This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 11/13/2021 at 06:25:34 (UTC).

Blockchain Innovation, LLC v. Franklin Resources, Inc. et al

Case Summary

On November 12, 2021, Blockchain Innovation, LLC (“Plaintiff”), as assignee of the causes of action belonging to Onsa, Inc. (“Onsa”), represented by Jeffery David McFarland of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart et al., filed a civil action against Franklin Resources, Inc. d/b/a Franklin Templeton (“Franklin Resources”), FT Fintech Holdings, LLC (“FT Fintech”), (Franklin Resources and FT Fintech Holdings, LLC, collectively, “Franklin Templeton”), Jennifer Johnson (“Johnson”), and Roger Bayston (“Bayston”) (collectively, “Defendants”). Plaintiff filed suit seeking injunctive relief and damages with prejudgment and post-judgment interest, restitution, and costs for the alleged blatant and egregious breaches of fiduciary duties by Defendants that effectively killed Plaintiff’s predecessor, Onsa. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California. 

 

In the complaint, Plaintiff alleged that, “In October 2019, Franklin Templeton invested in Onsa through a Stock Purchase Agreement. Franklin Templeton acquired approximately one-quarter of Onsa’s stock. Critically, Franklin Templeton also acquired control of Onsa and appointed Franklin Templeton’s Senior Executive, Roger Bayston, as Onsa’s sole director.”

 

Plaintiff further alleged that, “All seemed well with the relationship until July 2020. That is when Defendants struck without warning. Bayston terminated Onsa’s CEO and all other significant employees; Bayston terminated Onsa’s software engineers and coders. These terminations were without notice and without cause. Franklin Templeton would later rehire key Onsa personnel to work on the very technology that Franklin Templeton misappropriated from Onsa. All of this was done without any notice or explanation to Onsa’s non-Franklin Templeton shareholders. Franklin Templeton is now on the precipice of releasing Onsa’s technology under the Franklin Templeton banner.”

 

Plaintiff also alleged that, “On November 23, 2020, Defendants summarily put Onsa into liquidation mode by instituting an Assignment for Benefit of Creditors or “ABC” under California law. The ABC transferred all of Onsa’s tangible and intangible assets, including legal claims held by Onsa, to the liquidator and assignee, BLKCHN, LLC. By initiating the ABC, Franklin Templeton was hoping to deliver the coup de grâce to Onsa as a competitor in the booming FinTech market for blockchain products while insulating Defendants from any legal exposure for their egregious conduct.”

 

Plaintiff lists out eight claims for relief. The first and second claim is against Franklin Templeton and Bayston, respectively, for breach of fiduciary duty. The third claim is for conversion. The fourth claim is for unjust enrichment. The fifth claim is for violation of The Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act. The sixth claim is against all Defendants for aiding and abetting. The seventh claim is for breach of contract, and the eighth claim is for injunctive relief. 

 

In the prayer for relief, Plaintiff requested the court to award damages against all Defendants, jointly and severally, with prejudgment and post-judgment interest, including restitution and disgorgement of all illicit profits, benefits, and other compensation obtained as a result of Defendants’ actions alleged herein. Further, Plaintiff requested the court to award Plaintiff the costs and disbursements of this action, including attorneys’ and experts’ fees and expenses. Plaintiff also requested for enjoining Defendants from accessing, distributing, and/or using Onsa’s trade secrets, and precluding Franklin Templeton from proceeding with the tokenized money market fund and other tokenized assets and/or blockchain-related financial assets using the technology developed by Onsa. 

 

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Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    3:21-CV-08787

  • Filing Date:

    11/12/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Not Yet Classified

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

Blockchain Innovation, LLC

Defendants

Franklin Resources, Inc. d/b/a Franklin Templeton doing business as Franklin Templeton

FT Fintech Holdings, LLC

Jennifer Johnson

Roger Bayston

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorney

Jeffery David McFarland

Attorney at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart et al

865 South Figueroa Street10Th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90017-2543

 

Court Documents

1 #1

Main Document

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet

#2

(#2) Certificate of Interested Entities by Blockchain Innovation, LLC (McFarland, Jeffery) (Filed on 11/12/2021) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

#3

(#3) Proposed Summons. (McFarland, Jeffery) (Filed on 11/12/2021) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

#4

(#4) Proposed Summons. (McFarland, Jeffery) (Filed on 11/12/2021) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

#5

(#5) Proposed Summons. (McFarland, Jeffery) (Filed on 11/12/2021) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

 

Docket Entries

  • 11/12/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#5) Proposed Summons. (McFarland, Jeffery) (Filed on 11/12/2021) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

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  • 11/12/2021
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  • Docket(#4) Proposed Summons. (McFarland, Jeffery) (Filed on 11/12/2021) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

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  • 11/12/2021
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  • Docket(#3) Proposed Summons. (McFarland, Jeffery) (Filed on 11/12/2021) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

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  • 11/12/2021
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#2) Certificate of Interested Entities by Blockchain Innovation, LLC (McFarland, Jeffery) (Filed on 11/12/2021) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

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  • 11/12/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against Roger Bayston, FT Fintech Holdings, LLC, Franklin Resources, Inc., Jennifer Johnson ( Filing fee $ 402, receipt number ACANDC-16622240.). Filed byBlockchain Innovation, LLC. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet)(McFarland, Jeffery) (Filed on 11/12/2021) (Entered: 11/12/2021)

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