Norwegian Airline Files Civil Suit against SAS Unit for Stealing Trade Secrets

A Norwegian airline on Friday said it will sue a unit of Scandinavian Airlines Systems in civil court for allegedly stealing trade secrets.


A Norwegian airline on Friday said it will sue a unit of Scandinavian Airlines Systems in civil court for allegedly stealing trade secrets.

Norwegian Air Shuttle said it wants "hundreds of millions of kroner" - or tens of millions of euros (dollars) - from SAS Braathens for allegedly misusing information received by e-mail and through a booking system about its rival's business strategy.

SAS Braathens was cleared in a criminal trial in September of stealing trade secrets from Norwegian by continuing to access an electronic booking system it shared with its smaller rival after an earlier agreement to swap information was canceled in December 2002. However, it was convicted of a second, lesser charge of misusing information received by e-mail about Norwegian's business strategy.

The Asker and Baerum court ordered SAS to pay a fine of 400,000 kroner (US$61,500; euro48,200) for the offense, but Norwegian said Friday it wants the civil court to award further damages.

SAS officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The disputed e-mail from the BTI Nordic travel agency outlined confidential talks between the agency and Norwegian on future plans. SAS Braathens' sales manager Erik Knudsen shared the e-mail with other company staff, and was ordered to pay a 30,000 kroner (US$4,600; euro3,530) fine in addition to the fine imposed on the company in the criminal trial.

SAS Braathens was formed with the merger of the Norwegian unit of Scandinavian Airlines System and the SAS-owned Norwegian airline Braathens in 2004.

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On the Net:

http://www.sasbraathens.no

http://www.norwegian.no


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