As discussed in today’s trade secrets webinar entitled “Pleading, Proving and Protecting Trade Secrets in Litigation,” in an all to common theme, the plaintiff in L–3 Communications Corporation v. Jaxon Engineering & Maintenance, Inc. et al., 2012 WL 1020516 (D.Colo. March 27, 2012) contended that several of its former employees devised a plan to leave L3 and create a competing business entity regarding specialty electronic equipment by using, among other things, misappropriated, customer lists and pricing data. In what the Court characterized as “the answer to a law school examination”, L3’s twenty-six claim Amended Complaint asserted a wide variety of legal theories for recovery, including theft of trade secrets.
Although the Amended Complaint contained some 400 allegations spread over 87 pages, the Defendants moved to dismiss, among other claims, the trade secret claim. The Defendants argued that L3’s claim under the Colorado Uniform Trade Secrets Act should be dismissed, because the claim “fails to identify sufficiently any alleged trade secrets, and fails to plead which Defendants allegedly misappropriated such alleged trade secrets.” The District Court disagreed and held that although the “Defendants would certainly prefer that L3 be even more specific in identifying each particular allegedly misappropriated trade secret, and that it be prohibited from referencing other alleged trade secrets in more general terms, the Court cannot say that the Amended Complaint is so bereft of specifics regarding any of the trade secrets at issue here that dismissal is warranted.”