Facebook wins $3 million in lawsuit over proprietary information


As many successful New Jersey business owners know, there are many imitators out there. When people see a business making millions or even billions of dollars, they sometimes get jealous and devise ways to get their own customers -- and profits. Sometimes they even go as far as to steal another company's proprietary information. That's what happened when social networking company Power Ventures used Facebook's login data to scrape proprietary information and direct users to its Power.com website.

According to Facebook, Power Ventures acted as an aggregator, marketing its services to Facebook users. After stealing the company's proprietary information, Power Ventures then sent unsolicited emails to users from Facebook users.

Facebook first filed a lawsuit in 2009. A judge found that Facebook violated computer fraud laws, but still ruled in favor of the company in 2012. However, a series of events following the ruling prevented the judge from issuing a final verdict. Power Ventures filed for bankruptcy without submitting a brief outlining the damages. After that, the judge closed the case and retired.

Facebook reopened the case in early 2013. The company demanded damages, while Power Ventures asked the judge to look into Facebook's alleged violations. The judge, however, ruled in favor of Facebook and asked the now-defunct Power Ventures to pay Facebook more than $3 million.

In this age of technology, it's very easy for a company's information to become compromised. It's important for companies big and small to keep files and data secure. This can be done with super-strong passwords and extra vigilance.

Source: Courthouse News Service, " Spamming Facebook Will Cost Power Ventures $3M," William Dotinga, Sept. 27, 2013