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ConFold Pacific, Inc. v. Polaris Industries, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
433 F.3d 952 (2006)


Facts

ConFold Pacific, Inc. (ConFold) (plaintiff) is a consultancy and design firm. Polaris Industries, Inc. (Polaris) (defendant) manufactures snowmobiles and other vehicles. Polaris originally shipped its products in disposable containers. Polaris hired ConFold to conduct a reverse logistics study analyzing the benefits of switching to returnable containers. Polaris and ConFold signed a mutual non-disclosure agreement, titled the Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement-Logistics Consulting Version. ConFold completed the reverse logistics analysis pursuant to this agreement. Two months after the agreement was signed, Polaris requested proposals for designs for returnable containers. Polaris received nine proposals, including one design proposal from ConFold. Polaris ultimately rejected all nine proposals. A few years later, Polaris came out with a returnable container produced by a third party. The design was very similar to that submitted originally by ConFold. ConFold brought suit against Polaris in federal district court. The district court held Polaris did not breach a confidentiality agreement with ConFold, and ConFold appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

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