The question is whether it is possible to get a court to enter partial summary judgment before trial on some but not all of the trade secrets that the defendant is accused of stealing.
As discussed in the Sept 28 post, the answer is that this may not be possible if the lawsuit is filed in California state court.
But if the trade secret lawsuit is filed in federal court, the answer is yes. In federal court, it is easier to weed out before trial alleged trade secrets that do not satisfy the legal requirements for protection.
Why should we care? For each allegedly misappropriated trade secret that is allowed to be argued at trial, the costs incurred in either proving up or rebutting the claim run in the tens if not the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on attorneys, experts and discovery, not to mention the significant time the court and the jury must devote to determining liability on each such claim. In other words, the potential savings of time and money to all concerned (court, jurors, and parties) from taking fewer trade secrets to trial are huge. Also, settlement before trial is much more likely if the parties know in advance which trade secret claims will or will not be tried.
Continue Reading You Can Get Partial SJ on Some But Not All Trade Secrets . . . In Federal Court