LOS ANGELES, July 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- En Pointe Technologies, Inc., , announced today that it had filed suit against Softchoice Corporation, seeking a court declaration that Softchoice has engaged in improper business practices by using anti-competitive clauses in its employment contracts and policies which unlawfully restrict an individual's ability to work.
In the court filing En Pointe alleges that Softchoice's employment contracts contain illegal and void clauses that prevent former Softchoice employees from marketing, offering, or providing products similar to those marketed, offered, or provided by Softchoice or to any Softchoice customer and that Softchoice's use of such clauses in its employment contracts is illegal and void.
"We believe that Softchoice's overreach manifests itself through an attempt to impose illegal and void terms on employees that restrict the rights of workers through anti-competitive business practices," noted Bob Din, CEO of En Pointe.
As a Minnesota court found in ruling against Softchoice on a trade-secret claim on April 15, 2008:
"... While [the employees] may know customers' contact information, the company's hardware system, etc. and they have skills and experience that was acquired while working for Softchoice, "[H]ow could [they] not?" . . . .. But many salespersons in the industry have acquired such skills and experience. Further, the customer information [the employees] have is available to anyone in the industry. Every company with computers is a potential reseller customer; the more computers, the better the prospect. Resources abound for salesperson to find contact information and details about those companies. None of the information obtained through these methods is Softchoice's confidential information, and it is not legitimate for Softchoice to seek to prevent [the employees] from utilizing these methods or the information obtained through these methods. Id. (a "salesperson should be able to ply his trade"); . . . .("knowledge of industry contact people does not rise to the level of a trade secret because this type of unprotected information is readily attainable with a trade"). That Softchoice "maintains" it after its representatives collect it does not convert the information into Softchoice's confidential information. . . . . ("the mere fact that a 'confidential' label is attached to information is not itself sufficient to elevate ordinary sales information to secretive stature") . It is insufficient for Softchoice to argue that, while the individual pieces of information may be publicly available, Softchoice has combined the information and the combination is entitled to protection. . . . ("[simply to assert a trade secret resides in some combination of otherwise known data is not sufficient"); . . . . ("customer lists, even with specific information about those customers attached to them, are generally not considered to rise to the level of a trade secret under Minnesota law"). Nor is it sufficient for Softchoice to argue that the way it generated and combined the publicly available information is entitled to protection, because it does so just like everyone else in the industry . .. . "
"We are confident in the value of the totality of the En Pointe offering to potential employees and to our customers. En Pointe's broad offering of software, hardware and services enables its employees to serve customers across the full spectrum of the customers' needs. We believe that Softchoice wrongfully threatens suit against employees who dare to leave them," said Michael Rapp, Vice-President of En Pointe. "Our goal is to put a stop to this illegal behavior and force Softchoice to acknowledge the rights and freedoms of their present and former employees."
About En Pointe Technologies, Inc.
En Pointe Technologies, Inc. provides the information technology marketplace, including midmarket and enterprise accounts, government agencies, and educational institutions nationwide, with computer hardware, software, information security, and managed and professional services. En Pointe has the flexibility to customize information technology services to fulfill the unique needs of each of its customers. En Pointe employs SAP, Clarify(TM), and AccessPointe(TM) (an e-procurement application), proven and dependable software applications, to support its broad customer base.
Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Los Angeles County, En Pointe maintains an ISO 9001:2000 certified configuration center in San Bernardino County, California and is well represented in leading national markets throughout the United States. En Pointe has the experience and the technology to help organizations simplify the management of their information technology infrastructure.
Visit http://www.enpointe.com to learn more.
This document contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. In addition, from time to time, En Pointe Technologies, or its representatives, have made or may make forward-looking statements, orally or in writing. The words "estimate," "project," "potential," "intended," "expect," "anticipate," "believe" and similar expressions or words are intended to identify forward looking statements. Such forward-looking statements may be included in, but are not limited to, various filings made by En Pointe with the Securities and Exchange Commission, press releases or oral statements made with the approval of an authorized executive officer of the Company. Actual results could differ materially from those projected or suggested in any forward-looking statements as a result of a wide variety of factors and conditions. Reference is hereby made to En Pointe's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2007 for information regarding those factors and conditions.
Among the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from management's projections, estimates and expectations include, but are not limited to: changing economic influences in the industry; dependence on key personnel; actions of manufacturers and suppliers; and availability of adequate financing. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon these forward-looking statements that speak only as of the date of this press release. En Pointe undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
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