(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
Ticket Innovations, Inc, doing business as Season Ticket Solutions, has filed a lawsuit against Ticketmaster for breach of a non-disclosure agreement and misappropriation of trade secrets. Season Ticket alleges that Ticketmaster used confidential information, gathered during an aborted sale of the company to Ticketmaster, to develop its TeamExchange and GroupManager products.
"We are alleging that Ticketmaster destroyed the value of a promising young competitor by offering to buy it and then illegally copying its proprietary technology," said Tagg Romney, co-founder of Season Ticket. "We trust the court and jury will agree that Ticketmaster breached a non-disclosure agreement, interfered with Season Ticket's existing and pending clients and unlawfully developed and marketed competitive products that were based on Season Ticket's technology."
Season Ticket invested millions of dollars and three years in the development of its unique technology solutions, STS Exchange and STS Group. The patent-pending software platforms allowed season ticket holders to manage tickets online, conduct online ticket exchanges and enabled national sports franchises to legally resell returned tickets using bar-coded technology.
"This is a case of David vs. Goliath," said Joel Milne, co-founder of Season Ticket. "Ticketmaster took advantage of a relatively unknown company by replicating its intellectual property. Based on the results of similar cases, such as X-IT versus Walter Kidde Portable Equipment, Season Ticket will seek damages exceeding $100 million at trial."
In August 2001, Ticketmaster entered into a mutual non-disclosure agreement with Season Ticket as part of its evaluation to purchase the company. Shortly thereafter, Ticketmaster executed a term sheet to purchase the company and conducted two months of due diligence, which included extensive review of the company's technology, financials, customer contracts and patents pending. One month later, Ticketmaster notified the company that the purchase would not proceed. Soon thereafter, Ticketmaster announced TeamExchange and GroupManager, which were nearly identical to Season Ticket's STS Exchange and STS Group.
Season Ticket also contends that Ticketmaster interfered in its relationship with the National Hockey League as well as with other professional sports leagues and teams, which expressed interest in licensing Season Ticket software but ceased negotiations at Ticketmaster's request.
TeamExchange and GroupManager are now part of the core Ticketmaster software platform and have been sold to numerous professional sports teams, including: the New York Knicks, New York Giants, New York Rangers, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs, Minnesota Wild, Anaheim Angels, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen