Group Claims Columbia Company Destroyed Their Business

A music app is suing after they say a company stole their idea.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A nasty legal battle is brewing between two technology companies.

Defamation, fraud and discrimination are the accusations.

SmartPhoneRecords is a California-based company that allows artists to share music from their cell phones on a mobile application.

The company partnered with 52inc., a Columbia-based design and development studio that builds apps for companies.

SmartPhoneRecords has filed a lengthy lawsuit against 52inc.

“They promised to rebuild our new platform for us. They never did,” Damion Hollomon of SmartPhoneRecords explained.

“It is a nightmare because it's simple if you destroy our stuff, you have to make us whole you have to fix it, you can't leave us broken,” SmartPhoneRecords’ Reyna Carrasco said.

The group says 52inc of Columbia stole their ideas, discriminated against them, deleted their database and destroyed their business after they had worked out a partnership back in 2015 through the USC/Columbia Tech Incubator.

“52inc would never intentionally delete anybody's data or take any malicious action against somebody's data or information system,” Christopher Thibault of 52inc. said.

Thibault denies all claims and said 52inc. held up their side of the agreement and built apps and a website for SmartPhoneRecords.

“There has been a lot of bad things said about 52inc. and as one of the co-founders of 52inc. that's always disheartening to see those kind of things said, that information has going to our clients and to our prospective clients and our business partners and even my family,” Thibault said.

52inc. won a previous lawsuit for defamation requiring SmartPhoneRecords to pay more than $500,000 and to remove and to stop publishing false statements about the company.

SmartPhoneRecords says they are the one getting the short end of the stick and say they have the evidence to prove it.

“We were served an illegitimate notice of termination and when we arrived back to California and we've been trying to get our business back ever since,” Hollomon said.

“Our business is established it's out there but the way that it was given back to us by 52inc they set up to where we're not able to make any money and we're not able to share our business which are two things that we were able to do on our first platform that we had before we got there,” Carrasco said.

Both companies say they are suffering in this collaboration gone wrong.

They are now waiting on the next steps for the new lawsuit.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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