Announcement of Settlement Reached in Parks Associates vs Interpret LLC
International research firm and longstanding market research and consulting leader Parks Residential Systems Research, DBA Parks Associates, today announces the settlement of its legal case against Interpret LLC, Brett Sappington, and Brad Russell, reached in May 2023. The settlement was reached after extensive negotiations just prior to the scheduled trial date of June 26, 2023.
Parks Associates filed the lawsuit in early 2021 to recover confidential and proprietary information it alleged was stolen by two former employees, Brett Sappington and Brad Russell, for the benefit of their new employer, Interpret LLC. Interpret is led by Andrew Wing, Grant Johnson, and Michael Cai, another former Parks Associates employee. Other previous Parks Associates employees at Interpret include Parks Associates’ former President Stuart Sikes and former Research Director Harry Wang, among others.
The lawsuit alleged numerous claims including breach of applicable confidentiality agreements, violations of the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and tortious interference. Based on forensic analyses performed, Parks Associates’ allegations included the alleged taking of Parks Associates’ proprietary research, analysis, data, processes, marketing plans, business strategies, trade secrets, intellectual property, techniques, and technical information.
The final settlement also included Defendants’ representation that all materials, including computer files, that may have been taken from Plaintiff had been deleted and/or destroyed, and Defendants’ agreement that they will not, in the future, use or distribute any such materials.
“At Parks Associates, we prioritize the security and confidentiality of our intellectual property, trade secrets, and all proprietary information and confidential data. This incident has reinforced our commitment to enhancing our internal controls, data protection measures, and programs to safeguard our assets,” said Tricia Parks, founder of Parks Associates. “This was an incredible breach of trust leaving us with no option but to pursue legal action to protect our business. For over 37 years, we have built Parks Associates on the foundation of integrity and excellence and will move forward in the same manner.”
Parks Associates has been at the forefront analyzing key trends for the emerging and connected home markets, with a vast library of published works over decades including Electronic Living @ Home (1997), Electronics and Services @ Home (1998), Broadband Access @ Home (1999), Work @ Home Facts Trends and Forecast (1999), US Builders and Emerging Technologies (2000), Networks @ Home (2001), Broadband Networked Households (2001), and Privacy and Big Data: Safeguarding Consumers (2015).
The firm’s executives and analysts have offered commentary and analysis via media, white papers, and blog posts on topics ranging from consumer privacy to security solutions to enhance public safety, including Privacy is IoT’s Highest Hurdle (2016), Privacy and Security Come to the Fore for Connected Devices (2016), Will Consumer Privacy Inhibit Growth of the Smart Home? (2016), As Privacy Debate Rages, is the Ad Industry Fresh Out of Ideas? (2015), Health Wearables: Privacy Threat? (2014), and Leveraging Tech to Improve Safety and Security in Schools (2022).
The Company extends our appreciation to the legal professionals who handled the case. Parks Associates remains focused on delivering exceptional research through our various products and services and maintaining the highest standards of trust and security in the industry.
About Parks Associates
Parks Associates, a woman-founded and certified business, is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates provides business intelligence and research services through its proprietary methodologies developed over decades, including quarterly surveys of 10,000 internet households.
The company's expertise crosses many industries: home security and smart home, streaming video, broadband and pay-TV services, digital media and platforms, gaming, Wi-Fi and home networks, connected health, support, consumer electronics, home control systems, energy management, and tech solutions for the multi-dwelling (MDU), small-to-medium business (SMB), and commercial building markets.
Each year, Parks Associates brings thousands of leaders together for its webinars and annual events. The firm hosts the annual executive research and strategy conferences CONNECTIONS™, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit, Smart Spaces, and Future of Video. https://www.parksassociates.com