You may have heard that a man who won on Laugh Factory claimed they never paid him and decided to sue the company. It's getting even more complicated now, though, as Laugh Factory has turned around and sued the comedian, saying that he tried to run a scam to steal their trade secrets.
The owner of Laugh Factory claims that the man contacted them and said he wanted to spread the brand out in Asia. He specifically wanted to work with them to put clubs in places like Jakarta, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. He said he had a high-ranking former politician working with him.
The two sides initially said they would work together, but they never made a formal agreement or started the process. Now, the Laugh Factory owner has called the whole thing a scam and decided to sue.
"[The comedian] never intended to honor this agreement," the lawsuit claims. "Rather, it was a deceit designed to gain access to and then misappropriate Defendants' protected, proprietary intellectual property, including trade secrets, trademarks, business operations, and other intellectual property."
On top of that, they said that the only reason they did not pay him the $100,000 that he won was that he was obligated to come to the United States to perform and collect the money 10 times. They say he knew that, or should have, the entire time. He did not do it, though, and so he was never paid.
With lawsuits now going both directions, this is sure to get more chaotic before it is resolved, but the case does a good job of showing how important trade secrets are in international business and why those who feel their exclusive property was stolen need to know what legal steps to take.