PIEtech, which makes MoneyGuide Pro financial planning software, is asking a U.S. District Court judge to allow it to intervene in the lawsuit rival Financeware filed against MoneyGuide Pro client UBS.
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“While most people want to get away from lawsuits, PIEtech wants to become party to the case,” says Paul Keller, a spokesman for Pietech.
According to Keller, PIEtech filed a motion asking Judge John F. Keenan to allow it to become a party to the case so it can address allegations made by Financeware against UBS, whose advisors use PIEtech’s MoneyGuide Pro web-based financial planning application.
According to Keller, Financeware initially said it would not object to PIEtech joining the lawsuit in a limited way. When Keenan asked Financeware attorneys to explain the limitations, Keller says Financeware attorneys decided to oppose PIEtech’s intervening.
“At a minimum, Financeware seems reluctant to let PIEtech join the case,” says Keller.
Asked to comment on the PIEtech motion, Financeware CEO David Loeper responded:
"We were initially agreeable to having Pie joining the case if it would be limited to UBS and Pie, but Pie refused. So they have had to file a motion to do so. If they agree with our trying to limit the case, we will be fine with them joining. Otherwise it will just be a bigger case and we have no intentions of expanding our case to the entire industry."
"Pie has stated that it has signed a contract obligating it to indemnify, so it is not surprising they honor their contractual obligation to indemnify," added Loeper. "Intervening in the suit is a way to do that."
In August, Financeware sued UBS for patent infringement stemming from UBS’s use of MoneyGuide Pro. Financeware claims to have invented a new method of financial advising and was granted several patents by the U.S. Patent Office. Last week, the FPA emailed its members saying it was concerned about whether the lawsuit preventing advisors from using the financial planning process with clients, and Financeware responded by saying its patent won’t prevent planners from providing planning services.
Oral arguments on the motion to let PIEtech intervene are scheduled for November 21 in federal court in Manhattan.