SAS ordered to pay Norwegian close to NOK 175 million for industrial espionage
Friday 19, March 2010
We are very pleased that the Court of Appeal has ordered SAS to pay Norwegian close to NOK 175 million (approx 22 million EUR) in damages for the industrial espionage that we were exposed to, said CEO of Norwegian, Bjørn Kjos. Borgarting Court of Appeal has ordered SAS to pay damages of NOK 160 million, in addition to legal costs for the District Court and the Court of Appeal. In total, the amount adds up to just under NOK 175 million.
At the end of last year, the Court of Appeal heard the action for damages for SAS’ industrial espionage against Norwegian. The District Court ordered SAS to pay Norwegian NOK 132 million plus legal costs, in total amounting to over NOK 138 million. Both SAS and Norwegian appealed against the amount of damages to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal has ordered SAS to pay NOK 160 million in damages, plus the full legal costs amounting to NOK 6 839 770 for the District Court and NOK 7 851 472 for the Court of Appeal. Borgarting Court of Appeal has by its ruling raised the amount of compensation and upheld Norwegian’s contention that the company suffered a significant economic loss as a result of SAS’ industrial espionage.
That the Court of Appeal now increases the amount of compensation is an important signal that industrial espionage will not be accepted, said Bjørn Kjos. At the same time, it shows that the justice system works and that unethical behavior over time will have economic consequences.
In a very vulnerable start-up phase of the company we were exposed to gross and cynical industrial espionage from SAS. Norwegian lost several hundred million Norwegian kroner as a result of SAS illegally usurping internal and sensitive information about Norwegian from the booking system Amadeus. SAS has been convicted for this espionage. That the Court of Appeal now increases the amount of damages is a natural outcome of the case and we are very pleased with the result, said CEO Bjørn Kjos.
The grounds for the judgment will, according to the Court of Appeal, be published tomorrow, 17 March.
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