North Carolina Business Litigation Report

Napco, Inc. v. PBM Graphics, Inc., November 19, 2009 (Diaz)(unpublished)

The Court denied a Motion for Preliminary Injunction under the North Carolina Trade Secrets Protection Act.

Plaintiff had failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits, for a number of reasons. First, the manufacturing process which Plaintiff claimed was a trade secret was not meeting the requirements of the third party buyer involved, which caused the Defendant to develop its own process. Second, there was evidence that some of the technology was widely known and used in the industry. Finally, Plaintiff had never insisted on a confidentiality agreement to protect the claimed trade secret information and had in fact shared some of the information with the Defendant. The Defendant's signature on logs stating that it might be exposed to trade secret information was insufficient.

The Plaintiff had furthermore failed to show irreparable harm, given that its claim was that the Defendant had misappropriated the process in order to sell to their common customer. The Court held that "it should be relatively simple for Plaintiff to calculate its damages, which will be measured either by Plaintiff’s lost profits or the extent of Defendant’s unjust enrichment resulting from the alleged violation of the NCTSPA."

Full Opinion

Brief in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction

Brief in Opposition to Motion for Preliminary Injunction

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Mack Sperling
Brooks Pierce, LLP
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