Friday, August 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Why VC Kopelman backed case vs. Best Buy

For "misappropriation of trade secrets" by First Round-backed TechForward

Why VC Kopelman backed case vs. Best Buy

"If big companies believe they can violate agreements with immunity because a startup can’t afford to sue them, it is bad news for every startup in the ecosystem," writes Josh Kopelman, founder of Philadelphia-based First Round Capital, here at RedEyeVC.com.

But "after 18 months in court, a nine-person jury found Best Buy liable for misappropriation of TechForward’s trade secrets and breach of contract, and returned a verdict of $22 million in favor of TechForward," a First Round portfolio company that said Best Buy flirted with, stole and exploited the smaller firm's technology. "The jury also found by clear and convincing evidence that Best Buy did so willfully and maliciously, so the judge awarded an additional $5 million in punitive damages."

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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