For Tennessee businesses, it is important to understand what steps to take when there are allegations that trade secrets and other key elements were used without permission or compensation. Being fully protected against these claims can be critical to the health of the business.
The ride-share company Uber is facing a billion-dollar lawsuit because it is accused of having been built from stolen trade secrets. There was a question as to whether the filing was made in a timely fashion, but a jury in San Francisco determined that it was. According to the complaint, the former CEO of Uber, Travis Kalanick, and other individuals are guilty of misappropriating the plaintiff’s concept of passengers contacting drivers via cellphone.
The complainant says that in 2006, he provided information to Mr. Kalanick with the promise that it would be kept secret. Uber started around four years after that. According to Mr. Kalanick, he and the chairman of the company hatched the idea while they were in Paris. The original idea was for limousine timeshares. The jury found that even though there was a 2010 investigation, the plaintiff did not know that Mr. Kalanick had any stake in Uber. The statute of limitations for the filing is three years. Since he was unaware of Mr. Kalanick being connected to the company, the court said the filing was made in time.
The plaintiff added that the oral and implied contract was breached as was the covenant of good faith. He wants there to be an injunction so that Uber cannot use the trade secrets. Court-ordered mediation will seek to settle the claim. Should it fail, the case will move forward.
Claims that a business committed legal violations can do significant damage to the business in myriad ways. A lawsuit can hurt its reputation, cost money and even destroy it. Having a strong defense against these claims and resolving disputes is key with business litigation. An experienced business law professional may be able to help.