Target Corp v. John Doe

The info below is found at other places on the blog but many times visitors do not go beyond the first few blog items, so here is what the 23 month long case was about. It cost Tarbutt an estimated $250,000 and me $0.

If you already are up on the matter or just are not interested, then skip this entry and look at the other posts, many of them I think you will find of interest. And remember: TARGET SUCKS!

Threat Type: Lawsuit

Date: 09/05/2006
Status: Concluded - Location: Georgia
Disposition: Dismissed (total)

Verdict/Settlement Amount: n/a
Legal Claims: Copyright Infringement; Trade Secrets

Target Corporation, a chain retailer, filed a lawsuit against an initially unknown Internet user with the handle Target Sucks for copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets for allegedly posting information on various retail-employee forums and blogs. Target identified the user, based on the information it received after subpoening Internet providers. Defendant allegedly posted Target’s "Asset Protection Directives," an in-house theft prevention manual, on several websites critical of Target.

Target asserted in its two-count complaint that the user “acquired a copy of Target’s AP Directives from a recently terminated Target employee, Scott Hundt.” Target alleges that Hundt emailed a copy of the AP Directives to the user, as well as posting that information on the website www.targetunion.org. After learning of the post, Target threatened legal action against Hundt, who admitted wrongdoing and cooperated with Target's subsequent efforts to block the further dissemination of the AP Directives.

Target and Hundt emailed cease-and-desist orders to the user and received no reply. Target alleges that instead of complying with its demands, the user posted the AP directives to “various retail-employee forums on the Internet.” Target sent cease-and-desist letters to those forums, and the AP Directives were removed. Target asserted that the user’s “dissemination of the Target AP Directives is deliberate, willful, malicious, oppressive, and without regard to Target’s proprietary rights.” Compl. 33. Further, the complaint asserted that user had disclosed “such information without the express or implied consent of Target, for the benefit of himself.” Compl. 42.

In an effort to discover the identity of the then-anonymous user, Target subpoenaed AOL, Yahoo!, Hotmail, Qwest, Comcast, and UPS. Compl. Ex. B. The court granted these subpoenas. Based on the information it obtained through investigation, Target identified the user. Target claimed that it confirmed this identification based on the documents relating to IP address and P.O. Box information it received in response to its subpoenas to website, email, mail, and internet providers. Req. for Service.

On 04/10/2007, a civil summons was issued for the Defendant. However, attempts to locate him for service failed. On 12/21/2007, the court granted a motion for service by publication to the Fulton County Daily Report. This notice was posted on 01/15/2008. On 07/16/2008 the case was dismissed for want of prosecution pursuant to Local Rule 41.3(A)(3) because the case had been pending for more than 6 months without a substantial proceeding of record.

The above info is from: http://www.citmedialaw.org/threats/target-corp-v-doe