BAY CITY, Mich. — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by DICE Corp., a provider of central station automation platforms based here, claiming that its rival, Bold Technologies, had unlawfully accessed DICE’s proprietary software with the help of a former DICE engineer.
DICE filed a lawsuit against its Colorado-based competitor last August. The suit alleged that Bold violated the Michigan Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Further, the company claimed that Bold infringed on its copyrights by creating unauthorized copied work.
However, on Oct. 25, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Ludington, dismissed the case “with prejudice,” citing that there was no evidence to support DICE’s claims, according to court documents.
DICE’s decision to file the lawsuit came after its longtime employee, Amy Condon, left the company to join the Bold Technologies team in May 2011. Shortly after leaving the firm, Condon helped DICE’s customer, ESC Central of Birmingham, Ala., move over to Bold’s Manitou software. During the process, Condon allegedly “accessed servers in [DICE’s] Bay City facility … that contained proprietary signal processing intelligence software,” according to court documents.
Both Condon and her employer denied the allegations. During his deposition, DICE CEO Cliff Dice admitted that he was unsure how Condon gained access to DICE servers.
“I don’t know how Bold got the information to be able to do what they’ve done,” he stated in court. “I have no idea. All I know is that they have it.”
Bold Technologies President and CEO Rob Cole says that the lawsuit was nothing more than a tactic to stop his company from competing in the alarm automation software business.
“We won’t apologize for [DICE’s] employees wanting to join our team, and we won’t apologize for the upgrades we’ve provided many of their customers in moving them to Manitou,” he says. “If anything, this type of tactic has steeled Bold’s approach and we’re more motivated than ever. We have invested millions of dollars into product development in recent years and we know Manitou will continue to get stronger as we to add great employees and highly active, industry leading customers.”
Meanwhile, Melissa Courville, DICE’s head of marketing, tells SSI that the company is currently considering appealing the decision.