After three years in court, Arkona Inc. has prevailed in a lawsuit filed against it by rival dealership software provider Dealer Computer Services Inc., a unit of Reynolds and Reynolds Inc.
Arkona is now a division of DealerTrack Holdings Inc. Dealer Computer Services merged with Universal Computer Services, which in turn, merged with Reynolds in 2006.
Dealer Computer Services had said that Arkona interfered with the employment contract between DCS and a former field manager, Cliff Lavergne. It also said that Arkona had interfered with contacts between DCS and its clients, causing the company to lose four Ford dealerships in the Atlanta area to Arkona.
Lavergne was a field manager for Dealer Computer Services until he left to join Arkona as a regional sales manager in 2005. In the lawsuit, DCS said that after he joined Arkona, Lavergne continued to call on current and former clients of DCS.
In court, Arkona contended that the non-compete agreement in Lavergne's employment contract with DCS only applied to dealerships in the territories he covered while at Dealer Computer Services. Atlanta was not part of his territory and the dealers there were not his clients.
Arkona also said it had used no proprietary information from DCS.
In addition, the four Ford dealers testified that Lavergne had not influenced their decision to change software providers.
It took a jury in Harris County, Texas, just two hours to rule on the case.