April 29, 2020
Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms Infogroup’s database copyright protection and honors confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions in Infogroup’s employment contracts
DALLAS — April 29, 2020 — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit unanimously affirmed Infogroup’s judgments against DatabaseUSA and Vinod Gupta, Infogroup announced today. In August 2018, a jury unanimously found Gupta and DatabaseUSA liable on all seven counts, including infringement of Infogroup’s database copyright and trademarks, unfair competition, false advertising and breach of various contracts. The trial court concluded that Gupta and DatabaseUSA acted “in bad faith, intentionally and with a desire to suppress the truth, destroyed evidence” and willfully and deliberately violated federal laws. The trial court entered judgments against DatabaseUSA for $11.2 million and Gupta for $10 million, and ordered both to pay interest and Infogroup’s attorney fees and costs, and permanently enjoined them from using Infogroup’s tradenames, making false advertising statements and participating in future unfair competitive practices.
Unable to pay the judgment, DatabaseUSA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Nevada, where Infogroup is seeking to hold Gupta, his family office Everest Group, LLC and other conspirators liable for the DatabaseUSA judgment. In addition, DatabaseUSA and Gupta appealed parts of the judgments to the 8th Circuit. The 8th Circuit found that the trial court and jury correctly found Gupta and DatabaseUSA liable and upheld the judgments in all respects.
“The jury and courts agree that Infogroup’s industry-leading techniques of database management (data selection, refinement, verification, updating and user-friendly arrangement) were so sophisticated and value-enhancing, that such database qualified for copyright protection and Gupta and DatabaseUSA had unlawfully passed Infogroup’s proprietary database off as their own. Moreover, the courts found enforceable the confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions in Infogroup’s employment contracts,” said Greg Scaglione, lead trial counsel for Infogroup who heads the National Litigation Practice at Koley Jessen. “We are thrilled with all of the successful rulings we have secured against Gupta and DatabaseUSA over the years, and Infogroup will continue to tenaciously protect its databases, copyrights, trademarks and the marketplace from competitors’ misconduct.”
“Our team continues to work tirelessly to build databases of the highest quality and accuracy,” said Infogroup Chairman and CEO Michael Iaccarino. “We will immediately collect the judgment by drawing on a letter of credit Vinod Gupta issued for our benefit and continue to pursue collection of the Database 101 judgment against DatabaseUSA and its conspirators through the bankruptcy court. We are confident that we will receive full payment from Vinod Gupta.”
All questions regarding the outcome or status of the case should be referred to Infogroup’s counsel of record, Greg Scaglione at Koley Jessen.
Infogroup is a leading provider of data and real-time business intelligence solutions for enterprise, small business, nonprofit and political organizations. The company’s solutions enable clients to acquire and retain customers, and enhance their user experiences through proprietary business and consumer data, artificial intelligence/machine learning models, innovative software applications and expert professional services. Infogroup’s cloud-based Data Axle platform delivers data and data updates in real-time via APIs, CRM integrations, SaaS, and managed services. Infogroup has 45+ years of experience helping organizations exceed their goals. For more information, visit www.infogroup.com.