We previously blogged in our 2011 year end review about a noteworthy trade secret misappropriation case where DuPont Co. successfully obtained a jury verdict of approximately $920 million in damages against rival Kolon Industries Inc. DuPont sued Kolon for the alleged theft of trade secrets regarding a proprietary fiber used to make “bulletproof” police and riot gear.
Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Payne (E.D. Virginia) issued a 20-year worldwide permanent injunction against Kolon, which prohibits Kolon from producing and manufacturing its Heracron fibers that were found to use and incorporate DuPont’s trade secrets.
John Marsh at Trade Secret Litigator has an excellent discussion of this astonishing decision and explains how this decision may have tremendous implications throughout the U.S. and worldwide.
One of the major takeaways from this case is Judge Payne’s holding that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2006 decision in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C.–which had a significant impact on patent cases because it eliminated the presumption of irreparable harm–does not apply to trade secret injunctions. In particular, Judge Payne found that eBay applied to federal statutes (e.g. patent, trademark, copyright), but not Virginia’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
In light of the recent proposed legislation for a federal trade secret statute, we wonder whether such a federal statute would change Judge Payne’s analysis and the applicability of eBay to trade secret injunctions.