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AMP Inc. v. Fleischhacker
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
823 F.2d 1199 (1987)
James Fleischhacker (defendant) worked for electronics-manufacturing company AMP Incorporated (plaintiff) as the division manager of AMP’s components-and-assemblies division. Fleischhacker’s duties included reviewing and approving business programs and implementing strategic policies and plans. Although Fleischhacker had a confidentiality agreement with AMP, Fleischhacker was not bound by any other restrictive covenants not to compete. In late 1983, Molex (defendant), one of AMP’s main competitors in the connector industry, offered Fleischhacker a job as Molex’s director of marketing for its commercial-products decision. Molex found Fleischhacker to be an attractive candidate based on his background, product-management capabilities, and industry knowledge. Fleischhacker accepted Molex’s offer and resigned from AMP in February of 1984. AMP subsequently sued Fleischhacker and Molex in federal district court, alleging unfair competition and misappropriation of AMP’s trade secrets. AMP asserted that Fleischhacker would inevitably use and disclose AMP’s trade secrets and confidential information—which AMP defined as including AMP’s business and strategic-planning information, customer information, financial information, new-product-development information, and manufacturing information—in his role with Molex. AMP thus sought injunctive relief prohibiting Fleischhacker from continuing to work as Molex’s director of marketing. At a bench trial, Fleischhacker testified that he did not take any confidential information with him from AMP, and there was no evidence that Fleischhacker recorded, copied, or memorized any of AMP’s confidential information for use at Molex. The district court ultimately entered judgment in favor of Fleischhacker and Molex. AMP appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cummings, J.)
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