Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 6/21/2006 10:58:00 AM

He Took Our Trade Secrets, Where's Our Injunction?

Lots of courts apply a relaxed - some might say lax - standard in determining whether to grant a preliminary injunction in a trade secrets case. Not so for federal Judge Ed Kinkeade of the Northern District of Texas.

In Watchguard Technologies, Inc. v. Valentine, 2006 WL 1644332 (N.D.Tex. June 9, 2006), Judge Kinkeade refused to accept an argument that a trade secrets claim automatically meant plaintiff was entitled to a preliminary injunction. Instead, the court scrupulously applied the regular Rule 65 standards.

First, he ruled that he would "look not to the magnitude of the harm allegedly suffered by [the plaintiff], but the irreparability of it." Next, he ruled that if the plaintiff "could possibly be sufficiently compensated at a later date during the course of the case, the Court will weigh this heavily against a conclusion the party suffered irreparable harm."

The court then went on to conclude that there was no irreparable harm.

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