NexTUNE, Inc. v. McKinney

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Trade Secrets, Intentional acquisition
  • Date Filed: 05-29-2013
  • Case #: C12-1974 TSZ
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court, W.D. Washington at Seattle
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77128
  • Westlaw Citation: 2013 WL 2338260
  • Full Text Opinion

A competitor merely reviewing documents lawfully acquired containing trade secret information is insufficient to prove that the trade secrets were intentionally acquired.

Opinion (Zilly): NexTUNE, a Washington company that provides digital music services, sued EMI Music North America (“EMI”) and its outside counsel, Robert McKinney ("McKinney") for misappropriation of trade secrets. NexTUNE alleged that EMI and McKinney acquired trade secret information under the guise of a potential copyright infringement suit they were planning to bring against NexTUNE. EMI requested from NexTUNE detailed company information regarding NexTUNE’s services, operations, and customer information. Counsel for NexTUNE agreed to provide the requested information and then, after a meeting with McKinney and Christopher Harrison ("Harrison"), an employee of a competitor of NexTUNE, filed suit against EMI for misappropriation of trade secret information. NexTUNE alleged that EMI obtained trade secret information through improper means and shared them with Harrison’s employers. NexTUNE alleged that Harrison intentionally acquired trade secret information, however, the court found that Harrison merely reviewed documents lawfully given to him by McKinney and that Harrison did not specifically request any NexTUNE information. Therefore, the court GRANTED Harrison’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.

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