Independent media company UrbanDaddy, Inc. (“UrbanDaddy”) filed a complaint in New York Supreme Court today against one-time development partner Gannett Co.’s USA Today for breach of its contractual obligations to UrbanDaddy and for misappropriation of UrbanDaddy’s trade secrets in connection with “The Point,” a locally focused digital media service USA Today operates for Hilton hotels.
USA Today contacted UrbanDaddy in early 2011 requesting help to win back its annual multi-million dollar contract with Hilton. After an agreement was in place, UrbanDaddy began working on the project, devoting thousands of hours as well as substantial resources to develop a digital media service to be pitched to Hilton and other hospitality businesses.
The Hilton contract renewal was won by USA Today in late 2011, based upon UrbanDaddy’s work and expertise, as well as UrbanDaddy’s unique knowledge of the digital media business, hospitality sector, and local and lifestyle content.
Once awarded the contract, USA Today severed its relationship with UrbanDaddy and began using UrbanDaddy’s intellectual property in the development of a digital media service for Hilton in direct violation of their agreement and trade secret laws.
The program ultimately deployed for Hilton by USA Today, subsequently branded “The Point,” is functionally identical to the digital media service that UrbanDaddy helped USA Today to create.
The suit seeks money damages as well as injunctive relief against the continued development and use of “The Point” and other similar services Gannett may offer.
UrbanDaddy is represented by Jacob Buchdahl, Arun Subramanian, and Mark Hatch-Miller from the New York office of Susman Godfrey LLP.