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Software Pricing Partners Awarded Damages Against Ex-Partner Jim Geisman

·4 min read

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Software Pricing Partners (SPP) announced today that a judgment has been entered by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against James H. "Jim" Geisman (case number 3:19-cv-00195), awarding SPP a permanent injunction against Geisman along with $779,114.60 and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs (in an amount to be determined later by the Court). As part of the judgment, the Court found Geisman liable for breach of his exit agreement, misappropriation of trade secrets under state and federal law, copyright infringement, violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and unfair and deceptive acts or practices.

Software Pricing Partners Awarded Damages Against Ex-Partner Jim Geisman

"We have invested heavily in the creation of our trade secrets, methodology, processes and software because they deliver real value for the software companies who invest in us," said Chris Mele, Managing Partner of Software Pricing Partners. "This judgment acknowledges that our methods are not public knowledge, and our trade secrets lie at the core of enabling our clients to achieve such significant results."

Over the course of its three-year litigation, SPP presented evidence that Geisman–a former partner in the consulting firm, which develops and implements monetization strategies and models for software companies—downloaded, used and disclosed SPP's files containing trade secrets upon departing the firm in 2018. The Court stated as follows:

Geisman began downloading SPP's files containing trade secrets to his personal computer before exiting SPP. When (SPP) learned about the unauthorized downloads, Geisman assured SPP he would delete all SPP files. (Doc. No. 57 ¶¶ 44-46). Instead, Geisman attempted to download the SPP files containing trade secrets on numerous additional occasions, including after he left SPP. (Id. ¶¶ 47-50). He even used and disclosed SPP's trade secrets during his work with [a customer] for a profit. (Id. ¶¶ 92- 93). All the while he was representing to SPP that he did not take SPP files with him after his exit...Thereafter, he again represented to (SPP's) counsel that he did not take anything from SPP when he left even though he still had, used, and disclosed SPP's files. (Id. ¶ 63). In fact, in 2020, during the course of this litigation, Geisman had over 11,000 SPP files on his personal electronics. (Id. ¶ 51). Based on these facts, Geisman willfully and maliciously misappropriated SPP's trade secrets and SPP is entitled to reasonable attorneys' fees.

"I'm grateful that Judge Conrad held Geisman accountable for his wrongful conduct," said Mele. "I'm also very proud of our legal team. Their arguments in this case were outstanding."

"I strongly encourage all founders and executives to go the distance—to protect their legal rights—so we continue to build strong case law that will eliminate this kind of behavior. I sincerely hope this case helps ensure that those who disregard the law will pay a heavy price," said Mele.

SPP was also awarded a permanent injunction preventing Geisman from:

  • Using and/or altering for use SPP's name or any trademarks, logos, or any of its other registered copyrights.

  • Disclosing any confidential information that is not otherwise known or available to individuals or companies other than SPP and/or its current and former principals, employees, and agents, including any confidential information in the over 11,000 SPP files on Geisman's personal electronics.

  • Using, disclosing, or disseminating the 134 specific files enumerated in SPP's Complaint (including any information, formulae, algorithms, etc. contained within those files) and the specific mathematical formula underlying SPP's pricing/discounting curve (including any underlying notes concerning the mathematical formula), even if the information otherwise is known solely by memory or in Geisman's head.

Geisman must also return or destroy files that contain SPP's trade secrets, mathematical formula, and any underlying notes concerning the mathematical formula.

On July 12, 2021, while the case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina was pending, Geisman filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code in the case captioned In re James H. Geisman, Case No. 21-30257, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Software Pricing Partners was represented in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina by Moore & Van Allen of Charlotte, NC.

SPP intends to vigorously protect and enforce its rights and ensure complete compliance with the Court's Order. To that end, we ask that software companies or individuals with information regarding Jim Geisman's use or disclosure of SPP's files or information to please contact J. Mark Wilson, Moore & Van Allen, at 704-331-1000.

About Software Pricing Partners

Software Pricing Partners (SPP) helps software companies outmaneuver competitors by driving top-line growth, profitability and better valuations through more effective and inventive approaches to monetization. Since 1982, the firm has worked with hundreds of B2B software company clients, including some of the industry's most recognizable brands. Software Pricing Partners is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Jessica Hover


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SOURCE Software Pricing Partners