SAN FRANCISCO – A federal district court has granted summary judgment for defendant Domino’s Pizza in a case over a GPS driver tracking system designed by plaintiff Prostar Wireless Group.
“There is insufficient evidence that Domino’s intended to enter into an implied agreement with Prostar. The statements and conduct Prostar puts forth express Domino’s sincere interest in the solution and a future desire to make it available to franchisees, but these are insufficient to show Domino’s had the present intent to make a promise,” Judge William H. Orrick of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California wrote in the Dec. 28 decision.
The problems arose after several years of collaboration between the two companies and IBM. In the end, Domino’s decided to go with an in-house system rather than the one designed by Prostar.
While the two companies never signed an official agreement, Prostar estimated it spent thousands of hours developing the project with a verbal contract that would result in Domino’s adopting the technology in exchange for a monthly fee, the order states.
“On Aug. 31, 2015, Domino’s told Prostar that it would not be using Prostar’s solution," according to the court order.
About a year later, Prostar filed a lawsuit and while it initially failed, it was given an opportunity to amend it.
The amended complaint alleged 10 complaints against Domino’s, including breach of fiduciary duty, intentional interference with prospective economic relations, negligent interference with prospective economic relations, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of implied in fact contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, deceit, negligent misrepresentation, promissory estoppel and unfair competition under California Business and Professions Code.
However, court found there was not enough evidence to support the complaints.
“There is no evidence that Prostar and Domino’s expressly agreed (either orally or in writing) to begin a joint venture. Instead, Prostar argues that the parties’ conduct supports a conclusion that there was a joint venture because 'the parties here worked in concert for years' to develop the GPS Solution, and both contributed to its costs and had a stake in its success,” the court order stated.