Trade Service Corp., San Diego, an i2 Technologies company, said it has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against Material Express.com and Pinnacle Information Corp., doing business as Vision Infosoft, alleging that these businesses have unlawfully copied protected elements of Trade Service's data and content products.

Material Express Corp. and Vision Infosoft Corp., Encinitas, Calif., quickly responded that the lawsuit is “totally without merit” adding that it will defend the lawsuit vigorously.

In its complaint, Trade Service alleges that Material Express.com and Vision Infosoft have misappropriated the layout and arrangement of Trade Service's Electrical Price File Maintenance Service (PFMS), along with copying various data elements from the PFMS and TRA-SER products, all of which are protected under the U.S. copyright laws.

Trade Service is asking the court to order Material Express.com and Vision Infosoft to cease all use of the protected elements from Trade Service's PFMS and TRA-SER, as well as other damages to be determined by the court.

Tony Dubreville, Trade Service senior vice president and general manager, said, “In taking this action, Trade Service is doing what any company in a similar position would find absolutely necessary. Over many years, significant monetary and intellectual investments have been made in our content and data products and, next to our employees and customers, data and content products are our most valuable asset.”

Dubreville added, “We will continue to take all of the steps necessary to protect our assets.”

John Evans, president/CEO of Vision Infosoft, said, “It is sad that a publicly traded company like i2 Corp. perpetuates the pricing service monopoly they acquired when they purchased Trade Service.

“This is all in an effort to squash the first serious pricing service competition since Trade Service bought National Price Service 10 years ago. We will fight this ridiculous lawsuit and continue to provide the electrical industry with great products and service. And, most importantly, a pricing service alternative.”