LA CROSSE, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kaplan Professional, part of Kaplan, Inc., a global education provider, filed a lawsuit in federal court against a competitor, Dalton Education, LLC, for misappropriating valuable trade secrets, in support of an unlawful scheme to steal Kaplan Professional’s clients in the financial planning sector.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin in Madison, seeks immediate injunctive relief in addition to unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from Dalton Education and two individually named defendants.
The lawsuit alleges a scheme whereby Dalton Education recruited sales employees from Kaplan Professional over a period of time with the express intent of using Kaplan Professional’s confidential and proprietary information to help grow its own business, including, among other things, a senior-level Dalton manager intentionally soliciting a Kaplan Professional employee to tell him confidential information in order to “steal” business from Kaplan Professional. Both companies provide continuing education, licensing and certification for employees in the financial planning field and compete for the same or similar clients.
The two individual defendants named in the lawsuit allegedly shared highly confidential proprietary information with Dalton Education, while still Kaplan Professional employees.
The lawsuit describes the various levels of protection Kaplan employs to safeguard its intellectual property and trade secrets, including IT security and Confidentiality and Restriction Agreements with employees governing their use of company information. Those protocols were violated, the lawsuit claims, by the defendants.
The claim against Dalton Education and the individual defendants includes nine counts of unlawful behavior, including violation of trade secrets, computer fraud and abuse, tortious interference with Kaplan Professional’s prospective economic advantage, and unfair competition.
About Kaplan Professional
Kaplan is a leading international provider of training and education services operating in more than 30 countries and working with over 10,000 corporations and businesses globally. Kaplan Professional helps professionals obtain and maintain in-demand certifications, licenses and designations that enable them to advance and succeed in their careers. Through live and online instruction, Kaplan Professional provides test preparation, licensing, continuing education, and professional development programs to businesses and individuals in the accounting, engineering, insurance, securities, real estate, financial planning, and information technology industries. Kaplan, Inc. is part of the Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC).