1/7/20 - News
Tech Startup Calls on SHJ to Protect Against Retaliatory Litigation
Houston, TX, January 7, 2020—Bees360, a tech startup that leverages artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and drone technology to provide residential property damage adjusting services for the insurance industry, has prevailed against a competitor alleging multiple IP-related charges.
The company, along with its founders, was sued by Panton Incorporated for alleged breaches of non-competition and non-disclosure agreements, theft of trade secrets, tortious interference, and conspiracy. Bees360 retained Houston-based law firm Schiffer Hicks Johnson PLLC (SHJ) for its defense and filed a motion pursuant to Texas’ anti-SLAPP law, the Texas Citizens Participation Act (TCPA), seeking full dismissal of all claims along with attorneys’ fees and sanctions.
The SHJ team, including Varant Yegparian, Logan Johnson, Dan Hinde, and Benjamin Cohen, argued that Panton’s claims were brought for purposes of violating Bees360’s free speech and free association rights, were brought for retaliatory purposes, and did not constitute a bona fide business dispute. As such, the claims fell well within the broad and encompassing provisions of the TCPA.
On December 18, 2019, a Harris County District Court Judge entered an order dismissing all of Panton’s claims and awarding Bees360 attorneys’ fees along with sanctions, vindicating both Bees360 and the TCPA’s underlying goals of protecting Texans from harassing and retaliatory litigation.