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Southern District Denies Summary Judgment of Misappropriation of Trade Secrets Complaint, Even Where Defendant Former Employer Signed a Release of Claims

In Releases, Settlements, Summary Judgment on October 6, 2010 at 10:30 am
RUHS vs Mira Costa 2009-094
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The Southern District of California denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a trade secret misappropriation case.  Applied Professional Training, Inc. v. Mira Costa College, No. 10cv1372 DMS (POR), 2010 WL 3834010 (S.D. Cal. Sept. 28, 2010).  Some of the parties had signed a release of claims after a dispute arose between an individual defendant and the plaintiff relating to certain commissions owed from his employment with plaintiff.  Thereafter, former employer plaintiff filed suit against the releasing parties and others alleging, inter alia, trade secret misappropriation.  Defendants sought dismissal of the claims because of the signed release.  But the court found the operative terms in the release ambiguous, and denied summary judgment.

Background

Plaintiff Applied Professional Training, Inc. (“APT”) is engaged in education and technical training for the communications and electric power industries. Id. *1. Defendants Cawley, Uribe, Glenn and Aydelott are former employees of APT, and Defendant Price was formerly an independent contractor for APT.  Id. The Individual defendants terminated their relationships with APT, and each began working at Defendant Teleskills, which offers educational courses in the telecommunications industry, and is a direct competitor of APT. Id. Teleskills was the brainchild of Cawley and Uribe, who decided to start Teleskills while they were still employed at APT (Cawley states Teleskills did not do any business until after he and Uribe left APT). Id. Read the rest of this entry »

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