Internet Business Trickery Alleged

WACO, TEXAS (CN) – A maker of prefabricated steel buildings has sued a rival for computer fraud, claiming the defendant logged into its Web site under 24 user names to wrongfully acquire 1,000 price estimates, and use them to undercut its prices.




     Icon Building Systems sued Premier Steel Buildings in Federal Court. Icon says the “Icon Quote System” on its Web site allows customers to design a building, submit it and get a price quote. But users must accept Icon’s software license agreement to do that, Icon says.
     It claims Premier cheated, and acquired the enormous list of prices to compete unfairly. Icon says that Premier employees, logging in under 24 names, acquired about 1,000 building quotes between April 17 and May 19. Every one of them violated the software licensing agreement, Icon says.
     Icon says its software licensing agreement “specifically states: If you are a competing company to Icon, and/or a software development company, DO NOT INSTALL THIS SOFTWARE. IF YOU ARE A COMPETING BUSINESS AND/OR A SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY AND YOU INSTALL AND USE THIS SOFTWARE FOR ANY PURPOSE, YOU ARE AGREEING TO PAY THE FEE FOR UNAUTHORIZED USE. … ANY UNAUTHORIZED USE OF THIS SOFTWARE FOR ANY PURPOSES SHALL CONSTITUTE IMPROPER USE AND USER AND/OR USER’S COMPANY AGREES TO PAY ICON BUILDING SYSTEMS $1,000.00 U.S. PER USE PAYABLE TO ICON BUILDING SYSTEMS IN CASH IMMEDIATELY UPON DEMAND.”
     There it is, Icon says. Read it and weep. Then pay up.
     Represented by Jim Hering, Icon demands the roughly $1 million in fees, plus punitive damages.

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