In an unpublished case, the Appellate Division overruled a trial court's finding that customer lists used by a former employee to compete with his former employer were not considered protected trade secrets. The trial court held that the information was not protected since the names, addresses and phone numbers of the people on the list were "well known in the industry" and therefore it was immaterial that the defendant obtained the information from his former employer's database. However, the Appellate Division opined that a more detailed analysis is required pursuant to Lamorte Burns & Co. v. Walters, listing the factors to be considered as follows: (1) the extent to which the information is known outside of the business; (2) the extent to which it is known by employees and others involved in the business; (3) the extent of measures taken by the owner to guard the secrecy of the information; (4) the value of the information to the business and to its competitors; (5) the amount of effort or money expended in developing the information; and (6) the ease or difficulty with which the information could be properly acquired or duplicated by others. Given these factors and the specific facts of the case at issue, the appellate court ruled that there were issues of fact as to whether or not the customer lists were protected trade secrets and consequently remanded the case for trial. (Steris Corporation v. Shannon)
Peter J. Vazquez, Jr.