Plaintiff rock band sued a video game publisher for violation of the right to privacy and unfair competition, alleging that the use of computer-generated images of the band in the publisher’s Band Hero video game exceeded the uses permitted by the band’s licensing agreement. The primary issue was whether the use of the band’s images was “transformative” artistic expression, protected from suit by the First Amendment.
Developer of a high protein pudding recipe alleged a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets against a competitor under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Primary issues included: (1) whether the developer described his alleged trade secret (his recipe and manufacturing process) in sufficient particularity to satisfy Code of Civ. Proc., § 2019.210, which requires that to commence discovery regarding the trade secret in any action alleging misappropriation under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the party alleging the misappropriation must identify the trade secret with reasonable particularity, and (2) whether to meet the required particularity, the description of the trade secret must explain how it differs from the general knowledge of skilled persons in the field to which the secret relates.
Defendant sold to plaintiff (the co-owner) his interest in a business that rented modern, contemporary, and science fiction props to movie and television productions. He resigned his positions as president and director, became an as-needed consultant, and agreed not to divulge or use the company’s trade secrets. After defendant later opened a similar prop business in Vancouver, Canada (a site he had explored for his former company), plaintiff sued for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, and misappropriation of trade secrets under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Issues included whether plaintiff could demonstrate that defendant disclosed to third parties or used confidential information he obtained from plaintiff’s company.
Hon. Thomas L. Willhite, Jr. (Ret.)
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