Saturday, November 26, 2005, 11/26/2005 09:54:00 AM

Federal Circuit Rules Virginia Conspiracy Claim Preempted by Trade Secrets Act

In what may finally be the end to the long dispute between Microstrategy Inc. and Business Objects, SA, two providers of so-called business intelligence, the Federal Circuit largely affirmed the trial court's ruling in favor of the defendant, Business Objects.

In so ruling, the Federal Circuit held that the Virginia Uniform Trade Secrets Act preempted a statutory conspiracy claim under Va. Code � 18.2-499 when the conspiracy claim was predicated on misappropriation of trade secrets.

In another part of the ruling the court held that the trial court was correct in granting summary judgment on Microstrategy's claim under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. � 1030, based on Microstrategy's failure to show the amount of damage it suffered with reasonable certainty. That ruling, in turn, was based on the trial court's exclusion, under Daubert, of Microstrategy's damages expert based on his use of a flawed methodology.

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