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Johnson Controls, Inc. v. A.P.T. Critical Sys.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

June 24, 2004, Decided ; June 24, 2004, Filed

04 Civ. 4095 (PKL)

Opinion

 [*527] OPINION AND ORDER

LEISURE, District Judge:

Plaintiff Johnson Controls, Inc. ("JCI") moves the Court, by way of an Order to Show Cause, for a preliminary injunction prohibiting defendants Glen P. Neville, Nicholas M. Moon and their company, A.P.T. Critical Systems, Inc. ("Critical Systems, Inc."), from engaging in certain business activities in violation of non-competition and confidentiality agreements that Neville and Moon entered into while employed by plaintiff. Plaintiff, a Wisconsin corporation, filed a Summons and Verified Complaint on June 1, 2004, alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of duty of loyalty by defendants Neville and Moon; as well as misappropriation of trade [**2]  secrets and confidential information, tortious interference with business relationships and expectancies, civil conspiracy, trademark infringement  [*528]  and unfair competition by all defendants, who are citizens of New York. This Court's jurisdiction, which defendants have not challenged, is based on both diversity of citizenship and the questions of federal law raised by plaintiff's trademark and unfair competition claims.

On June 2, 2004, after holding a hearing attended by both parties, the Court issued a temporary restraining order pending resolution of plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction and ordered the parties to engage in expedited discovery. The temporary restraining order prohibited defendants from, inter alia, soliciting or servicing JCI's customers, using or disclosing JCI's proprietary or confidential information, interfering with JCI client relationships and using the name A.P.T. or American Power Technologies. On June 14 and 15, the Court held a full-blown evidentiary hearing, at which both sides presented live testimony and documentary evidence. On June 16, the Court extended the temporary restraining order for an additional 10 business days, pending the Court's [**3]  decision on the preliminary injunction. For the reasons stated below, plaintiff's motion is granted in part and denied in part. The preliminary injunction, as modified by the Court, will issue upon plaintiff's posting a bond in the amount of $ 350,000.

BACKGROUND

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323 F. Supp. 2d 525 *; 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11709 **

JOHNSON CONTROLS, INC., Plaintiff, - against - A.P.T. CRITICAL SYSTEMS, INC., GLEN P. NEVILLE, and NICHOLAS M. MOON, Defendants.

Disposition:  [**1]  Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction was granted in part and denied in part.

CORE TERMS

customer, irreparable harm, trade secret, non-compete, Controls, client relationship, solicited, confidential, confidential information, preliminary injunction, defendants', legitimate interest, injunctive relief, covenant, potential client, enjoined, parties, potential customer, misappropriated, subcontractors, contractors, provisions, proposals, preferences, compete, pricing, employment agreement, restrictive covenant, supervision, employees

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Injunctions, Grounds for Injunctions, General Overview, Remedies, Preliminary & Temporary Injunctions, Damages, Monetary Damages, Labor & Employment Law, Conditions & Terms, Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition, Noncompetition & Nondisclosure Agreements, Employment Relationships, Employment Contracts, Trade Secrets Law, Protected Information, Costs & Prices, Trade Secrets, Irreparable Harm, Misappropriation Actions, Business Information, Customer Lists, Business & Corporate Compliance, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, Covenants, Trade Secret Determination Factors, Business Use, Generally Known, Elements of Misappropriation, Contracts Law, Contract Interpretation, Ambiguities & Contra Proferentem, Intent, Defenses, Ambiguities & Mistakes, Contract Conditions & Provisions, Governments, Legislation, Overbreadth, Real Property Law, Encumbrances, Restrictive Covenants, Prejudgment Remedies, Temporary Restraining Orders