Brand Coupon Network LLC, a Baton Rouge online coupon company, sued a Florida coupon firm in 19th Judicial District Court in Baton Rouge and claims the firm stole its identity, customers and ideas.
Brand Coupon operates under the name BrandCouponNetwork.com.
In April 2010, Brand Coupon Chief Executive Officer Daniel Abraham, as part of his duties as a board member of the Association of Coupon Professionals, discussed Brand Coupon’s strategies and business plans with two Catalina Marketing executives, according to the lawsuit.
Catalina, which was only in the print coupon business, “suddenly entered the Internet coupon business and did so under the remarkably similar name of CouponNetwork.com.”
Abraham demanded Catalina cease the use of “the nearly identical and overtly confusing name” CouponNetwork.com, but Catalina refused, the suit says.
As a result, Brand Coupon’s investors have lost confidence in the company’s ability to survive and distinguish itself from Catalina, the lawsuit says. The investors aren’t putting any more money into Brand Coupon, which means the company can’t promote itself and will fail unless the court forces Catalina to stop using CouponNetwork.com and stealing Brand Coupon’s identity, customers and ideas, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit claims Catalina’s business practices and acts, which include a conspiracy to defraud Brand Coupon and theft of the company’s name, have violated the state’s unfair trade practices act. Catalina also violated the state’s uniform trade secrets act, the suit says.
Officials with Catalina did not return a call for comment. Brand Coupon wants the court to stop Catalina from using the CouponNetwork.com name and to award Brand Coupon damages for lost business.