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Data General Corp. v. Digital Computer Controls, Inc.

Delaware Court of Chancery
297 A.2d 433 (Del. Ch. 1971), aff'd, 297 A.2d 437 (Del. S. Ct. 1972)


Data General Corp. (Data General) (plaintiff) manufactured a proprietary computer called Nova 1200. The company provided a design drawing of the computer to each customer so that the customers could do their own maintenance on the computers. Each drawing contained markings to the effect that they were propriety and not to be used for manufacturing purposes. Also accompanying each computer sold was a purchase agreement containing a non-disclosure clause. Digital Computer Controls, Inc. (DCC) (defendant) purchased a Nova 1200 and the corresponding design drawing from one of Data General’s customers. DCC then proceeded to use the drawing to manufacture a similar computer, which it planned to sell. Data General filed a lawsuit for misappropriation of a trade secret and filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. DCC filed a motion for summary judgment, asserting that Data General did not sufficiently maintain an appropriate level of secrecy for a trade secret.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Marvel, V.C.)

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