PALM BEACH (CN) – Legal publishing giant Reed Elsevier claims that after it paid $775 million for Seisint, a “personal information database business” founded by Henry Asher, Asher “brazenly” violated the terms of sale and misappropriated business secrets by developing and marketing a new, competing database.
According to the complaint in Palm Beach County Court: “Asher’s knowing and willful violations of the agreement include, among other things, developing and staffing a new database venture in direct competition with Reed Elsevier and the Reed Companies, marketing that new venture directly to the commercial marketplace in the guise of a temporarily ‘free’ service that he ultimately intended to convert to a for-profit product, disguising his true intentions by touting his donation of database services to organizations that target pedophiles who prey on children through the Internet and otherwise, and offering and entering into secret arrangement with Reed Elsevier’s and the Reed Companies’ customers to provide for-profit database services immediately upon the termination of his non-compete period.
“There can be no doubt that Asher is fully aware of his non-compete obligations. In fact, the Web sites advertising his new competing business – www.tlfo.com and www.tlo.com – feature a large clock that brazenly counts down the remaining days, hours, minutes and seconds until his non-compete agreement and his new business goes live – in effect telling the marketplace to join Asher in waiting out his non-competition obligations before choosing to do business with Reed Elsevier, the Reed Companies, or other competitors. This is of course itself a violation of his agreement. But the ticking clock is pretextual, as Asher has already developed his new products, formed his new company and is, at this very moment, actively marketing its services through both charitable and for-profit channels.”
Here are the parties to the lawsuit: Reed Elsevier, Lexisnexis Risk Management Services, Seisint, and Lexisnexis Risk & Information Analytics Group v. Henry E Asher, Henry E Asher dba TLFO, TLO Holding I Inc., TLO Holding II Inc., Technology Investors Inc., Technology Investors II Inc., Technology Investors Four Inc., 5441604 Corp., HITM Inc., 2395665800 Corp., Jari Research Corp., Jari Research Dr Corp., Jarico Corp., La Marina Renters LLC, Naples Renters LLC, 9009 Houndslake Court LLC, 4X.com LLC, Digame LLC, and Casa Le Asher.
Reed Elsevier is represented by Bruce Zimet of Fort Lauderdale and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart of Manhattan, N.Y.