Friday, November 18, 2005, 11/18/2005 09:38:00 PM

11th Circuit Discusses Choice of Law & Scope of Trade Secrets

In Manual v. Convergys Corp., 2005 WL 3040815 (11th Cir. Nov. 15, 2005), the Eleventh Circuit discusses choice of law under Georgia law in cases alleging both trade secrets violations and breach of an agreement with an employeee when that agreement contains a choice of law provision. Even though the parties' agreement required application of Ohio law, the court held that Georgia would apply its own choice of law doctrince -- lex loci delicti -- to the tort of misappropriation of trade secrets. The place of the alleged tort was Georgia and so its trade secrets statute applied.

Applying other state and federal cases decided under the Georgia Trade Secrets Act, the court refused to find a trade secrets violation for information simply "in the mind" of the employee, holding "Convergys only alleges general customer and business information that Avnet [an earlier Georgia state case] held cannot be a trade secret if it is only personal knowledge."

Score it for the former employee.


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