Man sues defense attorneys over patent
A Basalt resident is suing the partners of an Aspen law firm, alleging they stole his patent for a retractable top for Jeeps.Dennis Barker’s lawsuit names as defendants Jeff Wertz and Alan Feldman, partners in Allen, Wertz & Feldman, LLP. The lawsuit was filed Friday in district civil court. It says that in January 2000, Barker filed a patent application for the retractable top; it was granted in August 2002.Barker hired Feldman to fight a lawsuit by Barker’s landlord.”On Oct. 1, 2003, while the landlord was in the process of perfecting the judgment against Barker, Feldman told [him] that because the patent was the only asset Barker owned, the landlord would take the patent away,” the lawsuit says.Feldman allegedly set up a new company and had the patent transferred to its control to protect it, the court documents say. Feldman said he and Wertz “would become co-owners of the company, too.””This was the first of many steps taken by Feldman and Wertz to cheat Barker out of his patent,” the lawsuit says.Wertz vehemently denied the allegations when asked for comment.”The claims are a load of crap that will be defended vigorously,” he said.The lawsuit alleges that Feldman and Wertz have “granted themselves exclusive access to [the new company’s] bank account.” Since the company’s inception, Feldman and Wertz have used the company’s funds “to purchase numerous personal items, including haircuts, dry cleaning, personal trips, unexplained payments to themselves and others, and to pay expenses for their law firm,” the lawsuit says.
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