KIVA Holding, Inc. is happy to announce that the legal standing between Iofina and KIVA / Dr. Khalev is over, and now the sides can freely compete without any restrictions.

The previous dispute between KIVA and Iofina was resolved in 2018 to KIVA’s satisfaction, with no payments awarded to either party. During this long process each side has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the attorney fees.

The 2018 settlement agreement outlined certain restrictions for each side for the duration of 24 months; however, a separate dispute recently arose relating to Iofina's construction of a new iodine-extraction plant near Arnett, Oklahoma. KIVA is happy to report that Iofina has resolved that issue.

Just a brief history of the lawsuit:
Once Iofina has learned that KIVA was building an iodine plant in Leedey, OK, and without any attempts of communication with Dr. Khalev, Iofina has initiated a lawsuit against KIVA and Dr. Khalev on a base of the violation of Non-Disclosure Agreements signed by Dr. Khalev upon hiring by Iofina and a “lack of loyalty”. It was done without any research of KIVA’s planned operations and simply based on the wrong assumption that KIVA’s new plant would be identical to Iofina’s existing plants. Iofina demanded that KIVA stops the construction and pays the fine.

In reality, KIVA’s plant was different from Iofina’s plants in all design and operational aspects: the air flow, the air regulation controls and distribution, the towers’ internal packing size and packing configuration, the iodine de-watering system, and oil separation. In addition, KIVA was using brine from a different formation, and the plant was located within more than 100 miles from Iofina’s plants. Importantly, KIVA was producing a higher quality iodine than Iofina.

The outcome of this long-lasting litigation has shown that Iofina had no firm grounds for all its allegations, and the real intention was to put KIVA out of business as a potentially strong competitor.

A few important aspects of this lawsuit to support the above statement:
• At the Jury selection Iofina's legal team disqualified all potential jurors with a knowledge of chemistry or engineering degrees.
• During the litigation it was proven and accepted by Iofina that Iofina has never held any patents associated with the IOsorb technology as it claimed.
• It was also learned that Iofina’s technical expert selected for the litigation, who was previously employed by Iofina with a senior engineering position, admitted in his internal email that he couldn't fully understand the air desorption process, specifically the work of the process towers. This person has tried to convince the Jury that KIVA and Iofina plants were identical.
• It became evident during the litigation that before Dr. Khalev has introduced Iofina to the air desorption process to recover iodine from brines associated with the extraction of oil and natural gas, Iofina (“Technology leaders in iodine”) was producing only 1.1 metric tons of iodine per year from six of their WET plants altogether. With Dr. Khalev’s expertise in the subject matter and under his leadership and close supervision, the Iofina’s first air desorption plant has achieved yields of over 90% and produced 35 times more iodine than all six previous WET plants combined, despite of the lower iodine concentration and a limited amount of brine. In addition, when the critical situation has aroused at the Iofina’s second plant during the winter, when iodine yields are lower, Dr. Khalev with one of the fully trained operators from the first plant took over the shift and produced 980 kilos of iodine within 17 hours. He also left two crystallizes for the next shift, with precipitated iodine enough to produce more than 500 kilos. Assuming there is still enough brine, this represents the second plant’s capacity of more than 450 metric tons per year, based on a 330-days annual operation.

Although this lawsuit ended with no obvious winner, in KIVA’s opinion, Iofina clearly lost the case and wasted the shareholders’ money without achieving desirable results. Based on Dr. Khalev’s decades of experience with extracting iodine from the lease water contaminated with oil and other hydrocarbons in various places around the world, including two Iofina's production facilities in Texas and Oklahoma, KIVA strongly believes that if Iofina would choose a different route by offering to work with KIVA and benefiting from Dr. Khalev’s valuable experience, it could have significantly improved its product quality and production yields.