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M-I L.L.C. Files Antitrust Case Against Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Houston, TX -- M-I L.L.C. ("M-I") has filed a lawsuit against Halliburton Energy Services regarding Halliburton's attempts to monopolize the market for enhanced drilling fluids used in oil and gas drilling operations. In it, M-I alleges that Halliburton has misused the United States Patent Office in an effort to obtain patents on drilling fluids that have been used for decades in the oilfield. According to the complaint, Halliburton's patents and related pending patent applications have little or no relationship to anything Halliburton invented, resulting in an illegal impediment to legitimate competition in the marketplace.

In a prior lawsuit, Halliburton had asserted U.S. Patent No. 6,689,832 ("the 832 patent") against M-I, alleging that M-I's Rheliant drilling fluid system infringed 88 claims of the '832 patent. On October 18, 2006, all asserted claims of the '832 patent were ruled invalid by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

M-I contends that evidence obtained in that lawsuit showed that (1) Halliburton obtained the '832 patent through fraud on the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and (2) Halliburton knew the '832 patent was invalid and/or unenforceable when it asserted that patent against M-I. M-I's current suit is based not only on Halliburton's actions related to the prior suit, but Halliburton's ongoing efforts to obtain additional patents -- also unrelated to any legitimate Halliburton invention. M-I seeks treble damages and injunctive relief.

The current lawsuit was filed in United States District Court for the Central District of California on February 16, 2007.

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