DATAFLOW COMPUTERS PTY LTD V. GOODMAN  FCA 1625
Federal Court of Australia – 25 November 1999
Goodman, a former employee of Dataflow, sent anonymous emails to various people including franchisees of the Harvey Norman chain of retail stores. Dataflow was the supplier of various software packages to software retailers including Harvey Norman stores. The email from Goodman alleged that Dataflow intended to compete against Harvey Norman and other software retailers by selling software directly to consumers. This allegation upset Dataflow because Harvey Norman had a policy of not selling software that the manufacturers sold directly to consumers.
The allegation by Goodman was incorrect. Dataflow identified Goodman as the author of the email after court proceedings to obtain his details from his ISP and then sued Goodman for misleading and deceptive conduct. Dataflow was able to sue Goodman personally as the alleged conduct had involved the use of “postal, telegraphic or telephonic services.”
Had Goodman engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in trade or commerce?