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LRP Publications files antitrust and copyright infringement claims against West Publishing.

LRP Publications Inc., a privately held legal and business publisher based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, has sought and received permission from the federal court in Philadelphia to file antitrust and copyright infringement claims against West Publishing Corp., of Eagan, Minn. West is a division of The Thomson Corp., based in Toronto.

The case is the latest development in litigation between LRP and West. The case, pending in federal court in Philadelphia, presents fundamental copyright law questions about access to government decisions. Some of those same questions are under review in a separate lawsuit by Law Bulletin Publishing Co. against LRP (NL/NL 5/15/01).

LRP's complaint alleges that West and its predecessor company, Information Handling Services Inc. (IHS), have engaged in unlawful monopolistic practices, abused their exclusive possession of federal government records to obtain and preserve a monopoly, and in a separate act of alleged misconduct, infringed LRP's copyrights.

The suit claims that as a Freedom of Information contractor, IHS had unique access to federal Equal Opportunity Commission decisions. Using documents it received for free from the government, IHS allegedly built and illegally maintained a monopoly.

The complaint further alleges that when LRP introduced its own federal employment research guide, cyberFEDS[R] (www.feds.com), IHS responded in anti-competitive fashion to preserve its monopoly. Among the claims, HIS is alleged to have made false representations about LRP and cyberFEDS.

The suit also claims that IHS infringed LRP's copyright, alleging that IHS copied--without authorization--LRP's proprietary database of arbitrator decision bios and arbitrator statistics.

Ken Kahn president of LRP, said, "Because we introduced competition into a sole-source market, LRP saved the federal government millions of dollars. The anti-competitive practices of West and IHS now threaten to take away all the benefits LRP has provided to budget-conscious federal agencies."
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Sep 15, 2001
Words:298
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