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E.I. DuPont deNemours & Co. v. Christopher
Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
431 F.2d 1012, cert. denied, 400 U.S. 1024 (1971)
Christopher (defendant) was hired by an unknown third party to take aerial photographs of a DuPont (plaintiff) methanol plant under construction in Texas. The plant contained equipment to produce methanol by a new process DuPont had invented that it was taking care to keep secret. The plant was unfinished, and Christopher could see the equipment from the airplane. DuPont contended that Christopher's photographs contained enough information to allow a skilled person to discover its secret process for making methanol. DuPont sued Christopher for misappropriation of trade secrets. Christopher filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court denied this motion. Christopher appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Goldberg, C.J.)
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