App Developer Calls Foul on Baseball
MANHATTAN (CN) - Major League Baseball failed to promote a baseball app and failed to notify its developer that it had a similar agreement with a direct competitor, the developer claims in court.
Sports Technology Applications sued MLB Advanced Media on Monday, in Federal Court.
STA claims it entered into a license agreement on Dec. 1, 2012. As part of the agreement, MLBAM granted STA a nonexclusive, nontransferable, nonsublicenseable limited license to use MLB intellectual property to prepare, market and sell the app. MLB also agreed to promote the app through various outlets, including at least 1 million impressions and at least five Tweets and Facebook posts each year during the agreement, STA says in the complaint.
STA says it worked with MLB to produce the app. During that process, MLB provided input for development of the app and was provided STA's confidential information.
MLB's point person during this process was Jamie Leece, the vice-president of gaming for MLBAM, the lawsuit states.
The app was launched in the summer of 2013.
"However, once launched, MLBAM failed to promote the App pursuant to the agreement," the complaint states.
"Also following the launch of the App, STA discovered the Leece, STA's primary contact person with MLBAM, was a board member of PrePlay, Inc., a direct competitor of STA, and that MLBAM was a significant shareholder of PrePlay.
"Near the end of the 2013 Major League Baseball season, STA received a letter from counsel for PrePlay alleging that STA's App was infringing upon a patent owned by PrePlay."
After receiving the letter, STA claims, it found that MLBAM had given PrePlay an exclusive license for a gaming application and then entered into the agreement, which attempted to grant the same right to STA.
STA says it would never have entered into the agreement and incurred significant costs had it known that Leece was a board member of PrePlay, that MLBAM was a significant shareholder of PrePlay and that MLBAM had given PrePlay an exclusive agreement for the app.
STA seeks damages for breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. It is represented by Peter Safirstein of Morgan & Morgan in New York City.