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The Paris Convention art. 10bis requires signatory nations to prohibit unfair competition: (1) The countries of the Union are bound to assure to nationals of such countries effective protection against unfair competition. 2) Any act of competition contrary to honest practices in industrial or commercial matters constitutes an act of unfair competition.
Plaintiffs, General Motors Corporation and Adam Opel AG brought suit against Defendants, alleging that some of the defendants, while employed by the plaintiffs copied confidential business plans and trade secret information, and after leaving plaintiffs' employment gave confidential information to other defendants. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants violated the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1126, and violated the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C.S. § 101 et seq. Defendants moved to dismiss both of these counts.
Did the plaintiffs fail to allege facts sufficient to support their claim under the Lanham Act, thereby warranting the grant of defendants’ motion to dismiss?
The court noted that in considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P 12(b)(6), the court must construe the complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, accept all factual allegations as true, and determine whether the plaintiff undoubtedly can prove no set of facts in support of his claims that would entitle him to relief. The complaint must include direct or inferential allegations respecting all the material elements to sustain a recovery under some viable legal theory. In this case, the court held that the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.S. § 1126, incorporated the substantive provisions of the Paris Convention that provided that signatory countries must protect individuals from unfair competition. Thus, plaintiffs had alleged facts sufficient to support their Lanham Act claim. The court held that all of defendants' grounds for challenging plaintiffs' copyright infringement claim lacked merit. Thus, the court denied defendants’ motions.