Indus. Control Repair v. McBroom Elec. Co.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Trade Secrets, Infringement
  • Date Filed: 10-10-2013
  • Case #: No. 302240
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Court of Appeals of Michigan
  • LexisNexis Citation: 2013 Mich. App. LEXIS 1581
  • Westlaw Citation: 2013 WL 5576336
  • Full Text Opinion

Customer information is not protected under the Michigan trade secrets act.

Opinion (Per Curiam): Industrial Control Repair, Inc. ("Industrial") specializes in providing asset management repair services for machinery and equipment in large industrial settings. McBroom Electric, Inc. ("McBroom") provides repair services for electronic motors and spindles. In 2007, Industrial and McBroom executed a “proprietary information agreement.” In 2008, Industrial and McBroom executed a “strategic sourcing agreement” in which Industrial agreed to source electronic motor and spindle repair work for its asset management clients to McBroom. In 2009, David Young ("Young') resigned his position as vice president of sales for Industrial and took a position with McBroom. Young had signed confidentiality and non-competition agreements with Industrial. Industrial initially did not object to Young’s employment with McBroom, and Young facilitated work between Industrial and McBroom under the strategic sourcing agreement. However, after Industrial and McBroom’s relationship under the sourcing agreement terminated, Industrial filed suit alleging, among other causes of action, violation of Michigan’s trade secrets act. The trial court issued an opinion and order granting summary disposition in favor of McBroom. The trial court held that the customer information allegedly misappropriated by McBroom when they hired Young was not a trade secret under the Michigan act. The court of appeals AFFIRMED the trial court’s order, noting that customer information is not protected under the Michigan act but may be protected by confidentiality agreements.

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