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Janus Et Cie v. Kahnke - 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139686 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2013)

Rule:

Absent any wrongdoing that would constitute a breach under the confidentiality agreement, mere knowledge of the intricacies of a business is simply not enough.

Facts:

Plaintiff Janus, a California corporation, brought a diversity action for inevitable disclosure of trade secrets against its former employee, Defendant Andrew Kahnke, a citizen of New York. Kahnke had been employed as a sales associate by Janus but he eventually transferred to a competitor, holding a very similar position. Kahnke moved to dismiss the action pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. Rule 12(b)(6)

Issue:

Is there reasonable ground to dismiss the plaintiff’s diversity action against the defendant?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

The district court granted the motion and dismissed the action, holding that the plaintiff Janus’s assertion that the complaint navigates through "judicially disfavored territory" is conclusory. And even if a claim for inevitable disclosure can exist, the claim that defendant Kahnke was exposed to confidential information that his competitor would like to know "is insufficient to support the theory that Kahnke has used or threatened to use any of the Company's trade secrets.

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