Judge denies motion to dismiss in Dice v. Bold

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

BAY CITY, Mich.—A federal judge has denied a motion by Bold Technologies to dismiss a claim filed against it by Dice Corp. in the ongoing trade dispute between the providers of central station automation platforms.

Michigan-based Dice sued its competitor in federal court last August, alleging that Colorado-based Bold unlawfully accessed Dice's proprietary software with the help of Amy Condon, a former Dice engineer hired by Bold.

Dice, which is seeking damages and compensation, says it spent more than $5 million developing the software that it says Bold misappropriated. Bold has rejected Dice's claims, calling the lawsuit "baseless."

On Jan. 30, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas L. Ludington denied Bold's motion to dismiss Dice's claim that Bold violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Bold argued that Dice’s lawsuit does not allege a “loss” within the meaning of the act because it does not allege an “interruption of service.” Dice responded that such an allegation is unnecessary.

R. Christopher Cataldo, an attorney representing Bold, said the judge’s order involved “a very minor technical legal issue that has very little impact on the overall outcome of the case.” Craig Horn, an attorney representing Dice, did not return phone calls to comment.

On Nov. 29, Ludington dismissed three claims that Dice had filed in an amended complaint: for unjust enrichment, conversion (civil as opposed to criminal theft), and a request for statutory damages, costs and attorney's fees related to a copyright infringement count.

Four of Dice's claims remain in the lawsuit: that Bold violated the Michigan Uniform Trade Secret Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and that it infringed on Dice's copyrights by creating unauthorized derivative works.

Cataldo said no depositions had been taken in the case as of Feb. 23. He said discovery would probably take place at the end of April, after which Bold planned “to file motions that will address the substance of the plaintiff’s case.” Bold filed an answer to Dice's second amended complaint on Feb. 13.