Suits Charge Misappropriation of Trade Secrets and Confidential Business
MINNEAPOLIS and NORFOLK, Va., June 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
Softchoice Corporation, a value-added reseller of information technology in
the United States and Canada, today filed pleadings in civil lawsuits in
Minnesota and Virginia alleging that En Pointe Technologies, Inc. has engaged
in illegal and unethical business practices designed to enable En Pointe to
compete unfairly in the marketplace.
In the court filings Softchoice alleged that En Pointe engaged in a
scheme to "misappropriate Softchoice's confidential information, trade
secrets, and customer relationships and use them to injure Softchoice." As
part of a campaign to injure Softchoice's business, En Pointe recruited and
hired Softchoice sales personnel with the expectation of using confidential
Softchoice data, the suits state.
"...[O]ver the past several years En Pointe has relied on a 'business
model' of raiding competitors in general, and plaintiff Softchoice in
particular, of experienced sales representatives," the suits state. "That
model has permitted En Pointe to reap the benefits of an experienced,
knowledgeable sales force without making the investment in time and resources
required to develop such a sales force."
Individual lawsuits are pending against former employees for breach of
contract agreements in Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and
Virginia. En Pointe has raided Softchoice personnel a total of 22 times over
the last two years.
The motions filed today, which seek to add En Pointe as a defendant to
cases that currently name several former Softchoice employees as defendants,
were filed in Hennepin County District Court (Minneapolis) and in the Circuit
Court for the City of Norfolk, Va.
"Softchoice believes that competition in the information technology
industry benefits customers, but that competition must be fair and legal,"
said Kirsten Thompson, General Counsel of Softchoice Corporation. "Our goal
is to put a stop to this illegal behavior and force En Pointe to obey federal
and state laws."
"Softchoice prides itself on its hard-earned reputation for ethical
behavior and corporate responsibility," Thompson added. "We take seriously
the confidential information shared with us by our customers and vendors, and
will take every legal action available to us to protect the confidential
information entrusted to us and the high-level of confidence we have earned in
In addition to seeking monetary damages from En Pointe, the actions seek
a permanent injunction against former Softchoice employees who violated the
terms and conditions of their contracts and confidentiality agreements with
Softchoice when they solicited Softchoice customers to do business with En
Pointe. Softchoice has won injunctions and temporary restraining orders
against a number of former employees now working for En Pointe in Minnesota,
Virginia and Missouri and also has actions pending in North Carolina and
The suits note that En Pointe, while encouraging Softchoice employees to
ignore their non-solicitation agreements, has agreements in place with it own
employees that ban such activity: "Unable to create sufficient revenue through
organic growth of its business, En Pointe has chosen to increase its revenue
by stealing the very kind of confidential business relationships it forbids
its own employees even to discuss with others."
For copies of the filings or further information please contact Gregg
Perry or Kristin Brown of Prism Public Affairs -- 401-352-5200 or
202-207-3635. For further information on the litigation, please visit
As one of North America's leading providers of technology solutions and
services, Softchoice helps businesses and organizations of all sizes to
select, acquire and manage their software and hardware technology resources.
Softchoice offers a full range of capabilities, including face-to-face
consultations and IT asset management services designed to help customers save
time, money and risk in IT procurement. In 2006, Softchoice was named Software
Value Added Reseller (VAR) of the Year by VAR Business magazine. Softchoice
currently has more than 993 employees operating from more than 40 branch
offices located in major cities across the U.S. and Canada.
Softchoice stock is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the
trading symbol "SO." The Common Shares of Softchoice are not registered under
the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and are not publicly traded in the United
For further information:
For further information: Gregg Perry, +1-401-351-5200, or Kristin Brown,
+1-202-207-3635, both for Softchoice Corporation Web Site: