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Buffets Inc. v. Klinke
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
73 F.3d 965 (1996)
Buffets Inc. (plaintiff) operated a national chain of buffet restaurants that served American food such as barbecue chicken and macaroni and cheese. Buffets’ founder, Dennis Scott, developed Buffets’ first menus. Scott met with Paul Klinke (defendant), another restaurant owner, and refused Klinke’s offer to franchise Buffets. In response, Klinke arranged for his former employee to start working for Buffets and tried to pay the former employee to hand over Buffets’ recipes or help Klinke’s son get a job with Buffets. Klinke’s son was hired as a cook at Buffets while hiding that he still worked for Klinke. In addition, Klinke contacted one of Buffets’ former employees and paid him to deliver Buffets’ recipes to Klinke. When Klinke opened a restaurant using the recipes, Buffets sued Klinke for trade-secret misappropriation. The district court held that the recipes were not trade secrets.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Nelson, J.)
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