Borders leaps into trademark infringement lawsuit with Next Jump

Next Jump Inc. is being sued by bankrupt Borders Books, which is alleging that the contracted company manipulated confidential Borders’ data for selfish purposes. Borders claims Next Jump is guilty of intellectual property infringement.

Borders signed an agreement saying that Next Jump Inc. would handle its Borders Rewards program. According to the intellectual property complaint, Next Jump latched onto the Borders’ customer list and used it to build a more extensive customer base for one of its own Internet properties.

Next Jump allegedly tapped into the secret customer list and capitalized on Borders’ name. The lawsuit accuses Next Jump of informing the book seller’s customers that Borders’ perks program had been renamed OO.com. The book store is arguing that Next Jump’s actions constitute intellectual property infringement and was essentially an act of theft.

Borders Books has a secondary reason to stop any purported invasion of its intellectual property. Borders officials have been working to put a price tag on the very property it accuses Next Jump of stealing. The defunct book seller wants to sell its intellectual holdings, including trademarks and customer lists.

Borders officials say Next Jump’s alleged infringement is “causing irreparable harm” by lowering the value of assets being sold to pay off the book retailer’s creditors as the company moves through the bankruptcy process. Two court hearings were scheduled in which Borders hopes to put a stop to what it feels is “theft” of its assets.

The book store chain filed for bankruptcy protection in February hoping to reorganize or find a buyer. Unsuccessful attempts caused the company to shutter its stores nationwide.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Borders Books Lawsuit: Bankrupt chain sues Next Jump Inc. Over Use of Personal Customer Data,” Sept. 2, 2011