Author Charges Yahoo, Score With Stealing Web Idea

by , Jul 13, 2012, 5:37 PM
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A New York-based author has sued Yahoo and the nonprofit group Score for allegedly stealing his idea for the online reality series "Remake America."

In a complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn, Steven Faktor alleges that the Web video show "replicates every material element" of a concept he pitched to Score in 2011. The Herndon, Va.-based Score offers mentoring to entrepreneurs who aim to grow their small businesses.

"Remake America," which debuted on Yahoo in March, follows six American families as the 2012 election season unfolds. The show examines the impact of unemployment, healthcare, veteran affairs and the housing market on the families.

Faktor, who recently authored "Econovation: The Red, White, and Blue Pill for Arousing Innovation," alleges that he met with Score representatives in fall 2011 and pitched them a "social-driven Web series to help American small businesses."

In December 2011, Score turned down the idea, Faktor says. He alleges that the nonprofit later "partnered" with Yahoo for "Remake America."

His complaint, filed earlier this month, doesn't outline the scope of that partnership. But Score said in March that it was working with Yahoo "by offering free small business guidance and resources to help one of the featured struggling entrepreneurs -- and America -- find solutions to issues facing small business owners across the country."

Faktor alleges a variety of counts, including misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud.

Faktor doesn't say in his complaint that he ever met with Yahoo or discussed his ideas with anyone from the Web company. Yahoo still potentially could be liable for misappropriation, but Faktor likely would have to prove that the company knew it received a trade secret and still used the idea.

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