Staffing Software Companies In Feud

Oct 9, 2008
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Staffing services provider TempWorks Software (profile; site) is suing competitor Avionte, claiming the young startup pirated the programming code for its staffing software.

In a press release announcing the filing of the suit in federal court, TempWorks claimed Avionte “pirated significant elements of TempWorks source code and database design and made use of proprietary TempWorks marketing materials.”

Avionte founder and CEO John Long dismissed the lawsuit as a publicity stunt by the company where he was once president. “We vehemently deny this. Not only didn’t we steal a single line of code, it’s physically impossible for us to have.”

He said the controversy between the two companies has been going on for months, but it wasn’t until Avionte sued TempWorks in state court late last month alleging interference with its customers that the federal suit was filed.

“We told them we’d submit both sets (of programming code) to a third party evaluator and stand by the results. We even said we’d pay for it,” but they never responded to us, Long told us.

TempWorks executives couldn’t be reached. But in the press release Founder and CEO Gregg Dourgarian said of the decision to sue, “It’s only fair to those who have invested in a career or a business relationship with TempWorks that we confront in a court of law those who might attempt to plagiarize years of our hard work.”

The press release pointedly noted that that the four founding partners of Avionte are all former TempWorks employees. Long was previously president of TempWorks and one of the company’s original employees. His partner and Avionte Chief Technology Officer Phi Ngo had been a senior analyst at TempWorks. Sandeep Acharya, Chief Operations Officer, had been TempWorks director of consulting services. And Samar Basnet, chief software architect at Avionte, had been a senior software analyst for TempWorks.

A few other of the 17 Avionte employees are TempWorks expatriates, a situation which can’t help relations between the two Eagen, Minn. companies. Avionte, like TempWorks, is a staffing software vendor offering a front and back office solution that integrates with Outlook and back office financial programs. The company was founded in 2006.

The 60-employee TempWorks, founded in 1994, also offers payroll funding and processing for staffing firms and a disaster recovery service.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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