In 2013, Bloomberg and iSentium began a business relationship to consider incorporating iSentium’s sentiment-analysis app (iSENSE) into the Bloomberg platform. The app identified and analyzed market-related opinions posted to social media, anticipated changes in the price of publicly traded stocks, and made information available to traders. Id. The parties entered a non-disclosure agreement and an agreement titled “Developer Agreement for Bloomberg Application Portal” (the Development Agreement). Id. at *2. The Developer Agreement provided that “no action arising out of it may be brought by iSentium more than one year after the cause of action’s accrual.” Id. The iSENSE app appeared on Bloomberg for an unspecified amount of time, but in February 2016, iSentium requested that Bloomberg remove the app because it was no longer technologically compatible with the Bloomberg platform. Id. Shortly thereafter in July 2016, Bloomberg announced its own sentiment-analysis app. Id. Subsequently in October 2017, iSentium brought a claim for misappropriation of its trade secrets. Id.
The Southern District of New York granted summary judgment against iSentium, finding that it failed to bring its claim within the one-year period provided by the Developer agreement. Bloomberg released its product in July 2016; at that time, iSentium should have been aware of the possibility of a misappropriation of its trade secrets or breach of its agreement with Bloomberg. But iSentium did not bring a claim until October 2017. Further, iSentium failed to come forward with any evidence that it learned about the misappropriation at later time, and it failed to demonstrate that any of the language of the agreement was ambiguous. iSentium has appealed the district court’s judgment to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
While the decision itself may not break any barriers in trade secret law, cases involving artificial intelligence are worth watching as the technology continues to play a larger role in daily life.
The case is iSentium, LLC v. Bloomberg Fin. L.P., 17-cv-7601 (PKC) (S.D.N.Y.).