Tuesday, April 18, 2006, 4/18/2006 07:38:00 AM

Taking a Hard Line on Trade Secrets Experts (Pacer Req'd)

From the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, in Thomas & Betts Corp. v. Richards Manufacturing Co., No. 01-4677 (D.N.J. Apr. 4, 2006) (2006 WL 902148), the court dealt with cross-motions from the parties seeking, in limine, to exclude technical expert testimony in a trade secrets case concerning an employee who left plaintiff to go to work for the defendant-competitor in the field of manufacturing of underground high-voltage connectors.

The court took a hard line under Daubert and largely granted the motions to exclude. Among other things, the court refused to allow the experts to testify that certain things were "trade secrets" within the given industry. The court also said that experts would not be permitted to testify regarding the length of time it would take for defendants to reverse engineer certain trade secrets. There, the court said, the experts' methodology was lacking under Daubert.

Taken altogether, the court's rulings are among the toughest on potential expert testimony in trade secrets cases.

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