Court reverses summary judgment in mixed martial arts TV suit

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A dispute over idea misappropriation and civil conversion involving the origin of televised mixed martial arts through HDNET Fights was sent back to the trial court Friday. The Court of Appeals ruled that Marion Superior Court’s grant of partial summary judgment in favor of a sanctioning body that had suggested the development of a similar idea was in error.

Five years ago, the North American Boxing Council and cable and satellite channel HDNet exchanged a series of emails about the possible future development of weekly broadcasts of a mixed martial arts fight series. The parties didn’t enter into a contract, but the boxing council considered the information in the emails a protectable commercial idea.

The NABC sued in 2008 after HDNet owner Mark Cuban formed HDNet Fights. NABC alleged eight counts: idea misappropriation, unfair competition, breach of oral contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, negligence, misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion of trade secrets and promissory estoppel.

Marion Superior Judge Thomas Carroll granted summary judgment to NABC on its claims of idea misappropriation and conversion of trade secrets, holding that the claims were not preempted by the Indiana Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

The appeals court ruled the trial court found in favor of a narrow reading of Indiana Code 24-2-3-1(b) that subverted legislative intent.

“NABC’s interpretation of the IUTSA would encourage piece meal litigation and would thus fail to implement the legislature’s intended goal of uniformity. Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court’s summary judgment order is erroneous as a matter of law,” Senior Judge Carr Darden wrote in reversing the court’s summary judgment for idea misappropriation.

Darden wrote on reversing the second finding of summary judgment that “NABC’s civil conversion allegation does not delineate a criminal act; it merely outlines another allegation of civil misappropriation of NABC’s ideas. Thus, the conversion action is not saved by the criminal law exception to the IUTSA’s preemption provision.”



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  2. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.

  3. maybe if some of the socia workers would treat the foster parents better, they would continue to fostr.

  4. We have been asked to take in a 2 no old baby because mother is in very unstable situation. We want to do this but will need help with expenses such as medical and formula... Do we have to have custody thru court?

  5. Very troubling. A competent public defender is very much the right of every indigent person in the US or the Fifth amendment becomes meaningless. And considering more and more of us are becoming poorer and poorer under this "system," the need for this are greater than ever.... maybe they should study the Federals and see how they manage their program? And here's to thanking all the PD attorneys out there who do a good job.