Three-Year Court Battle With WPP Ends With $1 Damages Award To TRA

A three-year-old lawsuit between WPP, Kantar and affiliated firms and TRA, now owned by TiVo, has concluded with both sides agreeing not to pursue a trial on the remaining claim of whether TRA was entitled to nominal damages on its claims for breach of contract and aiding and abetting breach.

Most the claims had been dealt with in earlier orders from the judge hearing the case, Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. In April, Scheindlin ruled that TRA was not entitled to either compensatory or punitive damages on the breach of contract claims.

The suit was triggered in 2011 when talks between the parties concerning WPP’s possible acquisition of TRA broke down and Kantar launched a competitive service called RapidView. TiVo acquired TRA in 2012.

Late last year, Scheindlin tossed TRA’s patent infringement claims and also ruled that Kantar did not misappropriate trade secrets. Scheindlin also rejected TRA’s so-called “frozen market” claim that Kantar had caused a sharp devaluation of TRA by launching competing products and then bringing suit against the company, making investors wary.

“After conferring, the parties have agreed that Counterclaim-Defendants [WPP, Kantar and affiliated companies] will be deemed to have paid TRA $1 in nominal damages, thereby mooting the last remaining issue before the Court in this litigation and allowing for the entry of a stipulated final judgment.”

The order, issued earlier this month, indicated that Kantar did not admit to any liability on the nominal damages claim and that both sides were free to appeal any of the orders that Scheindlin issued throughout the legal proceeding. 

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