Reed Construction Data Files Corporate Espionage Lawsuit Against McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge

October 08, 2009

Dodge allegedly used illegal and unethical practices to mislead, gain market share

Reed Construction Data (RCD), a leading construction information provider and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reed Elsevier (NYSE:RUK, NYSE:ENL), today filed suit in federal court against McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge, a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (NYSE:MHP). The suit charges that Dodge has unlawfully accessed confidential and trade secret information from RCD since 2002 by using a series of fake companies to pose as RCD customers.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks an unspecified amount in lost profits and punitive damages, trial by jury, and injunctive relief as a result of Dodge’s misuse of RCD’s proprietary construction project information.

The complaint charges that Dodge hired consultants to subscribe to RCD’s confidential data under the cover of fake names and companies. Dodge then allegedly manipulated the information to create misleading comparisons between Dodge’s and RCD’s products and services in an effort to mislead the marketplace.

The complaint cites eleven counts of misconduct by Dodge, including fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, misappropriation of confidential information, unfair competition, tortious interference with prospective economic advantage, violation of New York’s general business law, violation of the RICO Act, RICO conspiracy, monopolization, attempted monopolization and unjust enrichment.

“McGraw-Hill Dodge has used our information to deceive and confuse the market about RCD and the data we offer,” said Iain Melville, CEO, Reed Construction Data. “This was an attempt by Dodge to force RCD out of business and obtain a monopoly over the construction data industry.”

The New York office of international law firm Troutman Sanders LLP filed the action, led by partner William N. Withrow, Jr.

“Dodge’s behavior violates a significant number of laws and codes of business ethics,” said Melville. “Seven years of such practices is no minor offense. It’s clear that these violations must be addressed with swift and just redress.”

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Reed Construction Data, a division of Reed Business Information and the Inaugural Strategic Partner of the AIA, is a leading North American provider of construction information through a diverse portfolio of innovative products and services. Reed offers its customers construction project leads, building product information, construction cost tools, construction news through a suite of online and print references — all valuable resources for architects, engineers, contractors, manufacturers, distributors and other professionals in the construction industry. For more information, visit or call 877-REED411.

Reed Business Information, a part of the Reed Elsevier Group plc (NYSE:RUK and ENL), is North America’s largest business-to-business information provider, with more than 80 market-leading publications, 55 Websites and a range of leading business-to-business services.