Court Finds A List Of 'Confidential Information' Not Enough To Equal 'Trade Secrets'

Author:Mr Steven Grimes, Shannon T. Murphy and Maura T. Levine-Patton
Profession:Winston & Strawn LLP

On November 8, 2019, a California District Court dismissed both California Uniform Trade Secrets Act ("CUTSA") and federal Defend Trade Secrets Act ("DTSA") claims at the Motion to Dismiss stage for failure to sufficiently describe the allegedly stolen trade secrets. Zoom Imaging Sols., Inc. v. Roe et al., 2019 WL 5862594, at *5 (E.D. Cal. Nov. 8, 2019). Although the Plaintiff listed various items that it considered to be confidential information, it noted that only some of the list was also trade secrets. The Court found that Plaintiff's list of certain types of confidential information alone was too vague to sufficiently plead the legal requirements of a "trade secret."

Plaintiff Zoom Imaging "provides printing and imaging services to commercial businesses." Id. at *1. Zoom brought CUTSA, DTSA, and other claims against individual former employees and a competitor company, Power Business Technology, LLC ("Power"). Zoom alleged that it had "business, sales, and marketing strategies," which it considered confidential information. Id. Zoom alleged that its former employees (each an individual defendant in the case) "accessed, downloaded, and emailed" the "confidential information and/or trade secrets" and shared that information with Power. Id. at *2.

In their Motion to Dismiss, Defendants did not contest that Zoom had sufficiently pleaded improper acquisition, improper disclosure of trade secrets, or...

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