They were once partners but Beckett and COMC are now at opposite sides of a legal battle. As first reported by attorney Paul Lesko Tuesday, Beckett sued COMC in late February. Last week, Seattle-based COMC moved the case to U.S. District Court.
COMC, which launched as Check Out My Cards just a few years ago, has experienced rapid growth over the last several years. Collectors can consign batches of sports cards from virtually any year or set and let the company scan and post them online. Users can then price their cards online and COMC will ship them when sold, taking a cut of every sale. Buyers can purchase cards from a large selection sent in by customers.
Beckett says while it had been allowing COMC to utilize some of its card identification and pricing, it didn’t grant the company full access to build a competing product and is now suing them for misappropriation of trade secrets.
COMC's rapid growth has put it in competition with Beckett’s online marketplace and at issue are the tools it has in its possession. Beckett claims COMC used its access to computer systems to acquire Beckett’s entire database and the Dallas-based company is accusing COMC of “stealing secret and valuable processes embedded in Beckett’s database to create a competing product”.
While COMC has been crowd sourcing efforts to build its own database, Beckett attorneys say the company is “incapable of building a similar pricing process from its own sales data.”
In the lawsuit which now stands in U.S. District Court, Beckett attorneys claim “COMC's misappropriation, misuse, and threatened and/or actual disclosure of Beckett's secret pricing systems and processes has and will inseparably injure Beckett as COMC is, on information and belief, now creating a competing product with Beckett's own intellectual property.”