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Incase, Inc. v. Timex Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
488 F.3d 46 (2007)


Facts

Timex Corporation (Timex) (defendant) was a wristwatch manufacturer. Incase, Inc. (Incase) (plaintiff) manufactured plastic-packaging products. Incase met with Timex several times to discuss packaging to display certain Timex watches. Incase did not ask Timex to keep Incase’s proposed designs secret, nor did Incase mark the documents it gave Timex as confidential. Incase designed two types of plastic displays for Timex, the S-4 and S-5, hoping to receive a manufacturing contract for both designs. Both packaging designs included a price flag. A price flag is a small plastic tab attached to the base of the package for displaying the watch’s price. In the S-4, the price flag was fixed. However, in the S-5, the price flag was movable and removable. Timex sent Incase a purchase order to make six million of the S-4 display units, but Timex later changed the order to only two million units. Incase continued working on the S-5 design in conjunction with Timex, but Timex did not order any S-5 units. Without telling Incase, Timex entered into a contract with a company in the Philippines to manufacture the S-5 packaging design. Two years later, an Incase executive saw that Timex was selling watches using the S-5 packaging. Incase sued Timex for, among other things, misappropriation of trade secrets for the S-5 design. The jury found for Incase on all claims. However, despite the jury verdict for Incase, the district court granted judgment as a matter of law to Timex on the trade-secret claim. Incase appealed.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Stahl, J.)

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