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CoStar Sues Two Denver Companies for Misuse of Proprietary Data

CoStar Inc., a commercial real estate research company, filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday, March 29 in a Denver U.S. District Court against two Denver brokerage companies alleging they used the company’s brand without permission.

The lawsuit alleges that SullivanHayes and Dunton Commercial shared a joint account through CoStar that only Dunton had paid for.

Misuse of Proprietary Data Case Details and Allegations

ripping up a contract

The following are some of the case details and allegations that came from local media reports and court documents:

  • Dunton entered into a licensed agreement in 2008 with CoStar on the condition it paid monthly fees to have access to CoStar’s database.
  • CoStar alleges that Dunton and SullivanHayes improperly used the company’s photos and data without permission, according to court documents.
  • “Under the License Agreement, the licensee is Dunton Commercial, not SullivanHayes,” the lawsuit states. “Dunton Commercial agreed not to use the CoStar Service except as specifically permitted under the license agreement ... Nevertheless, in violation of the License Agreement, Dunton Commercial provided SullivanHayes with repeated access to and use of the CoStar Service.”
  • The plaintiff claims the named companies have different Denver business addresses – Dunton is at 2,000 S. Colorado Blvd., Ste. 8000, while Sullivan Hayes is located at 2,000 S. Colorado Blvd., Ste. 8500.
  • The lawsuit alleges Dunton allowed a female employee of SullivanHayes to create an account to log in to CoStar’s database.
  • CoStar claims Dunton even went so far as to create the female a Dunton email address to make it look like she was an employee of Dunton.
  • The lawsuit claims the defendants wrongfully tricked CoStar into issuing the female employee a login credentials.
  • When one reporter attempted to call and locate the female at Dunton, they were told she was an officer manager. But, the female employee declined to talk to the reporter.
  • Both Dunton and SullivanHayes are owned by Mission Viejo, CA-based Chang Enterprises, which also includes retired professional tennis player Michael Chang.
  • Other allegations include:
    • Breach of contract – Against both Dunton and SullivanHayes
    • Copyright infringement – Against both Dunton and SullivanHayes
    • Fraud – Against both Dunton and SullivanHayes

What Damages  Will CoStar Sue For?

A district judge has already handed down temporary and permanent injunctions against both companies from using CoStar’s data further.

CoStar is also seeking maximum damages in this case, which could bring up to $150,000 from each company, as well as other possible punitive damages at the trial.

Contact a Denver Business Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

If your business' proprietary data has been misused - or if you are embroiled in any business legal dispute, contact Denver Business Attorney Thomas E. Downey for experienced representation and aggressive legal advocacy.

Attorney Thomas Downey's dedication to his clients, coupled with his extensive experience handling complex business matters of corporate law, means that his clients can always trust that he will aggressively protect their rights and help them achieve the best possible outcomes to their sensitive legal matters.

Learn more about your rights and options, as well as our various legal services, by calling us at (303) 813-1111 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.

Located in Englewood, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

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