* Bloomberg accused of improperly recording earnings call
* Judge rejects Bloomberg motion to dismiss
* Lawsuit seeks damages and other remedies
(Adds Bloomberg comment)
By Moira Herbst
NEW YORK, Aug 31 Bloomberg LP lost a bid to
dismiss a lawsuit by Swatch Group AG that accused the
news service of secretly recording an earnings conference call
with securities analysts and giving a transcript to clients.
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan ruled that
the watchmaker's claim of copyright infringement was
"sufficiently pleaded" because the recording met the standard of
being fixed, independently created and possessing "requisite
"Because the authorized audio recording is entitled to
copyright protection, and because the copyright claim is
properly registered, I deny the motion in full," the judge
He directed both parties to appear in court on Sept. 16 to
discuss how to proceed.
"We believe that if a public company discloses financial
performance information to a select group of analysts, that
company has a responsibility to be transparent and provide that
information to everyone.
"The investing public has a right to know and we remain
confident that when all the facts come out the Court will agree
that we acted fairly in doing so," a Bloomberg spokesman told
Swatch accused Bloomberg of tapping into its Feb. 8 earnings
call and providing a transcript that day to online subscribers,
without permission in both cases.
The world's largest watchmaker said this occurred after it
told listeners at the beginning of the call not to record it for
publication or broadcast.
Swatch sought a court order directing Bloomberg to destroy
its copies of the recording and transcript, as well as damages
and other remedies for alleged "willful" infringement.
Bloomberg countered that Swatch had an obligation to be
transparent and disclose financial performance information to
everyone rather than select analysts.
Based in Bienne, Switzerland, Swatch is best known for its
colorful plastic namesake watches, but also owns higher-end
brands, including Breguet, Longines and Omega.
Thomson Reuters StreetEvents competes with Bloomberg in
providing transcripts of corporate teleconferences.
The case is Swatch Group Management Services Ltd v. Bloomberg
LP, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No.
(Reporting by Moira Herbst and Jonathan Stempel; Additional
reporting by Sakthi Prasad in Bangalore; Editing by Andre Grenon
and Muralikumar Anantharaman)