State Street, Currenex reply to Suite’s copyright infringement allegations

Maria Nikolova

State Street Corporation, Currenex, Inc., and State Street Global Markets, LLC are seeking to dismiss Suite’s allegations about copyright violations with regard to Suite’s ALib software.

State Street Corporation, Currenex, Inc., and State Street Global Markets, LLC on Thursday filed their response to a complaint by Suite, LLC over copyright infringement concerning Suite’s ALib – analytic software for pricing financial derivatives.

The defendants have filed a motion to dismiss the case, captioned SUITE, LLC v. CURRENEX, INC. et al (1:17-cv-06920).

Let’s recall that the action concerns a 2011 contract between Currenex, a subsidiary of State Street Corporation, and Suite. Under that contract, Currenex purchased for itself and its State Street affiliates a perpetual license to Suite’s ALib. According to the Plaintiff, the license was limited to State Street’s and Currenex’s use and precluded resale or sharing with third parties.

Suite alleges that Currenex and State Street distributed Suite’s copyrighted, confidential software and source-code to third parties (including an existing customer of Suite, “TradingScreen,” and a competitor of Suite, Frost) without the consent or authorization of Suite, thereby breaching the confidentiality provision and the restrictions stipulated in the contract.

The defendants have replied by stating that Suite is simply “unhappy with the deal it negotiated”, and that it is ignoring express contract terms.

The defendants argue that Suite’s claims against State Street premised on copyright law—direct, contributory, and vicarious copyright infringement—should be dismissed in their entirety for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) because the Supreme Court and the Second Circuit apply a bright-line, three-year look-back period for copyright damages. In Suite’s Complaint, according to the defendants, all of the actions that Suite alleges State Street allegedly undertook occurred more than three years before Suite’s Complaint.

In addition, the defendants emphasize that Suite did not obtain a copyright registration for the ALib software until October 3, 2014, after the alleged occurrence of all accused activity by State Street, barring Suite from claiming statutory damages or attorneys’ fees.

Moreover, with respect to vicarious infringement, Suite does not, and cannot, allege any facts to establish that State Street had any financial interest in Frost & Fire’s alleged infringement, the defendants say.

The defendants also stress the parties’ express contract terms. In particular, the parties agreed that, except for claims for breach of the indemnity and confidentiality obligations of the parties’ contract, liability for all other reasons and causes of action is strictly capped at $50,000.

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