I. FACTS AND PROCEEDINGS
In July 2011, BCN filed a petition for damages and injunctive relief in state court alleging that it has sold printable coupons and other “coupon technology” over the Internet since 2004, and that Daniel Abraham, BCN’s founder and CEO, had contact with Defendants while serving on the board of the Association of Coupon Professionals (“ACP”). BCN alleged that, during an ACP conference on April 27, 2010, Abraham discussed with Defendants Samniego and Henson “confidential information relative to the internet coupon industry and [BCN’s] strategies and business plans.” At the time, Defendants “were engaged only in the print coupon business.” BCN also alleged that, around the same time as the ACP conference, or shortly thereafter, Defendants “entered the internet coupon business . . . under the remarkably similar name” of CouponNetwork.com (compare BrandCouponNetwork.com).
The parties dispute whether BCN became aware of Defendants’ entry into the market as early as April or May of 2010, or only later, in the fall of 2010. The parties further dispute whether BCN sustained the business injuries it alleges beginning that April or not until the fall of that year. The record includes a letter Abraham sent to Defendants in December 2010 seeking to discuss “collaborative options to avoid any confusion in the market place arising from Catalina’s adoption of a brand name that is confusingly similar to ours.” The record also includes Abraham’s December email resignation from the board of ACP, citing his having “recently discovered” that Defendants had acquired Invenda, BCN’s rival, and begun an online marketing program called CouponNetwork.com. The record contains Abraham’s affidavit stating that “[p]rior to October of 2010, I had no knowledge that defendants had engaged in the . . . actions complained of in the Petition for Damages and/or that their practices were detrimental to [BCN].” Finally, Abraham averred that the December 2010 letter was his first successful contact with Defendants after learning of their actions in October 2010, stating that they had failed to respond to his several phone calls placed between October and December.
Judge(s): Jaques Wiener, Jr.
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
Related Categories: Business Organizations , Communications , Contracts , Damages , Employment , Torts , Trade Secret , Trademark
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Jaques Wiener, Jr.|