it at Peppers elbow before folding her hands on the tablet in front of her.


Ingrid's emotions are… not pleasant. They're not exactly unpleasant but it's not at all what Brinley is used to feeling. There's this rush of intense focus. On her paperwork. On Pepper. A hint of a thrill at something of a challenge. People don't feel like this. Or well, sometimes they do but they're unusual. It's closer to the way a dog feels when he's chasing a ball… or a fox feels when he's hunting. Predatory. But fun.

The woman and her team sit down opposite Brinley and Pepper's team leaving Pepper between them. "Have they now?" She responds mildly passing a paper to Pepper's head lawyer. "We did inform Mister Costanza that we had concerns that his technology violated our standing patents. That concern has not yet been resolved to our satisfaction."


Pepper takes a moment to open the folder that Brinley set by her arm. "I had my patent lawyers do a bit of research, comparing the patents your company owns with Mr. Costanza's patent submissions. They are very similar, yes, but being familiar enough with the technology involved, I can say with confidence that the Solexia patents will be accepted and any litigous attempts to block them will be refused." She even has the documents in the folder to prove it, should anyone try to call bullshit on her.


Brin might not be used to feeling that type of emotion, but it feels a little familiar. It feels vaguely like Nick … sort of. Not as strong and she's only really felt that when they're out in the field.

From what Brin knows of the patents and technology that Solexia has produced, there's enough difference between the two that Lobo would have a hard time holding it up in court.

Of course, Lobo could tie the whole thing up in court … and it could get expensive.

Opening the tablet, Brin taps at the screen, ostensibly looking for something. Really, she's still sensing Ingrids emotions and will let Pepper know the response that her opening gambit received.


"Do you now? I admire your confidence Miss Potts." Ingrid smiles, showing clean white teeth and motions to one of her aides who passes her another paper that she passes on. It's a copy of a C and D that's prepped to serve to Costanza this afternoon. "And if you're right it should only take, oh, a year or three to clear up."

That kind of legal battle will sink Solexia and everyone at the table, and at Solexia knows it. And if the defense fails the patens will either be up for purchase as liquidated assets or they'll go to Lobotech. Depending on how badly it fails.

Sometimes, all a predator needs to do is let his prey run while it bleeds.


Pepper Potts smiles right back at Ingrid, though her smile isn't concealing a predatory instinct. Instead, it's concealing a deep loathing of people that think they can bandy about litigation and numbers and forget that there are HUMANS behind those numbers. That kind of tactic would ruin the lives of everyone at Solexia, and it's the simple wage earners that would suffer the most. "Perhaps it would. Perhaps it wouldn't. But do you really want to find out?"

There's a polite knock at the door, and an assistant comes in and whispers something into Pepper's ear and waits for a response.


Brin finally raises her head to look at Ingrid "And if Solexia do not pay attention to that letter, Miss Carver, Lobo will have to instigate legal action." she's so quiet, but clear and understandable "It might tie Solexia up and hurt them financially, but LoboTech won't get it out of it cheaply either. And when it's proven, that it was spurious claim, you'll be required to pay Solexia's costs as well." And potentially compensation for lost earnings.

It /might/ sink Solexia. But would it sink, Stark, if Stark bought Solexia and took on the suit?


"I do not think that a judge will agree with you, Miss Meyers, that the claim is in fact spurrious." Carver turns her attention on Brinley. "Unless you have added more legal experience than mine to your list of impressive talents I shall be the judge of that. We have a patent on a very similar technology. People do not duplicate our technology in part because we defend our patents so aggressively. So if Solexia chooses not to heed our warnings or spurns our offer…" She gives a delicate one shouldered shrug which is impressive for such a solid seeming woman.

"… well then things will play out as they may. It's a dog eat dog world out there, you know. As for whether or not we really wish to find out…" Now those eyes turn to Pepper. "Try us."


Pepper listens to the assistant's words, and Brinley can likely feel when her mood goes from well-concealed loathing to almost visible 'oh shit'. She hesitates for only a fraction of a second before nodding to the young woman in response to whatever she said. God, please don't let him ruin this.


Returning her attention to Ms. Carver, she manages to maintain her completely calm demeanor despite a fair amount of inner turmoil. "I think we will, Ms. Carver. In fact," she nods to the legal team, and one of them pushes a folder toward Carver, "we've already drafted up a countersuit on Solexia's behalf."


"You know I haven't, Miss Carver." Brin does detect the change in Peppers emotions, but combined with what she's feeling from the new arrival, she can put two and two together. This might have just got interesting. "But thank you for the compliment."

Peppers response to Ingrid, has Brins dark eyes resting on the woman, waiting to see what the reaction is before saying anything else.


The doors open and steps in none other than Tony himself. Even better, he has a briefcase with him, and not the mobile suit kind.

