SparkPost has won a legal battle in a trademark suit filed against it by 250ok. But it’s not clear whether it will win the war.
The Delaware Court of Chancery recently threw out a claim that SparkPost was “unjustly enriched” when it allegedly breached a reseller agreement with 250ok and misappropriated trade secrets.
That claim, filed under the Delaware Uniform Trade Secret Act (DUTSA) “’occupies the field’ and preempts a claim for common law for unjust enrichment,” writes the court’s Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III.
Still to be litigated are claims that SparkPost misappropriated 250ok’s Sensor Network technology, a tool that helps brands “monitor their internet protocol addresses and domains to identify sending practices that damage the sender’s reputation,” Slights writes.
250ok alleges that SparkPost admitted to ‘reverse-engineering’ the domains that constitute the 250ok Sensor Network, a claim SparkPost denies.
In 2019, SparkPost was exploring a purchase of 250ok, but 250ok declined the offer when it found that SparkPost had built its own product, called SparkPost Signals, Slights writes, citing the details of the case based on the 250ok complaint in the context of adjudicating the unjust enrichment claim.
However, no opinion has been rendered regarding the alleged misappropriation.
Slights notes that “both Delaware and federal courts have consistently held that unjust enrichment claims ‘based on the same alleged wrongful conduct as the trade secret claims’ are preempted by the DUTSA.”
Either way, the case illustrates the high stakes now being played for in the email technology field.
250ok has itself been sued in a similar case. Email On Acid LLC filed suit, alleging that 250ok licensed its Email Previews Service, then used it to create a competing product and poach clients, breaching the agreement between the two firms.”
250ok is now part of Validity.
This story has been updated.