Best Buy to pay $27 million in trade secrets case

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER and JANET MOORE , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: December 6, 2012 - 9:08 PM

A company beset by problems now has another: A court ordered Best Buy to pay $27 million for stealing from a California start-up.

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jmusielewiczDec. 6, 12 9:17 AM

Gee -- did the com-pu-ter just get invented or what? These courts are hopeless when it comes to evauluating technology -- its worse now-a-days then when the famous American playwrite Shakespere was running around doing plays!!

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ccrhockeyfanDec. 6, 12 9:39 AM

Best Buy has a reputation for this type of thing and I for one an very pleased for this company to receive both money and validation that it was their idea and product that the big box took credit for. Congrats to the little guy.

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kkjerDec. 6, 12 9:42 AM

Just another reason not to shop at Best Buy. They steal from the little guy.

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sharkysharkDec. 6, 12 9:55 AM

Another nail in the coffin.

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mnmaidDec. 6, 1210:15 AM

"In the complaint, TechForward alleged that after months of working with Best Buy to implement a buyback program in its stores, the retailer simply moved forward on its own and launched a similar program. Best Buy's competitors have launched similar programs." So, I'm confused. First of all, why would a small company be working with Best Buy on a program like this? Why didn't they do it on their own? Secondly, "similar" isn't the same as "identical", thirdly, if other companies also have "similar" programs, why weren't they also named in the suit?

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dirtydogsDec. 6, 1211:00 AM

This type of deal has been ongoing for years in the retail industry in some form or another. Not sure why Best Buy is at fault here.

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khoymeDec. 6, 1211:45 AM

Folks should do a little more web research before assuming that the courts are crazy. The details in this report are pretty sketchy. But surf over to Fortune magazines site for the article and you will see lots of details and links to documentation. Techforward was pressured for their source code by Best Buy, which they provided under NDA. Introduced as evidence was an e-mail trail that apparently convinced the jury that BB didn't just build their own, but scrubbed that shared source code of TechForward copyrights and other identifying information and just used it. If a company receives intellectual property under NDA and improperly uses it without paying for its use, they deserve to lose in court. In this case BB appeared to think that the small company wouldn't have the resources to sue -- read the Fortune data for a fascinating account of the investors continuing to invest in the suit because they felt so strongly about the case.

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albundy74Dec. 6, 1212:19 PM

@khoyme-- How dare you put forward an intelligent, researched, insightful message!

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albundy74Dec. 6, 1212:22 PM

$27 million in fines/penalties. Rest assured, the executives at best buy who are responsible for this mess will be amply rewarded with their standard 6 -7 figure bonuses again this year. They earned, no doubt.

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dirtydogsDec. 6, 12 2:10 PM

So the concept or program itself is not at fault. It is the process Best Buy used to account for the program which was deemed to have violated trade laws. That makes more sense as the article is, in typical fashion, lacking in important details.

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