• Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

TenCate and FieldTurf fighting in court again

TenCate Americas is demanding that a court case by rival synthetic turf supplier FieldTurf is dismissed.

FieldTurf is accusing TenCate Americas of poaching one of its executives and trade secrets.

According to TenCate Americas, also known as Polyloom Corp., FieldTurf USA’s lawsuit lacks a plausible theory that TenCate acquired protected information when FieldTurf’s Vice President of Sales Martin Olinger switched companies.

Olinger spent over 15 years as Senior Vice President of Sales at FieldTurf, which claims that, shortly before his resignation, Olinger downloaded dozens of restricted files. In doing so, he violated his confidentiality agreement.

TenCate is having none of it. According to the US Herald, they have responded by saying that FieldTurf’s claims were based on “vague business concepts” supposedly misappropriated, without alleging that TenCate has used the stolen data.

“Both alone and in combination, FieldTurf’s alleged trade secrets are too vague and too inclusive to be considered trade secrets,” TenCate stated. “This failure alone requires dismissal of its [Defend Trade Secrets Act] claim against TenCate.”

Not the first time

It is not the first time that these synthetic turf giants are dragging one another to the courts. Exactly 10 years ago, TenCate Americas and FieldTurf settled a bitter fight two weeks into the court case, in which FieldTurf had filed a product-related claim.

In November 2009, TenCate Grass terminated the contractual relationship with FieldTurf Tarkett. They claimed that FieldTurf Tarkett, in violation of the agreement, had developed a synthetic turf fibre of its own. Shortly thereafter, FieldTurf Tarkett introduced this fibre under the name Revolution.

In this case, TenCate claimed close to USD 100 million from FieldTurf, before the case was settled out of court.

Guy Oldenkotte

Guy Oldenkotte is senior editor of sportsfields.info and has been covering the outdoor sportssurfaces market and industry since 2003

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