Noncompete claim, antitrust counterclaim, nobody wins.

One Technologies (“OT”) sued Profiniantitrust-cartoon-elephantty and a former OT employee for breach of a noncompetition agreement. Profinity counterclaimed for violations of the Texas antitrust statute.  The jury found against OT and for Profinity; the trial judge adopted the verdict as to OT’s claims and granted JNOV on Profinity’s.  The Dallas Court of Appeals affirmed, changing only the basis for resolution of the antitrust claim.  Profinity LLC v. One Technologies, LP, No. 05-14-00403-CV (Dec. 17, 2015) (mem. op.)

As to OT’s claim, the Court found no conclusive proof the element of damage, noting that Profinity’s damages expert had squarely clashed with OT’s expert at trial.  As to the antitrust claims, the Court expressed considerable skepticism about Profinity’s damages model, which calculated the value of lost customers nationwide.  Under Coca-Cola Co. v. Harmar Bottling Co., 218 S.W.3d 671 (Tex. 2006), because “remedying extraterritorial injury . . . would provide no benefit to consumers ‘in state,'” even allegations of anticompetitive conduct in Texas toward a company based in Texas are likely not actionable under the Texas statute.  The Court did not rule on this basis, however, instead finding a lack of jurisdiction under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, as the alleged anticompetitive conduct focused on “conduct ‘incidental’ to the prosecution of a lawsuit respecting [antitrust] redress.” (citing Noell v. City of Carrollton, 431 S.W.3d 682, 708 (Tex. App.–Dallas 2014, pet. denied).