Trust Safe Pay, LLC v. Dynamic Diet, LLC (17-cv-10166).

Magistrate Judge Kelley granted defendants’ motion to dismiss the copyright infringement claims, citing the failure of the plaintiff to allege it held any validly registered copyrights and failure to identify any specific content that was alleged to be both original and copied. Trust Safe accuses its former employees of taking a confidential algorithm and using it to create a competing business, of copying Trust Safe’s website, and of tracking the website and changing its own in exactly the same way as Trust Safe’s site.  Applying the Twombly standard, Judge Kelley noted that the complaint asserts that Trust Safe is the assignee of three copyright registrations, but fails to allege that the applications, together with the deposit and fees, had been sent to the Copyright Office, which is required when relying on preregistration of a copyright.  She also found the failure to specify similarities between Trust Safe’s site and that the Defendant “frustrate[s] any effort to compare the parties’ materials” and thus fails to show copying.  Judge Kelley also dismissed the state statutory and common law trade secret counts for failure to adequately identify the trade secrets at issue – the recitation of an “algorithm,” without specifying what the algorithm was or what it did, was not sufficient.  Intentional fraud and M.G.L. 93A claims that depended on the trade secret misappropriation claim were also dismissed.  Because all of the claims were deemed plausible, albeit inadequately pled, all of the dismissals were without prejudice.  The case was before the Magistrate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 636(c) and with the consent of the parties.

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