ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BuildingReports.com, Inc. (BRC) filed a six-count complaint on August 18, 2017, in the United States District Court’s Atlanta division. The suit names multinational conglomerate Honeywell, Inc., a manufacturer of engineered fire systems, as the defendant.
Formed in 2000, BuildingReports® provides mobile inspection applications and software-as-a-service reporting technology used by over 800 companies in fire alarm, fire sprinkler, fire suppression, life safety and security. To date, the technology has been used to produce over 3.7 million fire and life safety compliance inspection reports, spanning more than 600,000 facilities.
According to the suit, “Honeywell sought to enter this market with a competing program, called ‘eVance Services.’ This lawsuit arises out of Honeywell’s attempts to mimic BRC’s successful business model and develop this new, competing business line using improper means, including stealing BRC’s intellectual property, hacking into BRC’s computer system without authorization, scraping BRC’s website to obtain BRC’s customer list, damaging BRC’s computer system in the process, and then using the fruits of these labors to solicit BRC’s clients.”
“BuildingReports welcomes competition as a catalyst for driving innovation and advancing technology in our industry, but we also take our commitment to moral and ethical business practices very seriously,” said Brett Brewster, CEO of BuildingReports.
Jason Kronz, BuildingReports president and chief technology officer, added, “We are committed to protecting our intellectual property assets for the 800-plus service members that have invested in our technology.”
According to the lawsuit, in 2012, a Honeywell Life Safety’s Network Product Manager contacted a BuildingReports member and NOTIFIER distributor to understand how they use BuildingReports, in order to “learn how to develop a better product.”
When the “eVance Services” solution was finally launched in 2014, the lawsuit states that the new reports were “so similar to BRC’s that (BuildingReports) customers that have seen the Infringing Reports have asked (BuildingReports) to confirm whether Honeywell is a partner of (BuildingReports).”
After the launch, the suit alleges, Honeywell developed an automated tool internally that allowed it to “scrape” BuildingReports’ member directory via a newly launched member locator intended for facility professionals. According to the suit, the scraping tool operated by inundating the BuildingReports server with requests at very high speed, and this damaged the performance of the BuildingReports web site. The suit states that BuildingReports was forced to protect the performance of its web site by implementing additional safeguards.
The complaint outlines numerous more recent attempts to lure away BuildingReports staff, despite standing no-compete agreements, though only one of those attempts proved successful.
The suit number is 1:17-cv-03140, and BuildingReports is being represented in the case by Steven G. Hill, Douglas R. Kertscher and Martha L. Decker of Hill Kertscher & Wharton LLP. The papers filed also name several Honeywell divisions as relevant to the litigation, including NOTIFIER, Honeywell Fire Systems, Honeywell Fire Safety, Honeywell Life Safety, Honeywell Security and Fire, Gamewell–FCI, and Silent Knight.
Building safety compliance is critical to service companies, building owners and fire and safety officials who are charged with safeguarding occupants. BuildingReports’ mobile and online inspection reporting tools enable inspectors to quickly gather data on fire and life safety devices to ensure that they are working properly and meet code requirements, or identify actions needed to meet compliance, through easily verifiable inspection reports. With more than 250 million inspected devices to date, over 600,000 buildings represented and 800-plus companies in its network, BuildingReports has earned its reputation as the trusted name in compliance reporting. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.buildingreports.com.