Arianna Huffington is in hot water again as of Thursday when a New York judge refused to throw out a case accusing her of stealing the idea for the Huffington Post. This is the second time the case has refused to be thrown out since it began in 2011.
Plaintiffs Peter Daou and James Boyce accuse Huffington and co-founder Ken Lerer of launching the site in 2005 based on the proposals of advisers Daou and Boyce, who suggested the idea in 2004, yet were dropped before the site’s launch.
Daou claims that before being dropped, he suggested an idea about a “new kind of Democratic news-reporting website and blogging ‘ring’ or collective” which was then stolen and adapted into the Huffington. However for individuals to sue over idea in New York, it must be argued that the ideas are “novel and concrete” which will be the primary focus of the case were it to reach trial.
The last year and a half have been wrapped in red-tape for Daou and Boyce until Thursday, when the courts allowed them to progress with trial. Courts ruled that the plaintiffs may argue theft accusation, fraud and unjust enrichment claims against Huffington, more than what was originally set out for.
Jeff John Roberts of PaidContent had this to say about Thursday’s ruling:
“Today’s ruling does not mean that Daou and Boyce have won the case. Instead, it means they have cleared a crucial procedural hearing and, thanks to the added claims, can proceed to a trial with a stronger hand.”
The Huffington Post has also commented with confidence:
“The court has made only a preliminary decision based solely on the uncontradicted allegations of the complaint and without any consideration of the proven facts. As we have said from day 1, there is no merit to these allegations. They are make believe. With this ruling, we will now be able to move for summary judgment and lay out the actual evidence in this case. We look forward to the opportunity to present the full record to the court.”