Wednesday, February 06, 2008, 2/06/2008 03:10:00 PM

Florida's VP Gables Sues Washington's Cobalt For Trade Secret Theft

By Todd
Fox Business is reporting that VP Gables, LLC (formerly known as VinPlus, LLC), a previous provider of data management solutions, today announced that it has filed a complaint against The Cobalt Group, Inc., a provider of automotive marketing services headquartered in Seattle, Washington. VP Gables is seeking damages from Cobalt based on allegations that Cobalt violated obligations to VP Gables under the terms of a non- disclosure agreement, and made wrongful use of VP Gables' propriety information.

Specific counts against Cobalt include: breach of contract; the misappropriation of VP Gables' trade secrets in violation of the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act; tortious interference with business relations; and violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The complaint was filed in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Florida.

What's interesting in this report is that VP Gables is no longer a provider of data management solutions - but they're suing over the loss of rights in that area relating to their former involvement with it. As the report goes on to acknowledge: "Headquartered in Coral Gables, FL, VP Gables, LLC (f/k/a VinPlus, LLC) was a provider of data management solutions and services to the automotive sector including OEMs; Dealers; and other companies in the automotive retail and supply chain. Its state-of-the-art platform DataWareextracted data from the dealers' management systems and distributed that data in a consistent and secure manner to its clients. VP Gables LLC sold all of its assets, including DataWare, in May 2007 to the Netlink Software Group headquartered in Southfield, MI."

So - they must be arguing that their sale of assets to Netlink was impaired by this former breach. Interesting. We'll keep our eyes on this one for you.

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