Laitram Machinery, Inc. v. Carnitech A/S

901 F. Supp. 1155 (1995)

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Laitram Machinery, Inc. v. Carnitech A/S

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
901 F. Supp. 1155 (1995)

Facts

Laitram Machinery, Inc. (Laitram) (plaintiff) brought federal and state antitrust claims against Seafood Equipment Development Corporation (SEDCO) (defendant), Carnitech A/S (defendant), and Skrmetta Machinery Corporation (Skrmetta) (defendant). The suit alleged that SEDCO, Carnitech, and Skrmetta had conspired to harm Laitram by (1) sending letters to Laitram’s customers accusing Laitram of using trade secrets held by SEDCO for a shrimp-processing machine and (2) filing a frivolous lawsuit in Florida pertaining to the same matter. Laitram settled with SEDCO and Carnitech. Skrmetta moved for summary judgment as to federal and state antitrust violations, arguing that it was immunized from antitrust liability by the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, which grants such immunity to private parties who petition the government for redress. Skrmetta also argued that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to the conspiracy claims against it. However, evidence suggested that the alleged trade secrets were already stated in a patent held by SEDCO. Furthermore, an affidavit from a Laitram executive stated that a Skrmetta executive had called him to say, “We’ve got you now,” referring to the issue of alleged use of trade secrets.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Jones, J.)

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