Ooyala sues Brightcove over Latin America secrets

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Neal Romanek
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May 24th 2017 at 10:28AM : By Neal Romanek

Ooyala has accused two former employees of passing confidential client info to Brightcove

OTT video services company Ooyala has filed a lawsuit against its competitor in the online video space, Brightcove

Ooyala claims that two former employees, Darío Pérez Real and Raúl Francisco García Domínguez, now working with Brightcove, worked in tandem to pass over confidential client data to the Brightcove team. You can download the full text of the complaint here

The lawsuit, filed 22 May in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, accuses Brightcove of engaging in, according to an Ooyala press release, "deliberate and willful misappropriation of proprietary trade secrets including customer contact lists, confidential sales pitches and pricing, marketing plans and corporate strategies to undermine and exploit Ooyala’s business dealings and sales efforts for Brightcove’s benefit throughout Latin America".

Ooyala filed the injunction to stop what it claimed was Brightcove's misappropriation of trade secrets. The company is asking Real and Domínguez at Brightcove to return all proprietary materials and destroy all customer information.

The six-count filing also includes allegations of deceptive business practices, tortious interference and breach of contract. 

Ooyala said it gave Brightcove notice detailing the wrongdoing once the evidence was uncovered and claims the lawsuit is the result of Brightcove’s failure to take action to resolve the issue and in the belief that Brightcove knowingly and intentionally continued to use Ooyala’s confidential information to solicit Ooyala’s current and prospective clients. 

Ooyala has a research and development office in Guadalajara, Mexico, as well as active sales, marketing and channel efforts in Argentina, Brazil, the Caribbean, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Peru. Ooyala claims that the sharing of proprietary information infringed upon contractual confidentiality agreements, causing harm to Ooyala’s business dealings throughout Latin America. 
 
As reported by our sister publication, Multichannel News, Brightcove released the following statement:

"We are aware of Ooyala's assertions concerning the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. When first alerted to these assertions by Ooyala, we reviewed them in good faith and reached out to Ooyala in an effort to address its concerns. Ooyala disengaged from that conversation and then filed this suit. Brightcove believes that this lawsuit is entirely without merit. We are working to resolve the matter, which is narrowly focused on a particular region and does not concern our products, services or technology."

A wealth of trade secret information

Per the compliant, Ooyala is alleging that Darío Pérez Real “surreptitiously sent to Brightcove a wealth of Ooyala’s confidential and trade secret information” in his final three months of employment as a senior sales exec at Ooyala and while he was being courted to join Brightcove.

Ooyala further claims that Raúl Francisco García Domínguez, a former vice president at Ooyala and the current head of Brightcove’s Latin America division, coordinated the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.

The complaint alleges that Domínguez, prior to resigning from Ooyala on Feb. 23, 2017, had already signed an employment contract with Brightcove and was working with Garcia to send confidential client data to Brightcove and to solicit Ooyala’s current and prospective customers on Brightcove’s behalf.

Ooyala asserts that it has already lost one account to Brightcove and others that were required to be renewed at a lower average contract value “to counteract Brightcove’s misappropriation of Ooyala’s confidential and trade secret information.”

Ooyala didn’t name which of its current and prospective clients were affected by the alleged activity but did point to an April 19 press release from Brightcove announcing “key customer wins,” including Grupo Televisa, Expansión, and Grupo Nación Paraguay, as well as plans to open an office in Mexico City. Garcia, Brightcover's general manager, Latin America at the time, is one of the execs quoted in the release.