The iControl Blog

iControl Prevails Over Fintech in Federal District Court Permanent Injunction Ruling

2 November 2020

– Judge Merryday: “A permanent injunction is unwarranted and improper.” –

A federal district court in Tampa, Fla. today denied Financial Information Technologies’ (“Fintech”) renewed motion for a permanent injunction against iControl Systems. The denial is the second and final ruling by Chief United States District Judge Steven D. Merryday on Fintech’s request for a permanent injunction against iControl. Judge Merryday earlier denied Fintech’s request for a broader injunction, inviting Fintech to seek a narrower injunction which the court has also now denied. In denying the renewed motion, Judge Merryday called Fintech’s demand “unwarranted and improper.”

iControl had opposed Fintech’s renewed motion, arguing that Fintech’s proposed injunction was “wildly overbroad,” vague, confusing and sought to protect aspects of Fintech’s software that are “elementary and widely-practiced” and “not trade secrets by any stretch of the imagination.” In his ruling, Judge Merryday agreed with iControl, writing that “iControl persuasively argues that Fintech’s proposed injunction sweeps too broadly and promotes confusion about the nature of Fintech’s trade secrets.”

Judge Merryday’s opinion further stated that even if Fintech had identified its trade secrets with particularity, it still would not have been entitled to an injunction. As Judge Merryday wrote in his order, even “Fintech’s expert, Ivan Zatkovich, admit[ted] that with time iControl ‘certainly’ could have developed the ‘specific functionality’ Fintech claims as a trade secret.”

“It’s remarkable that after so many years of litigation, Fintech still could not clearly identify the trade secrets it accused iControl of stealing,” said Jeff Bucholtz and Paul Mezzina of King & Spalding, who represented iControl. “We’re grateful the court rejected Fintech’s efforts to shut down legitimate competition from iControl.”

“I feel vindication, but also a deep appreciation for our employees, our thousands of customers and the 1,500+ alcohol distributors who stood by us during uncertain times. We will not forget their unwavering support,” said iControl’s President & CEO Tal J. Zlotnitsky. “We are grateful the court saw through the confusion and was able to reach the appropriate conclusion.  We look forward to continuing to vigorously compete with Fintech on the merits.”