Best Buy and TechForward had engaged in discussions last year to offer Best Buy customers a way to sell back their electronics and get store credit. A customer would purchase the plan while they were purchasing a new product. Customers were then able to sell the product back to Best Buy and get a value for the item based on how long they have had it. The longer that you had an item the less it was worth. This new system was a great idea for early adopters of new gadgets and technology.
TechForward had entered an agreement with BestBuy to trial their idea called TechForward’s Guaranteed Buyback plan. TechForward had released confidential data on how the plan works and implemented to Best Buy. After 6 weeks Best Buy terminated talks with TechForward and released their own BuyBack plan that is almost identical to the one that TechForward created, a lawsuit ensued.
TechForward is now suing Best Buy because they feel that their product was stolen right from under them. Not only did it look exactly the same at TechForward’s plan, it was also created by the same people at Best Buy that was working with them on the project. From the lawsuit:
Best Buy announced to the world that it was implementing its own buyback program — called the Buy Back Plan (“BBP”) — which is virtually identical to TechForward’s Guaranteed Buyback Plan in its program structure, marketing materials and terms and conditions. To make matters worse, the Best Buy executives who supposedly “developed” this buyback program are the exact same executives who worked with TechForward on the pilot Guaranteed Buyback Plan program for Best Buy and who received TechForward’s highly confidential information.
Not only did Best Buy launch a buyback program using TechForward’s propriety data, it did so in a big way. For the first time in its history, Best Buy bought advertising during the Super Bowl, which aired on February 6, 2011. The Super Bowl advertisement, which featured Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber, was devoted entirely to the BBP.
TechForward has sucessfully implemented their product with partners like Dell, RadioShack, Tiger Direct, and CompUSA. Best Buy has no good reason to steal their product and should be ashamed of doing so. Take a look at these comparisons of the 2 products, Best Buy Vs. TechForward similar huh?. [Via TC,Lawsuit]