Tampa Bay: Trade secret case injunctions should be dropped

In the latest moves in its ongoing trade secrets litigation, National Fish and Seafood is asking for continued injunctions against Tampa Bay Fisheries and a former employee in its trade secrets lawsuit, while Tampa Bay is asking the judge to rule against NFS.

Court-ordered injunctions, which prevent Tampa Bay from viewing or otherwise using any National Fish documents, should remain in place for the remainder of the litigation “due to the malicious and deceptive conduct of Defendant Kathleen A. Scanlon and questionable conduct of Tampa Bay,” NFS said in a new court filing. 

“For example, neither Scanlon nor Tampa Bay have admitted to their unlawful conduct or provided a reasonable explanation for their actions,” NFS said.

Revising the injunctions now, without waiting for the benefits of the 26 November trial, “would be premature and irreparably harm NFS,” the Gloucester, Massachusetts-based supplier of Matlaw’s stuffed clams said.

Pacific Andes-owned NFS filed a complaint against Scanlon, Tampa, Florida-based Tampa Bay, along with Tampa Bay executives on 20 July, alleging that Scanlon “unlawfully acquired NFS’ confidential information and trade secrets” involving its proprietary clam production process. 

NFS later added Vernon, California-based Red Chamber as a defendant in the case, since the supplier attempted to buy National Fish and Seafood last year, NFS President Todd Provost told SeafoodSource.

NFS has asked for a further forensic investigation of Tampa Bay’s backup information stored by Tampa Bay’s data vendor Datacomm Networks Inc.

NFS requests “immediate production” of service tickets and scripts identified used by Datacomm “to remove NFS information from Tampa Bay’s active computer systems shortly after the institution of this action,” NFS said.

But NFS has acknowledged that Tampa Bay’s relevant servers and devices “do not contain NFS information taken by Scanlon,” according to Tampa Bay’s court filing.

“Indeed, while NFS claims to still be analyzing the results of the court-ordered forensic exam, NFS has not pointed to even a single NFS document or Scanlon email on Tampa Bay’s servers or devices. That should be the end of this matter, and certainly the end of any injunction hanging over Tampa Bay,” Tampa Bay said. “Rather than accept its own conclusions, however, NFS now asks the Court to extend the injunction, and seeks for the third time to go beyond the court-ordered exam, demanding yet again an even more costly and intrusive search through its competitor’s systems,” Tampa Bay added.

The Court should reject “NFS’ attempt to redo and expand the court-ordered forensic exam,” and “decline to expand or supplement discovery when Tampa Bay has already produced the relevant materials. This is not a case about every device in the Tampa Bay universe,” Tampa Bay said.

Meanwhile, NFS withdrew its demand for a jury trial in order to promote efficiency and reduce costs. Instead, the supplier is seeking a bench trial.


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