The Pellucid Perspective - June 2012 - (Page 2)

TEE TIME PROVIDERS EZLinks sues ex-employee, GolfNow for $100 Million Multiple allegations include theft of proprietary operating software By Harvey Silverman I n a startling case that alleges as much audacity as hubris, EZLinks Golf, one of the leading golf technology companies, has sued GolfNow and an ex-EZLinks employee for allegedly stealing EZLinks’ software. The case was filed on May 11 at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. It names GolfNow, LLC and Michael Brown, the ex-EZLinks employee who is currently employed by GolfNow, as co-defendants in a case that includes charges of computer fraud and abuse, violations of trade secret laws, disparagement, conspiracy, and more. It comes on the heels of what the suit alleges were repeated attempts by GolfNow to purchase EZLinks, which were rebuffed. We reported in January that GolfNow had reportedly made such attempts, but Jeff Foster, senior vice president of new media sales for The Golf Channel, denied at that time that any such attempt had been made. The lawsuit cites six charges: • Violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. It is alleged that the Defendants (GolfNow and Michael Brown) “intentionally accessed Plaintiff ’s (EZLinks’) protected computer system without authorization and downloaded and obtained highly proprietary software…” from Plaintiff ’s protected computer database. • Violations of the Illinois Trade Secrets Act. It is alleged that the Defendants have “acquired highly valuable trade secrets of Plaintiff by improper means”; “Defendants knew or had reason to know they were acquiring trade secrets by illegal means”; and “Defendants…have disclosed or used and continue to use Plaintiff ’s trade secrets without the express or implied consent of the Plaintiff.” • Conversion. It is alleged that “Defendants…have obtained possession of EZLinks Tee Time Network soft- ware and converted the software and proprietary information regarding same to their own use.” • Trespass. It is alleged that “Defendants committed an unauthorized entry into Plaintiff ’s property by accessing its protected computer database and viewing…proprietary information without justification or authorization.” • Commercial Disparagement. It is alleged that “Defendant GolfNow communicated negative and disparaging comments about Plaintiff ’s company…to influence customers of Plaintiff to not do business in the future with Plaintiff.” • Conspiracy. It is alleged that “On information and belief, at all times subsequent to Defendant Michael Brown’s employment with Plaintiff and prior to commencement of Mr. Brown’s employment with Defendant GolfNow, Defendants agreed and conspired to unlawfully trespass upon Plaintiff ’s property by unlawfully accessing Plaintiff ’s computer network and converting the EZLinks Tee Time Network Software and proprietary information regarding same to their possession and use.” And that these “tortious” acts were committed “in furtherance of Defendants agreement to trespass upon Plaintiff ’s computer network and convert the EZLinks Tee Time Network Software and proprietary information regarding same.” EZLinks has requested a jury trial, and in their “prayer for relief ” asks for an order enjoining the Defendants from divulging any of EZLinks’ trade secrets; an order to immediately destroy or otherwise dispose of any and all trade secrets; an order to provide within 30 days of such order or injunction issued detail as to the manner and form in which the Defendants have complied; and an order requiring Defendants to pay damages in The lawsuit attempts to position EZLinks as David versus GolfNow’s Goliath, bringing into play GolfNow’s ownership by Golf Channel, members of the NBC Sports Group USA; a division of NBC Universal Media, LLC; which is a joint venture of Comcast Corporation and General Electric Company. That makes Goliath look Lilliputian. 2 The Pellucid PersPecTive June 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - June 2012

The Pellucid Perspective - June 2012
EZLinks sues ex-employee, GolfNow for $100 Million
MetLife, Daniel Corp. unveil Reynolds Plantation plans
Chip Brewer’s Callaway Legacy off to rough start
CNL adds Fore Golf Partners to manage EAGLE lease portfolio
Brown fields turning varied shades of green
May weather impact: 5 for 5, streak continues!
Golf business brewing steadily in St. Louis
Netherlands group buys Orlando’s Grand Cypress Resort
Casey at the bat, for at least 2 days

The Pellucid Perspective - June 2012