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Court reverses summary judgment in mixed martial arts TV suit

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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.”

 

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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