Low-Latency Zeptonics Mired in Legal Woes

About eight months ago, Australian low-latency networking equipment provider Zeptonics, made a hit at SIFMA Tech Leadership Forum and Expo with the announcement of its new 50-port low-latency Layer-1 ZeptoLink networking device.

Everything seemed rosy for the trading appliance start-up until the Australian Federal Court ruled on a tort brought against Zeptonics by fellow-Australian low-latency trading and networking equipment provider Zomojo.

In its decision issued this week, the Federal Court of Australia has ordered Zeptonics cease all use of its ZeptoLink, Zepto Access KRX, ZeptoNIC and ZeptoMatch offerings and turn them over to Zomojo.

All existing third-parties using or testing vendor’s ZeptoLink and ZeptoAccess offerings, which include about half of the top global proprietary-trading firms, also are under order by the Australian court “to not facilitate directly or indirectly their use.”

The basis of Zomojo’s tort is that while Zeptonics founder Matt Hurd was a co-managing director and head of the its R&D team between 2005 to early 2011, he used knowledge gained from his position to develop and market high-speed trading devices beginning in 2010 when he founded Zeptonics. Other complaints made in the same lawsuit include breach of fiduciary responsibility to disclose business opportunities presented to Zomojo and soliciting Zomojo employees during their restraint periods.

According to an official statement from Zeptonics, its products are the result of starting from a clean slate and two years of “inventiveness and hard work of a talented team of more than twenty people” and millions of dollars in investment.

However, the company will comply with the court order, but believes that it has “substantial ground for appeal,” the statement adds.