SOURCE: McManis Faulkner

November 02, 2017 17:24 ET

Zeidman Technologies Files Suit Against U.S. Government, Claiming Abuse of Discretion and Unlawful Practices

Case Aims for Greater Transparency, Technical Capabilities and Fairness in Government Grant Awards

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 2, 2017) - A suit was filed today against the U.S. Government that seeks to bring greater transparency, technical capabilities and fairness, including respect for intellectual property rights, to its grant award and contracting practices. Zeidman Technologies, a Silicon Valley-based contract research and development firm that also offers engineering consulting on intellectual property, alleges the government's rejection of its Small Business Innovation Research proposal was an unlawful abuse of discretion.

Filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, the suit (Case #17-1662C) claims that despite owning unique, patented technology that specifically met the government's stated project requirements, Zeidman Technologies was rejected for topic AF161-088-1073, entitled "Integrated Code Base and High Performance Embedded Computing Tool."

After seeking an explanation for the rejection, over the course of many months, the government provided three conflicting and contradictory explanations. All relied on discussions of criteria that were not included in the Small Business Innovation Research program's request for proposals and failed to evaluate the evidence presented in Zeidman Technologies' proposal.

"By law, government contracts must be awarded to the most highly qualified applicants, based on an evaluation of explicitly stated criteria. In citing unstated criteria, the government made an arbitrary decision and denied Zeidman Technologies a lucrative business opportunity," said Elizabeth Pipkin of McManis Faulkner, who, along with James McManis, Christine Peek and James Giacchetti, represents Zeidman Technologies. "Although Zeidman's patented technology does exactly what is described in the proposal, grants were given to two companies with no clear expertise in the required areas."

Upon notification that it did not receive the award, Zeidman Technologies formally requested an explanation for the rejection. Several months passed and a second request was submitted before the government responded, claiming Zeidman Technologies' proposal did not meet the stated criteria for the project and indicating that the request centered on converting software code to a hardware description language (HDL).

"A hardware description language isn't mentioned anywhere in the proposal request or in the references. If it was, it would have been evident, and we would have addressed this directly," said Robert Zeidman, president of Zeidman Technologies and one of the leading experts on HDLs. Zeidman has written two textbooks involving HDLs, designed and sold tools that work with HDLs, designed many integrated circuits with HDLs, and given regular seminars on the subject.

After reviewing the explanation, Zeidman Technologies filed an appeal with the Government Accounting Office. Attorney Christopher Cole at the USAF Commercial Law & Litigation Directorate responded with a new and different explanation for the rejection. This response claimed Zeidman Technologies' proposal was not considered because "there is no mention of utilizing multiple processing cores efficiently, which is one of the main objectives of this solicitation."

From a technical perspective, this new rejection changed the project requirements from HDL to multicore processing, which was also not mentioned anywhere in the request for proposals.

"The two technologies cited in the rejections were completely different and unrelated, obviously demonstrating that those reviewing the proposal had no understanding of the technology they were charged with procuring," added Zeidman.

Upon filing a notice of Corrective Action, Cole indicated that the same individuals who originally evaluated Zeidman Technologies' proposal would reevaluate it and take "corrective action." This was followed with a third explanation that contained a laundry list of new reasons for the proposal rejection.

As a direct result, Zeidman Technologies filed its pending suit. "We had to press for months to get feedback, and the government supplied three conflicting reasons for the rejection, none of which reflected criteria actually outlined in the solicitation. This was supposed to be a fair technical review; however, the government failed to engage engineers who could understand the technical aspects of the proposal or the significance of the intellectual property that only my company could bring to the project," said Zeidman.

Contact Information