Trade secrets snatched by former software exec., suit claims

Ann Knef Aug. 13, 2008, 10:47am

A California company that supplies data application systems to real estate agents is suing a former executive for violating trade secrets.

IDX Media LLC of Sebastopol, Calif., claims its former vice president for product development, Daniel Evans of Belleville, solicited multiple clients to end their work with IDX and switch to a new company Evans planned to form.

Evans, who ran an IDX office in O'Fallon, had previously worked as a contractor for the company, states the complaint filed Aug. 6 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Evans sold a software program he developed "Exchange" to IDX in February 2007 in exchange for a full-time position, fixed salary and profit sharing, the complaint states.

"Evans copied IDX's proprietary design template for these IDX clients while still employed by IDX," the complaint states. "After he left IDX, Evans then used the Exchange software to finish the work IDX had begun for each client."

Exchange software is marketed as, "One central software system where you can manage the presentation of your home listings, update your content, store your customer data and track new leads generated on your Web site…"

IDX also is suing the firm that Evans started after leaving IDX, OSI Studios in Belleville, as well as former IDX employees who went to work with Evans.

The lawsuit also claims the employees signed non-disclosure agreements, promising to keep IDX trade secrets confidential.

"OSI is currently using Exchange for these and several new clients, though it has renamed it 'TransactCRM,'" the complaint states.

IDX is represented by John S. Sandberg and Adrienne K. Price of Sandberg, Phoenix & von Gontard of St. Louis.

"IDX seeks to recover all actual damages arising from Evans' breach of his duty of loyalty to IDX," the complaint states.

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