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Fintech Motion to Bar iControl from Competing in Alcohol Marketplace Denied by Federal Judge; iControl to Separately Appeal Jury Verdict
Federal Judge Denies Fintech Motion Barring iControl from Competing in Alcohol Marketplace; iControl Files Appeal of Jury Verdict
“The Features Fintech Claims as Trade Secrets are Elementary and Widely Practiced”
iControl Systems, USA, LLC, a leading provider of cloud-based trading-partner intermediation solutions for the food, drug and convenience value chain, announced an update to its litigation with Financial Information Technologies, LLC (“Fintech”).
On August 10, 2020, Chief United States District Judge Steven D. Merryday denied a motion filed by Fintech that sought to permanently bar iControl from competing with Fintech in the regulated commerce beverage alcohol marketplace. The Judge ruled that “iControl persuasively demonstrate[d] in opposition to [Fintech’s] request for a permanent injunction, [that] the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act authorizes the injunction of specific, identifiable trade secrets but authorizes no blanket restraint of competition.”
Also in his August 10 ruling, Judge Merryday declined to revisit the jury’s liability verdict and damage award at the district court level, leaving the matter for appeal. On September 4, iControl filed its notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, GA.
As part of the August 10 ruling, the court gave Fintech one week to file a motion for a more limited and specific injunction. Fintech filed a renewed injunction motion, but it did so after the deadline set by the court, which it blamed on a “calendaring” error. In response, iControl pointed out that courts have held that such an error is not a legitimate excuse for missing a clear deadline, and it urged the court to deny Fintech’s motion as untimely. iControl also opposed Fintech’s motion on the merits. It explained that Fintech’s proposed injunction is “wildly overbroad,” vague, and confusing, and seemingly seeks to protect aspects of Fintech’s software that are “elementary and widely practiced” and “are not trade secrets by any stretch of the imagination.”
iControl’s full response is publicly available at this link.
“We are grateful that Judge Merryday recognized that Fintech’s attempt to restore its marketplace monopoly was a gross overreach,” said iControl President & CEO Tal J. Zlotnitsky. “iControl will continue to resist Fintech’s improper efforts to force us out of the alcohol processing business.”
King & Spalding LLP is representing the Company in its appellate litigation with Fintech.