Altavion, Inc. v. Konica Minolta Systems Laboratory
California Court of Appeals
226 Cal. App. 4th 26 (2014)
Altavion, Inc. (plaintiff) invented a type of digital-stamping technology (DST) that addressed the so-called closed-loop problem that bedeviled the multifunction-printer (MFP) industry. Altavion shared its basic DST concepts with several MFP manufacturers, including Konica Minolta Systems Laboratory, Inc. (Konica) (defendant). However, Altavion disclosed its most advanced DST concepts only to Konica, which showed great interest in licensing Altavion’s DST. In return, Konica signed a nondisclosure agreement that it would protect Altavion’s proprietary interest in its DST. The talks between Altavion and Konica eventually broke down. Konica analyzed Altavion’s advanced concepts and readily ascertained its own profitable solution to the closed-loop problem. Altavion successfully sued Konica for misappropriating its trade secrets. Konica appealed to the California Court of Appeals.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Simons, J.)
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