The Wall Street Journal and The American Lawyer Report on CoStar Group’s Copyright, CFAA and Unfair Competition Case

December 2017

The Wall Street Journal and The American Lawyer discuss developments in CoStar Group, Inc.’s Copyright, CFAA and Unfair Competition case against CoStar-competitor Xceligent Inc. following Xceligent’s bankruptcy filing last week.

The firm’s client is CoStar Group, the nation’s leading provider of commercial real estate information. We allege that one of its competitors, Xceligent, was copying CoStar’s proprietary data and copyrighted photographs on an industrial scale, using “researchers” in the U.S., India, and the Philippines.  Led by partners Nick Boyle and Bryan Wilson, Williams & Connolly brought suit in Missouri federal court on CoStar’s behalf, claiming copyright infringement, breach of contract, unfair competition, and violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).  Parallel with the U.S. suit, we coordinated with foreign counsel to procure and simultaneously execute ex parte civil seizure orders in Manila and Mumbai to preserve and utilize evidence of wrongdoing by Xceligent and its offshore contractors.  Additionally, we recently brought suit on CoStar’s behalf in Pittsburgh federal court against another of Xceligent’s agents.  Rather than contest the allegations, the defendant immediately stipulated to entry of judgment on all counts, disgorgement of all profits, and a permanent injunction enjoining it from infringing CoStar’s copyrighted photographs and proprietary data. 

After its parent company wrote Xceligent’s carrying value down to zero in November, Xceligent’s board filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.  As a result of the bankruptcy filing, all claims against Xceligent have been stayed.  We intend to continue to pursue claims against all remaining wrongdoers, in all available fora.  

Nick Boyle, Bryan Wilson, Carl Metz, Mary Beth Hickcox-Howard, Matt Blumenstein, Jonah Perlin, Krista Anderson, Sean Douglass, and Eric Elliott represent CoStar.

Click here to read “Total Destruction, Williams & Connolly Style” by The American Lawyer.  Click here to read “Despite Xceligent’s Bankruptcy, CoStar Plans to Continue Legal Battle” by The Wall Street Journal.  The developments in this case have also been reported on by Law360, Bisnow, The Telegraph, and The Business Journal.

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