Courthouse News Service is reporting that United States District Court Judge Frank Whitney of the Western District of North Carolina has dismissed claims by General Dynamics that two former employees had stolen secrets to aid them in their new defense contracting firm. What the Courthouse News Service does not report, apparently, is that the case was dismissed pursuant to Rule 41, in which both parties stipulate that the matter be dismissed.
Although we don't know how the case was ultimately resolved or settled, we do know that the former employees, Gerard Snyder and Kenneth Morrison, say they had merely pursued new technologies and business opportunities in which their longtime employer had either expressed no interest or had rejected.
The men had been members of an advanced program team at General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, which designs, develops and produces high-performance weapon and armament systems, defensive armor, and biological- and chemical-detection systems.
Snyder and Morrison established Advanced Mission Systems in 2006, and used General Dynamics' computers to gather information about new products, applications in development, and the current and future needs of its military and security industry clients, according to the complaint filed in 2009.
Snyder and Morrison originally argued General Dynamics failed to specify what trade secrets were allegedly stolen and how they were used. Given their former positions and the broadness of the allegations against them, they said the court could not possibly reach any legal conclusion about the claim.
We do know this - the case is no longer pending on the federal docket.