Bona Law Seeks Leave to File Amended Antitrust Complaint on Behalf of Lucasys Against PowerPlan
May 17, 2022
Bona Law and Robbins Alloy Belinfante Littlefield sought leave to file an amended antitrust complaint in Atlanta federal court on behalf of its client Lucasys, Inc. to allege new allegations showing that embattled monopolist PowerPlan, Inc. maintains its monopoly by asserting sham trade secret misappropriation claims. The amendment came just hours after the same court dismissed PowerPlan’s trade secret counterclaims (without prejudice) against Lucasys in the lawsuit for failing to plausibly allege any trade secret misappropriation by Lucasys.
Lucasys is a tax consulting and software development company that provides software and services to investor-owned, rate-regulated utilities that are necessary because PowerPlan’s utility management software is, according to the complaint, so inadequate, outdated, and inflexible that companies cannot use their own data as stored by PowerPlan to make calculations required by tax law changes without paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to outside consultants.
Lucasys’ original complaint survived a motion to dismiss, so Lucasys seeks the amendment to set forth new facts about PowerPlan’s sham trade secrets scheme and to add two additional antitrust claims. More specifically, Lucasys alleges that PowerPlan made sham assertions of trade secret misappropriation against Lucasys to customers and used proposed “authorized vendor agreements” to restrict competition, all in an effort to unlawfully protect its monopoly from Lucasys’ new competition.
The allegations are backed by an expert’s affidavit attaching hundreds of exhibits showing that PowerPlan has publicly disclosed much of the information that it contends are trade secrets.
The court’s order, filed earlier in the day, granted Lucasys’ motion to dismiss PowerPlan’s trade secret misappropriation counterclaims. The order, authored by presiding U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg, held that PowerPlan failed to allege facts showing that Lucasys misappropriated any trade secrets, and refused to adopt the controversial “inevitable disclosure” doctrine argued by PowerPlan, finding that “[t]o allow PowerPlan to state a claim based exclusively upon the facts that [Lucasys employees] had access to PowerPlan's vaguely-described trade secrets and, some years later, formed a competitor entity would effectively be to enforce permanent non-compete agreements where no such agreements existed.”
Lucays is represented by Jarod Bona, Jon Cieslak, and Aaron Gott of Bona Law PC, and Richard Robbins, Jason Alloy, and Joshua Mayes of Robbins Alloy Belinfante Littlefield LLC. The case is Lucasys, Inc. v. PowerPlan, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.