Ooyala, the Telstra-owned multiscreen OTT specialist, has filed a federal lawsuit against rival Brightcove over allegations that the company and certain employees of Brightcove “engaged in deliberate and willful misappropriation of proprietary trade secrets.”
Per the suit, Ooyala claims that those trade secrets and proprietary info spans customer contact lists, confidential sales pitches and pricing, marketing plans and corporate strategies.
Ooyala held that the alleged misappropriation was being used to undermine and exploit Ooyala’s business dealings and sales efforts for Brightcove’s benefit throughout Latin America.
Ooyala said it is seeking a court trial and an injunction against Brightcove in federal court in Boston, and is asking the company and its employees to return all proprietary materials and to destroy all customer information stemming from the allegations.
The six-count filing also includes allegations of deceptive business practices, tortious interference and breach of contract, Ooyala said, noting that it gave Brightcove notice once it uncovered the evidence tied to those allegations and that it believes that Brightcove continued to use that information after notice was given.
Brightcove said it reviewed the assertions made by Ooyala in good faith, but that Ooyala “disengaged” from those discussion and pushed ahead with the lawsuit. Brightcove’s full statement is as follows:
"We are aware of Ooyala's assertions concerning the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. When first alerted to these assertions by Ooyala, we reviewed them in good faith and reached out to Ooyala in an effort to address its concerns. Ooyala disengaged from that conversation and then filed this suit. Brightcove believes that this lawsuit is entirely without merit. We are working to resolve the matter, which is narrowly focused on a particular region and does not concern our products, services or technology."
Ooyala said it has made “significant investments in Latin America,” including an R&D office in Guadalajara, and sales, marketing and channel efforts in Argentina, Brazil, the Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Peru.
Update: The complaint, filed May 22 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts by Ooyala, identifies Brightcove and two Brightcove employees, Darío Pérez Real and Raúl Francisco García Domínguez, who were formerly with Ooyala, as defendants.
Per the compliant, Ooyala alleges that Perez “surreptitiously sent to Brightcove a wealth of Ooyala’s confidential and trade secret information” in his final three months of employment as a senior sales exec at Ooyala and while he was being courted to join Brightcove.
Ooyala further claims that Garcia, a former vice president of Ooyala and current head of Brightcove’s Latin America division, coordinated the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.
The complaint alleges that Perez, prior to resigning from Ooyala on Feb. 23, 2017, had already signed an employment contract with Brightcove and was working with Garcia to send confidential client data to Brightcove and to solicit Ooyala’s current and prospective customers on Brightcove’s behalf.
Ooyala also holds that it has already lost one account to Brightcove and others that were required to be renewed at a lower average contract value “to counteract Brightcove’s misappropriation of Ooyala’s confidential and trade secret information.”
Ooyala didn’t name which of its current and prospective clients were impacted by those allegations, but did point to an April 19 press release from Brightcove announcing “key customer wins,” including Grupo Televisa, Expansión, and Grupo Nación Paraguay, and plans to open an office in Mexico City. Garcia, GM, Latin America at Brightcove at the time of the announcement, is one of the execs quoted in the release.