And he's smiling. Cheshire cat style. "Good afternoon, everyone. I trust there's been an appropriate amount of feigned pleasantries and we've gotten right onto the veiled threats of legal actions?" he says, slipping into a chair on Pepper's side of the table. Next to her if possible, but anywhere will do, really.


"Oh yes. We were just getting to the part where we glare at each other coldly and insincerely tell one another to have a good day. Perhaps toss catty insults about clothes." Ingrid replies evenly not in the least amused.

"I rather doubt you have the standing to file such a suit, Miss Potts and I suspect you know that too. I suppose we'll find out if you ever dare to file that bit of fiction you have there."

Brinley can feel the tension in the room. Carver is incredibly confident and focused. And Brin can feel… not malice, but definitely aggression.


Watching Tony enter the room with an honest to god briefcase, she can't help but have one of those sinking feelings. Tony has either managed to pull off something completely brilliant, or he has done something that will completely screw them — and Solexia — over.

The legal person sitting closest to Pepper very promptly stands up and lets Tony take his seat, moving to sit on Brinley's other side.


Brin doesn't look as Tony enters, instead she maintains eye contact with Carver. She can feel it all … Tony's elation, Peppers sinking feeling and Carvers agression. Her head starts to pound just a little, but she'll give no sign of it. Not here.

"Miss Carver, have you met Mr Stark?" she asks quietly as the legal person moves. "Hello Tony."


Tony Stark finger waggles as he speaks, "Hi. Tony Stark, pleasure to meet you." If the hand is offered to shake, but if not he looks completely non-plussed as well. "Sooo..I've had a busy morning - can someone gie me a quick run down of where we're at?" he asks, glances between both parties as he sits his brief case on the table to his side.


"We were bandying about legal pleasantries. A company your Miss Potts is interested in acquiring has some… intellectual property issues to sort out before that acquisition can go through." The short version is on the papers in front of Tony of course. Solexia, a revolutionary solar power start up, either sells their equipment and research to Lobotech for what must be admitted is a fairly tidy sum if not probably what it could make if the technology pans out, or they get buried in legal fees and proceedings. Stark could of course attempt to acquire them anyway but from a purely business standpoint, doing so without first securing or settling the IP issue doesn't make much sense.

Carver glances to Brinley. "Need a drink there, dear?" It's not a term of endearment.


Tony Stark smirks, "Thanks, but no. I didn't bring a taster, and There's no flagon with a deagon to keep an eye on. Actually, what I showed up for was to end this meeting. They've been here long enough and their time is never cheap." he says, his voice going into full on Tony Snark mode. Personally, I think you should just cur your loses and go while your corporation still has solvency."


Still remains as composed as ever, even if she's mentally closing her reactions to Tony's presence off. The hint of amusement at a Danny Kaye reference does manage to slip out, though. "Perhaps it would be best if we reconvene at a later time." She really needs to know what TOny's doing here before he makes something explode in their faces. Figuratively, this time


"No thank you, Miss Carver." Brins polite and her dark eyes never leave the womans face, despite the headache that is starting. Folding her hands on the table in front of her, the brunette mutant waits for this to play out. Waits for Ingrid to accept Peppers suggestion or …. something else… Tony's got something up his sleeve, she's sure of it.


"I think you mean yours, Mister Stark." Ingrid waves to her people who rise and put papers away. "This meeting isn't costing me a thing. And I hear sales aren't what they've been in the past. Such a pity. Well, we'll be in touch." And with that LoboTech's people file out and head toward the elevator. Brin can sense anticipation and satisfaction from Carver.

She loves a good fight.


Tony Stark swerves in his chair towards the group, "Don't leave. Because I think you're going to really want to know what I know before you leave this room. But if you go..you can't like you're surprised, because I've just asked you to stay." his hands slips over to the brief cases and pops one latch..then the other. He opens it to reveal a large collection of papers, but it's the manilla file folder her reaches for and sets in front of him.


Pepper Potts watches Tony even as she moves to collect the folders in front of her. This certainly could have gone worse. Though, it's so unlike Tony to have stacks of actual dead-tree paperwork with him. What's he up to?


Of course it's costing Ingrid something. Her time here is still paid for one way or another. The woman must realise that, but Brins not going to say a word.

The anticipation she feels from the woman, sets on her edge … Ingrid might like a good fight. Brin does't.


