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Jun 11, 2018

Did B.T.L. Illegally Share Confidential Information?

B.T.L.’s attorney Magalie Perdomo tried to persuade the Court of Appeal panel, as they had failed to do in the lower court, that Swasey’s idea was never truly his own. It had been in the public domain, she argued, since 2004, and that B.T.L. had entertained proposals from at least two other entities. Officially, the company wrote to Swasey in 2013 claiming that it did not have room for the proposal in its development plans, but months later ‘Mek Mi Rich’ was on the air. At issue, Courtenay told us, is not copyright over the idea of lottery texting, but whether Swasey’s spin on it was improperly shared to benefit MMR Belize Limited, the proprietors of the game show.

 

Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney for Curtis Swasey

“As we said to the court, and as the trial judge said, that’s the most difficult part of the case. We say that it was proven by circumstantial evidence, and the circumstantial evidence is, one, as you heard in there just now, we identified a document that was actually prepared by MMR’s expert for Telemedia, which shows that Telemedia was working with MMR for MMR to get ahead in the project they were developing. We also say that the email from the seventh of August, 2014, from Ms. [Caryn] Wilson to Mr. Swasey was a lie, because what she said was that your project will not be launched this year because it did not fit into the company’s strategy; but a couple months later, Mek Mi Rich was launched. So they lied to Mr. Swasey and launched Mek Mi Rich and the question is, why lie, if you’re acting aboveboard?  This is not a case of breach of copyright; it’s a breach of information. I am supplying information to you, that you and I have agreed is to be kept confidential; the question is whether or not that information was disclosed to MMR. It is not a question of copyright, where somebody is proving that I have invented something and you are trading off the invention that I have made, so it’s a very different tort. And we are not attempting to satisfy the court that Mr. Swasey invented SMS messaging, or that this is the first time anybody has ever had a case where you have lottery by texting. What he’s saying is that his work, with respect to texting of lottery in Belize, was designed by him, and he provided that information to Telemedia under the agreement which was to be kept confidential and they breached it. So it’s different from copyright.”

 

Judgment in the case has been reserved.

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