Genius Sports Wins DK Injunction Against Rival FirstPlay A/S

Genius Sports has won a Danish injunction against rival data provider FirstPlay A/S related to its business model duplication, staff poaching and business-sensitive information theft.

The injunction filed in Copenhagen accused FirstPlay of unethical business practises, poaching Genius Sports talent to acquire IP secrets and additional business-sensitive data to create a new sports data enterprise.

The Copenhagen court was asked to preside over whether FirstPlay had purposely targeted Genius Sports poaching staff based in Sofia (Bulgaria) working in the data processing centre of the firm.

In 2018, Genius Sports expanded its Sofia systems capacity by acquiring’ InPlay Sports Data,’ a unit that it believes FirstPlay was intending to target, seeking to poach staff to secure sensitive business information related to its sports portfolio and pricing models.

Genius Sports backed its allegations of sending emails to its Sofia employees seeking ‘knowledge of trade secrets/business-related sensitive data”.

The Copenhagen court ruled in favour of Genius Sports that FirstPlay’s actions knowingly resulted in a’ talent drain’ in breach of the Danish Marketing Practices Act’s business code.

As a result, the Copenhagen court considers that FirstPlay a Denmark-registered enterprise can not  ‘directly or indirectly to carry on activities that involve collection, processing and distribution of sports data’ for 18-month period.

Genius Sports has praised the court’s judgement that details the outcome as a vindication for’ ethical business practises’ and service transparency.

In the meantime, FirstPlay has announced that they will lodge an appeal against the injunction that they consider to be excessive and exaggerated, since only six workers were recruited from Genius Sports.