Solavei Sues Stream Energy For Stealing Trade Secrets After Merger Talks

Ryan Wuerch, CEO, Solavei


A Dallas District Court judge today blocked Stream Energy from using proprietary technology and information to launch a new mobile phone service after social commerce leader Solavei sued Stream for stealing trade secrets gathered during extensive merger talks.

Seattle-based Solavei sought the injunction to halt Stream and its marketing arm, Ignite, from using trade secrets and other intellectual property in launching a mobile phone service sold through an online direct-marketing platform – exactly the type of social commerce business pioneered and continuously innovated upon by Solavei. Stream's mobile business was set to launch on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, at an event in Las Vegas.

Without benefit of Solavei's confidential information and the guidance and explanation provided during due diligence, Defendants could not launch this new business – particularly not in a matter of months,'' the lawsuit states.

Solavei provides high-quality, low-cost and contract-free mobile phone service in the United States. The company's core business strategy combines social media, referral marketing and mobile service.

Stream is a Texas company involved in the direct marketing of retail electric service. Senior Stream executives named in the lawsuit are Chairman Rob Snyder, CEO Mark Bouncer'' Schiro and CFO Renee Hornbaker along with top Stream associates who were bound by specific confidentiality agreements. 

In May 2013, the companies entered merger discussions under a mutually agreed-upon confidentiality agreement. A letter of intent to combine the companies was signed in November 2013, pending due diligence by both sides. 

As the lawsuit states: It was understood by all that Solavei's confidential information was extremely valuable and it was not to be used or disclosed for any purpose other than consummating a deal between Solavei and Stream.''

From February 2014 to April 2014, Solavei shared its most confidential and proprietary information with Stream, including its technology, social marketing strategies, go-to-market plan and customer lists. 

Shortly before the transaction was set to close, Stream terminated the deal.

The lawsuit states: Three months later, in September 2014, Stream announced its plans to roll out a mobile phone direct marketing business in its own right, within a matter of months.'' 

As the lawsuit notes, Stream executives have publicly used Solavei's trademark slogan Powered by Relationships'' to describe their company, in spite of the fact that the slogan is a registered US trademark owned by Solavei. Stream also has been recruiting top Solavei members by spreading false and defamatory information about Solavei.

That Stream is improperly using Solavei's proprietary and trade secret information to jump start its new business line is self-evident, the lawsuit states. Stream has announced that its cellular telephone service – ''Mobile by Stream'' – will launch on Jan. 24, 2015. There is no other way Stream could roll out a mobile phone direct marketing business in such a short amount of time. It took Solavei two years to achieve what Stream has done within six months.''

Solavei is seeking an immediate halt to Stream's mobile plans along with monetary damages. The lawsuit alleges misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, tortious interference and conspiracy.

Source: Solavei

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