- Court: Intellectual Property Archives
- Area(s) of Law: Trade Secrets
- Date Filed: 09-24-2014
- Case #: 2:14-cv-1156 JWS
- Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court for the District of Arizona
- LexisNexis Citation: 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135295
- Westlaw Citation: none
- Full Text Opinion
Opinion (Sedwick): Cornucopia Products, LLC (Cornucopia) manufactures a heated towel device sold at the retail stores of Bed, Bath & Beyond, Inc. (BBB). Cornucopia alleges the device incorporates trade secrets which BBB misappropriated.
Trade Secret law is specific to each state, and the The Arizona Uniform Trade Secrets Act (AUTSA) states that misappropriation is "[a]cquisition of a trade secret of another by a person who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means" or "[d]isclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who either: (i) Used improper means to acquire knowledge of the trade secret[;] (ii) ... knew or had reason to know that his knowledge of the trade secret .. [; or] knew or had reason to know that it was a trade secret and that knowledge of it had been acquired by accident or mistake." A.R.S. § 44-401(2).
The Court reviewed the allegations made by Cornucopia that it was allegedly "strong-armed" into selling their design for the device to another company which was then revealed to BBB.
The Court determined that coercion to reveal a trade secret is not the same as "acquiring", as required by AUTSA, and as such, this allegation fails to state a "plausible claim".
For this, and other reasons unrelated to trade secrets, the court GRANTS BBB's motion to dismiss.