Photocopy chain Kinko's Inc. has been sued for $950 million by Inspire Someone LLC, an affiliate of Awards.com that sells inspirational and promotional gifts, trophies, apparel, awards and luggage.
In the suit filed with the New York state Supreme Court in Manhattan, Kinko's is accused of having “without cause and without warning breached its strategic alliance agreement with Inspire, knowing that such breach would destroy the business of Inspire.”
The suit stems from Kinko's objection to an unnamed Fortune 500 company buying a majority stake in Inspire. Inspire claims Kinko's has no right to determine who buys a portion of its company. Kinko's terminated its agreement Sept. 25, asking Inspire to close Awards.com stores in 60 days.
An agreement April 30, 2002, allowed Inspire to open stores within stores under the Awards.com name inside Kinko's locations. The goal was 500 such stores, but only 18 operate so far. Inspire paid for all expenses to open and run such stores.