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Shhh! It’s Time for Trade Secret Cases . Steve Baron 3-26-09. Cenveo Corp. v. Southern Graphic (1-22-09). What Court? Who’s the plaintiff? Who are the defendants? What are they fightin’ about? What is the Court asked to decide? What does the Court decide and why?.

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Cenveo corp v southern graphic 1 22 09
Cenveo Corp. v. Southern Graphic (1-22-09)

  • What Court?

  • Who’s the plaintiff?

  • Who are the defendants?

  • What are they fightin’ about?

  • What is the Court asked to decide?

  • What does the Court decide and why?


Cenveo corp v southern graphic 1 22 091
Cenveo Corp. v. Southern Graphic (1-22-09)

  • Court = US DC Minnesota

  • Plaintiff = Cenveo

  • Defendants = Southern Graphic and indiv.

  • Fight = Cenveo wants to stop SG from working with past and current Cenveo clients and using proprietary info.

  • Court to decide whether to enter preliminary injunction.


Cenveo corp v southern graphic 1 22 092
Cenveo Corp. v. Southern Graphic (1-22-09)

  • Court decides:

    • Grants preliminary injunction in part and denies in part.

  • What are alleged trade secrets:

    • Job history information

    • USB flash drive


Cenveo corp v southern graphic 1 22 093
Cenveo Corp. v. Southern Graphic (1-22-09)

  • Cenveo claims:

    • Breach of duty of loyalty

    • Tortious interference with employees and customers

    • Misappropriation of trade secrets

    • Unjust enrichment

    • Unfair competition


Cenveo corp v southern graphic 1 22 094
Cenveo Corp. v. Southern Graphic (1-22-09)

  • Preliminary injunction factors:

    • Irreparable harm

    • Balance of harms

    • Probability of success on the merits

    • Public interest



Cenveo corp v southern graphic 1 22 096
Cenveo Corp. v. Southern Graphic (1-22-09)

  • Why wasn’t Cenveo entitled to a preliminary injunction to stop SG from working with past and present clients?

    • No irreparable harm

    • Balance of harms in favor of SG employees

    • Right of clients to work with whom they want


Cenveo corp v southern graphic 1 22 097
Cenveo Corp. v. Southern Graphic (1-22-09)

  • Why was Cenveo entitled to an injunction on information relating to job histories?

    • Sufficient trade secret

    • Competitively advantageous

    • Would be irreparably harmed

    • High degree of probability of “inevitable disclosure”


Clearone v chiang 2007
ClearOne v. Chiang (2007)

  • What court?

  • Who’s the plaintiff?

  • Who are the defendants?

  • What’s the fight about?

  • What’s the procedural posture?


Clearone v chiang 20071
ClearOne v. Chiang (2007)

  • Court = USDC Utah

  • Plaintiff = ClearOne = Maker of wideband code

  • Defendants = Biamp licenses object code from Wideband

  • The fight’s about whether the code is a trade secret

  • The posture: Biamp files a motion to dismiss


Clearone v chiang 20072
ClearOne v. Chiang (2007)

  • Biamp says: it can’t read the object code; only machines can read object code.

  • Court says: who cares. It doesn’t matter.

  • Biam says: object code was publicly available.

  • Court says: who cares. Even if object code available, the source code (human readable) may still be protectable trade secret.

  • Result: Motion to dismiss complaint denied.


Taco bell v tbwa 2009
Taco Bell v. TBWA (2009)

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8sZ1DWsAHE/


Taco bell v tbwa 20091
Taco Bell v. TBWA (2009)

  • What court?

  • Who’s the plaintiff?

  • Who’s the defendant?

  • What are they fightin’ about?

  • What’s the trade secret?


Taco bell v tbwa 20092
Taco Bell v. TBWA (2009)

  • Court = Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

  • Plaintiff/Appellant = Taco Bell

  • Defendant/Appellee = TBWA

  • They’re fightin’ about who should pay for the use of the psycho chihuahua character.

  • The confidential TS is the concept of using a psycho chihuahua as a Taco Bell mascot


Taco bell v tbwa 20093
Taco Bell v. TBWA (2009)

  • Underlying case: Wrench v. Taco Bell

    • Jury finds that Taco Bell breached and implied confidentiality agreement.

    • Awards Wrench $30 million, which mounts to $42 million with interest.


Taco bell v tbwa 20094
Taco Bell v. TBWA (2009)

  • This case:

    • Question presented: Is Taco Bell’s ad agency, TBWA, liable for “indemnity” to Taco Bell?

    • Trial court granted summary judgment for TBWA.

    • Ninth Circuit agrees: TBWA not aware of implied contract b/t Taco Bell and Wrench.


Quote of the day
Quote of the Day

  • “Do not tell secrets to those whose faith and and silence you have not already tested.”

    • Elizabeth I


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