Powerweb Energy Inc. v. Hubbell Lighting Inc.
Allegations that although the plaintiff marked its technological information as "confidential" and took steps to protect the information, the information, which was not generally known, was used without the plaintiff's consent can be sufficient to state a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets. The plaintiff alleged the following facts. In April 2007, the plaintiff, Powerweb Energy Inc., possessed confidential technology on the wireless control of light fixtures, to maximize efficiency. It signed a nondisclosure contract with the defendant, Hubbell Lighting, in connection with the design and manufacture of lighting equipment. In November 2008 and December 2010, Powerweb and the Hubbell defendants signed license agreements and agreed to protect certain confidential information. In February 2011, the Hubbell defendants allegedly used Powerweb's confidential technology without Powerweb's consent and used the products contemplated in the license contract under another name, without paying Powerweb. In February 2012, Powerweb sued the Hubbell defendants, which moved to dismiss. Allegations that Powerweb disclosed its confidential information and that the Hubbell defendants used that information, in breach of the nondisclosure agreement, were sufficient to allege breach of contract. Powerweb adequately alleged breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, and those counts survived the motion to dismiss. Allegations that although Powerweb marked its technological information as "confidential," and took steps to protect the technology, the technology, which was not generally known, was used without Powerweb's consent were sufficient to state a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets, in violation of CUTSA, the Connecticut Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Allegations that the Hubbell defendants demanded that the plaintiff pay for unanticipated design changes, as a pretext to reach a deal with another company and to deprive Powerweb of profits, were sufficient to allege deceptive trade practices, in violation of CUTPA, the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. Powerweb adequately alleged it suffered an ascertainable loss. The court denied the Hubbell defendants' motion to dismiss and motion for a more definite statement.