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BladeRoom Grp. Ltd. v. Facebook, Inc.

United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division

February 10, 2017, Decided; February 10, 2017, Filed

Case No. 5:15-cv-01370-EJD

Opinion

[EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS DOCUMENT IS MISSING TEXT. THE LEXIS SERVICE WILL PLACE THE TEXT ON-LINE UPON RECEIPT.]

 [*986]  ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

Re: Dkt. No. 114

 [**2] This is a case about data centers, "which are the buildings that house the vast arrays of computer servers that form the backbone of the internet and the high-technology economy." Second Am. Compl. ("SAC'), Dkt. No. 107, at ¶ 1. Plaintiffs BladeRoom Group Limited ("BRG") and Bripco (UK) Limited ("Bripco")1 are two English companies who allege that Defendants Facebook, Inc. ("Facebook"), Emerson Electric Co. ("Emerson"), Emerson Network Power Solutions, Inc. and Liebert Corporation2 enticed them to reveal their data center designs and construction methods with promises of acquisition and partnership, only to then copy those designs and methods and pass them off as their own.

Federal jurisdiction arises pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1332. Presently before the court is Facebook's Motion to Dismiss the SAC under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Dkt. No. 114. Plaintiffs have filed written opposition to this motion. Having carefully considered the parties' arguments, the court concludes that most but not all of the SAC withstands a Rule 12(b)(6) review. Thus, Facebook's motion will be granted in part and denied in part for the reasons explained below.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Plaintiffs and the BladeRoom Technology

Plaintiffs developed and perfected a method for manufacturing and installing a type of prefabricated data center known as a "BladeRoom." Id. at ¶ 4. [TEXT REDACTED BY THE COURT] Id. at ¶ 26. Plaintiffs built the first BladeRoom [**3]  in 2009, and have since built over 40 BladeRooms on four continents. Id. at ¶ 27.

Though some of the techniques used to build a BladeRoom are publicly disclosed, Plaintiffs keep others as confidential trade  [*987]  secrets and limit the release of this information in several ways. Id. at ¶¶ 28, 31. They ensure that private disclosure to potential clients, suppliers and others is covered by non-disclosure agreements. Id. at ¶ 31. The computer systems containing the trade secrets are password-protected and the facilities where they are stored are physically secured. Id. Additionally, employee access to trade secrets is limited to only those that need to know of them and is subject to confidentiality agreements. Id.

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219 F. Supp. 3d 984 *; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20176 **; 2017 WL 1233555

BLADEROOM GROUP LIMITED, et al., Plaintiffs, v. FACEBOOK, INC., et al., Defendants.

Prior History: BladerRoom Grp. Ltd. v. Facebook, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164602 (N.D. Cal., Dec. 7, 2015)

CORE TERMS

secret, misappropriation, confidential, technology, unfair, secrecy, disclosure, non-disclosure, consumers, prong, competitors, contractors, licensing, ownership, licensee, publicly