Wednesday, July 26, 2006, 7/26/2006 11:21:00 AM

Where's My Injunction? -- Part Two

In a follow-up to a post from last month, "He Took Our Trade Secrets, Now Where's Our Injunction?" comes a case from Nebraska, Riverpoint Management, LLC v. Kleinholz, 2006 WL 2008515 (D.Neb. July 17, 2006). This time, "she," the defendant former employee, took the trade secrets, in the form of client and job candidate lists. The court, though, refused to grant an injunction on the grounds that there was no evidence of use of the misappropriated trade secrets and plaintiff could not demonstrate that there was a "threatened" use which might also justify an injunction under the Nebraska trade secrets act.

Underlying everything in the court's ruling was a certain skepticism that the secrets really contained much of value or that their use could not be remedied by damages and thus would not constitute irreparable harm.

As the court concluded:

"I have only limited evidence about the origin of the information Riverpoint deems to be secret and about the value of the information to Riverpoint. Riverpoint did not submit any persuasive evidence regarding the nature of the harm it could sustain. I am not convinced on the record before me that the subject information imparts anything of value or bestows any competitive advantage upon the possessor of the information. Because the Court cannot evaluate on this record the extent to which the information that Kleinholz took is proprietary or exclusive to Riverpoint, I am not persuaded that Riverpoint has shown that it faces any imminent threat of irreparable harm caused by Kleinholz's possession of the information."

Some courts, at least, are retreating from lax standards concerning the grant of preliminary injunctions in trade secrets cases.

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