Powercorp Alaska, LLC v. Alaska Energy Authority

In Powercorp Alaska, LLC v. Alaska Energy Authority (Alaska 2012) 290 P.3d 1173, the plaintiff and one of the defendants both developed and manufactured "switchgear" systems used to improve the operation of power-generation facilities, and both companies "have tried to secure, and sometimes have secured, contracts with the public agency to install switchgear ... ." (Id. at p. 1176.) A key component of these systems was a "controller," and the two companies used different technologies for this key component. (Ibid.) The facts of the case are complex and were disputed, but the plaintiff eventually sued the public agency that awarded the contract to its competitor, as well as one of the agency's employees, the competitor, and others. (Id. at p. 1180.) The plaintiff alleged, against the agency's employee, a claim for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and misappropriation of a trade secret. (Powercorp, supra, 290 P.3d at p. 1181.) Powercorp upheld the trial court's dismissal of the intentional interference claim, saying this: "The plaintiff's intentional interference claim is premised on the notion that the plaintiff has an existing prospective business relationship with the agency, but it has not met this threshold requirement. Procurement laws entitle the plaintiff to a fair bidding process in which no particular contractor is favored from the outset. Submitting a bid entitles the bidder to 'fair and honest consideration.' Submitting a bid does not provide any one bidder with a contract expectancy superior to the rights of other bidders." (290 P.3d at pp. 1186-1187.)