Ingrid pauses. "I rather doubt, Mister Stark, that your asking me to stay to show me something has any legal bearing on anyhting at all, but I'll humor you. Briefly." She glances at a watch and then looks at Pepper with a look that quite eloquently says 'if this takes longer than five minutes I'm sending my squeakiest, most annoying paralegal to gather all that dead tree from you later.'. Which Brin of course… picks up on>


Tony Stark sits back and opens up the folder. He takes out the contents and double checks that they're in the proper order and all i's dotted and t's crossed, which they are. "Well," he says, sliding the sheaf forward to the middle of the table, 'what I think you need to know is that I struck a deal with the CEO, Board of Directors, and representatives of the shareholders of Solexia. They've agreed to a deal that welcomes them under the umbrellas of Stark Industries as a subsidiary - which means they enjoy all the perks, benefits, and protection that anyone else who has Stark Industry as a parent company enjoys. After a six month trial, if this proves to be beneficial to both parties, they will be officially foldend into Stark Industries as a full fledged holding." he pauses and shrugs, 'And while that I'm sure you're not at all impressed by that, I just wanted to let you know that as part of being the Stark umbrella, they enjoy the full protection and representation from the Stark Legal department. So..I would say that you can leave, but know that my team is willing to dig their heel's on this one. It also means that any action you take against Solexia is the same as taking action with Stark Industries, and my head of Legal has already informed me that they're fully prepared to dig their heels deep on this one. It also means that my company has zero problems with introducing the first prototype blueprints and patent applications associated with /our/ form of clean energy production." he finishes speaking and takes a breath, "So the ball is clearly in your court. You can leave and start preparing your case now, and we will do the same and meet in court, or things can be simply dropped here, and no further legal recourse needs to be taken. Your choice, really." he looks around, "Can someone grab me a coffee? I think that'd be really nice right about now."


Pepper Potts gets a glance at the papers when Tony opens the folder, and, yes, she GAPES. It's VERY obvious that she had NO idea that this was happening. She blinks quickly for a moment, then moves to stand and offers an only mildly condescending smile to Ms. Carver. "Well, then. Have a wonderful afternoon, Ms. Carver." And then she herself moves to fix that coffee for Tony. Mostly because she knows exactly how to prepare it.


Brin doesn't bat an eyelid as she slides from her chair. She'll happily make that cup of coffee for Tony.

Ingrid gets a polite smile from the brunette but she won't offer the woman a cup. "Miss Potts, you're usual cup of tea?" Yeah. Tony seems to have scored a home run here …

Brin doesn't think she really wants to sense Ingrids emotional answer to that.


That just makes Carver smirk really. "Lets see. Let you profit off a company built on a possibly fraudulent patent or make you defend it in court with a chance to cost Stark Industries, Tony Stark and Pepper Potts time, money and possible embarrassment? This may well be the best news I can give my boss today. And if you so much as tool up your production lines… well, please do. It'll make my day vastly more entertaining when a district judge piles and injunction on you."

Ingrid motions to her people. "He seems like a keeper. Hope you've got a comfortable set of pumps. We'll be spending a lot of time together down at the courthouse, you and I."

One of the Stark legal team lets out a very quiet sigh and looks at one of the others. Carver has a reputation as a very, very good and very, very ruthless corporate lawyer. This is going to get expensive.

And then Carver does leave. Leaving Pepper, Tony and Brinley to talk it out amongst themselves.


Tony Stark watches them pack up and go, without standing as they leave. Another fingle waggle as Ingrid makes her exit, "Bye, Felicia.." he says, in a warm, froendly tone ash she leaves. He does lean forward to collect the papers at the middle of the table, if he needs to.


Pepper Potts nods to Brin then brings Tony his cup of coffee while the brunette fixes tea. She times it so she can set the cup in front of her boss just after the Lobotech group are gone. "Tony, please tell me that you've got a way for the whole patent and intellectual property mess around Solexia to suddenly become irrelevant." She would totally not put it past him to have devised his own unique solar power tech for Solexia to use instead of whatever they have now.


Tony Stark just grins his grins, "The deal is done - the R&D team is currently cross referencing similar items in research and development with our own. We'll simply tack the blueprints and schematics to the pertinently stuff we have on the table, and since all of their stuff is all of our stuff now, we can claim it's a an earlier version from which was to take steps for improvement or modification into what we currently have. They're our company now and that means we can conscript their R & D and reverse engineer it into OUR R and D. That means they won't have a leg to stand on. No matter how hard they try. In short, all their inferior stuff is treated like a failed portion of the end project and the stuff that does work, we're developing with our own proprietary and copywritten, patented everyone." he smiles and lets it sink in before sipping his coffee, "Mmmm..that really hits he spot. Brilliant as always, Miss Potts. With everything." he says, smiling up at her with that wide, boyish grin.


Pepper Potts sighs and shakes her head as she moves to sit back down. "I don't know, Tony. That's more risky than I care for. Carver seems very much like the sort to pick every last nit in an attempt to find reasons to throw lawsuits about. It would be difficult, time consuming, and expensive, but I think the only way we can truly protect Solexia from Lobotech is by going back through their designs and completely removing every last trace of anything that could possibly be construed as part of Lobo's intellectual property."


Putting the mug on the table in front of Tony and handing Pepper her's as well, Brin looks between the pair, thinking deeply "Why is Lobo Tech so keen to have this technology?"

She's not joking. If this was a matter of simple Patent infringement, a C&D and the threat of a lengthy court battle would suffice. But Lobo Tech had gone a step further than that - they'd offered to buy Solexia. WHY?

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