PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Tempe, AZ, United States, 2005/05/24 - Systrends, Inc. Fights Illegal Jury Verdict in Alabama for the Right to Follow Open Industry Standards.
On February 9, 2005, an Alabama jury delivered a multi-million dollar verdict in favor of Group 8760, LLC, against Systrends, Inc. and a former Systrends’ employee, Richard Brooks. Group 8760 LLC claimed breach of a covenant not to compete, contract interference and a violation of the Alabama Trade Secrets Act.
Systrends expects the verdict to be reversed on several grounds, including:
• No trade secrets of Group 8760 were used in Systrends’ software. Group 8760 could not identify a trade secret used by Systrends and an exhaustive analysis by an independent, nationally recognized electronic commerce software expert, found “no material likeness” between Systrends’ Transaction Bridge™ software and Group 8760’s InsideAgent® software.
The only commonality between the two products is that they both follow the Gas Industry Standards Board Electronic Delivery Mechanism (GISB EDM – now known as NAESB EDM) standards, an open industry standard published in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations.
Group 8760’s case was geared to play to the passion and prejudice of the jury, which succeeded to the point that the jury disregarded the court’s instructions and returned a verdict not permitted by the law.
• The noncompetition contract was illegal. Richard Brooks was terminated by Group 8760 in August of 2001. Mr. Brooks’ employment contract contained a non-compete territory claim of “the entire world” which is illegal under Alabama law.
Group 8760’s lawyer conceded in post trial hearings that the verdict should be set aside.
David C. Darnell, President and CEO of Systrends, Inc. states that “Systrends, Inc. and its personnel did not take or use any trade secrets of Group 8760. If this jury verdict is allowed to stand, it threatens every current user and software company that utilizes the GISB/NAESB EDM standards. Systrends, Inc. is committed to its customers and the GISB/NAESB EDM software community and vows to continue the fight. We remain confident and assured that common sense and judicial prudence will prevail in the end. In all events, Systrends will continue to support its products and customers and meet all of its contractual obligations.”
Systrends Inc. is a Tempe Arizona based company founded in 1986 by David C. Darnell, currently President and CEO. Systrends has been a leading provider of electronic commerce and Electronic Data Interchange software, consulting, and services for almost 20 years. Its two flagship products for the energy industry, XMLbridge™ and Transaction Bridge™, are the leading electronic commerce solutions for secure Internet transport and electronic business transaction management.
Transaction Bridge and XMLbridge are registered trademarks of Systrends, Inc.
InsideAgent is a registered trademark of Group 8760, LLC