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Phillips v. Frey

20 F.3d 623 (1994)

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Phillips v. Frey

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

20 F.3d 623 (1994)

Facts

W. C. and Mary Phillips (plaintiffs) owned a company that developed the hunting V-Lok, the only single-pole deer stands in the United States. John Collins, Gary Arnold, and Claude Frey (collectively, the prospective purchasers) (defendants) negotiated to buy the Phillipses’ business. Collins requested information from the Phillipses and told them that he had secured the purchase money, that Frey had plenty of land, and that Arnold was able to fabricate metal. The Phillipses believed the prospective purchasers were legitimate and sent them a video showing how to make the tree stands. The Phillipses also took Collins on a tour of the Phillipses’ shop, where the Phillipses demonstrated how to make the V-Lok. The prospective purchasers never applied for a business loan, backed out of buying the Phillipses’ business, and began making their own identical versions of the V-Lok. The Phillipses sued the prospective purchasers for misappropriating the V-Lok’s design and manufacturing process and for deceiving the Phillipses into disclosing confidential trade secrets. A jury found in favor of the Phillipses, and the prospective purchasers appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Garza, J.)

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