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PepsiCo, Inc. v. Redmond

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
54 F.3d 1262 (1995)


Facts

In 1993, William Redmond, Jr. (defendant) was promoted to a relatively high-level position at PepsiCo, Inc. (PepsiCo) (plaintiff). Redmond’s position afforded him access to many of PepsiCo’s trade secrets, particularly those relating to the pricing, marketing, and distribution of PepsiCo’s All Sport and new-age-drinks beverage divisions. Quaker Oats Company (Quaker) produced its own Gatorade and Snapple line of beverages, and was in direct competition with PepsiCo. In 1994, Quaker offered Redmond the position of vice president of field operations for Gatorade. Redmond accepted the offer but reported to his colleagues at PepsiCo that Redmond had been offered the position of chief executive officer (CEO) of Gatorade and Snapple and had not yet decided whether to accept. Ultimately, Redmond met with a superior at PepsiCo and informed the superior of Redmond’s decision to join Quaker. PepsiCo responded by filing a trade-secret-misappropriation suit against Redmond, seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent Redmond from utilizing trade secrets that Redmond had learned as an employee at PepsiCo. The TRO was granted but dissolved after only two days of effectiveness. The district court granted an injunction barring Redmond from starting at his new job until 1995 and permanently enjoined Redmond from disclosing PepsiCo’s trade secrets. The district court based its decision on the evidence presented by PepsiCo on the confidential information obtained by Redmond at PepsiCo and the likelihood that Redmond would disclose or rely on that information at Quaker. Redmond appealed the decision.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Flaum, J.)

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