Court of Appeals of New York
278 N.E.2d 636 (1972)
Leo Silfen, Inc. (Silfen) (plaintiff) sold industrial supplies. In 1949, Silfen hired Cream (defendant) to develop a chemical-supply division. At Silfen, Cream painstakingly built a customer base. Silfen maintained customer profiles and kept the profiles protected, requiring employees to sign confidentiality agreements. After nearly 20 years with Silfen, Cream was fired. Cream started his own company and solicited some of Silfen’s customers. Silfen sued Cream, alleging Cream’s misappropriation of trade secrets in the form of Silfen’s customers. Silfen submitted a list of 1,100 customers, and Cream admitted to soliciting 47 of them. Cream argued that the 47 customers he solicited were well-known companies openly engaged in the industrial-supply business. The court found that Silfen’s customer list was a protectable trade secret and enjoined Cream from doing business with those customers.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Breitel, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 220,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.