therefore HOLD that the jury's findings in the trial late last year compel the conclusion that the statutory period had expired on all claims arising out of or dependent on alleged misappropriation of any of the remaining design ideas before plaintiff filed this lawsuit in late April of 1990. On this basis we GRANT DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT with respect to all remaining state law claims arising out of alleged misappropriation of any of plaintiff's alleged trade secrets or confidential information.
There is an additional consideration, not essential to our holding, that supports the fairness of the result we reach. As noted earlier, the court limited the initial trial in this litigation to six trade secrets. The court did not, however, select which trade secrets would be tried. Instead, it permitted plaintiff to select four of the secrets and defendant to select (from plaintiff's then current list) the remaining two. While the court urged counsel, when making their selections, to consider the possible preclusive effects of the initial trial on other aspects of this litigation, as well as the effects the first trial might have on subsequent settlement negotiations, the court imposed no limits or restraints at all on the choices made by the parties. In this setting, it would be surprising, to understate the matter, if all four of the trade secrets picked by plaintiff for the trial were at the margins of the case, as plaintiff perceived it. Rather, one would expect plaintiff to have chosen at least one or two secrets which plaintiff perceived as in some sense representative of other, related claims and as vehicles for plaintiff to make as strong a case of misappropriation as possible. In other words, it seems fair to assume that plaintiff would have chosen trade secrets whose misappropriation would have represented a serious, material breach of the relationship of trust and confidentiality that it once had with defendants Pless and Sweeney. Our confidence that this assumption is fair is increased by the fact that the four alleged trade secrets selected by plaintiff obviously are related to others on plaintiff's list.
The fact that plaintiff was given an unfettered opportunity to select four trade secrets for the initial trial, coupled with the apparent connection between those trade secrets and others on plaintiff's list, reduces substantially the likelihood that a breach that consisted of misappropriation of these trade secrets would have been perceived by plaintiff in early 1986 as immaterial or inconsequential, and thus reduces substantially the likelihood that applying the rule we announce today to plaintiff is unfair.
Plaintiff's countermotion, being supported only by a nonsequitur, is DENIED.
SUMMARY OF RULINGS
The court hereby ORDERS entry of SUMMARY JUDGMENT in favor of defendants PLESS and SWEENEY on all of the claims in the instant action that arise out of or depend on alleged misappropriation of any of plaintiff's alleged trade secrets or confidential information, including the causes of action that sound in misappropriation (under Texas or California law), breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and civil conspiracy.
The court further ORDERS entry of SUMMARY JUDGMENT in favor of defendant VENTRITEX on all of the claims in the instant action that arise out of or depend on alleged misappropriation of any of plaintiff's alleged trade secrets or confidential information, including the causes of action that sound in misappropriation (under Texas or California law), unfair competition, inducement to misappropriate, inducement to breach contractual obligations, inducement to breach fiduciary obligations, and civil conspiracy.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: April 30, 1993
Wayne D. Brazil
United States Magistrate Judge