X2O Media Takes Old Founder To Court, Alleging Trade Secrets Used For His New Company
September 1, 2018 by Dave Haynes
Digital signage management software firm X2O Media is going after its old CEO in a Las Vegas court, claiming his new firm has misappropriated trade secrets.
X2O is also claiming, as reflected in filings with the US District Court in Nevada, breach of contract and trademark infringement by Xentiant Technologies and its founder David Wilkins. Longtimers in the digital signage will recall that Wilkins was a founder and the President and CEO of X2O Media for many years, before leaving in 2016. That was in the wake of X2O being sold to the Belgian display company Barco.
X2O, more recently, was acquired by STRATACACHE, so this by extension is that company taking the action against Wilkins and his startup.
Xentiant says on its website that its “software and services allow users to easily create powerful interactive apps and connect them with other users, creating virtual communities that let users communicate in real-time, create and share content, and develop interactive experiences spanning multiple screens and devices.”
“Leveraging Microsoft® technologies such as Azure®, SharePoint®, Skype®, and Yammer®, the Xentiant platform builds upon existing infrastructures to create a customizable “application layer” that can easily be adapted to the needs of individual users, groups, and organizations. Infinitely scalable, the Xentiant platform enables the development of virtual on-line communities where users can access shared content and real-time data, and interact with other community members using mobile devices, desktops, and public-facing displays.”
X2O says on its website: X2O Media empowers organizations to be successful communicators with tools that allow anyone to create media rich, highly visual content channels that leverage real-time data. With a long and proficient history in visual storytelling, X2O understands that great communications inspires, motivates and drives business opportunities. In today’s Digital Workplace, the companies who embrace these new forms of communications will flourish.
The primary claim filed with the court is that the two platforms have similar appearances and functionality, and that this owes to Wilkins having run X2O and knowing “trade secrets.” The claim is also that Xentiant would be chasing business that X2O is after, and that losing business to Xentiant would “injure” X2O.
There is another claim that the Xentiant brand and its use of the X is too close to X2O’s brand (not sure on that one, but I am unfortunately – or probably fortunately – not a $450/hour trademark lawyer).
Xentiant showcased its platform at InfoComm back in June. I’ve seen X2O’s platform in the past, but did not have a chance to see Xentiant at InfoComm. You can watch a rAVe video here and see what it is all about. They have similarities, but so do most of the roughly 5 billion digital signage CMS platforms on the market at the moment.
I have no idea why this is playing out in a US court in Nevada, as both companies are in Montreal. STRATACACHE is U.S.-based, but it is in Ohio (and has a Montreal office). If you want to look it up, it is Case 2:18-cv-01645, filed in Clark County. Have fun. It is no party getting a look at court files when you are outside the U.S.