In nClosures Inc. v. Block & Co., Nos. 13-3906, 14-1097 (7th Cir. Oct 22, 2014), plaintiff entered into an agreement whereby plaintiff would design, and defendant would manufacture, cases for electronic tablets.  At the outset of the relationship, the parties entered into a confidentiality agreement, and plaintiff then divulged its proprietary design to defendant.  A few months later, defendant developed its own case design, terminated the agreement, and began selling its competing product.  Plaintiff sued defendant for breach of the confidentiality agreement.  The district court granted summary judgment in favor of defendant, finding that the parties’ agreement was unenforceable because plaintiff had failed to take reasonable steps to keep its proprietary information confidential.  The Seventh Circuit affirmed, acknowledging that courts applying Illinois law will enforce confidentiality agreements only when the information sought is actually confidential and reasonable steps were taken to keep it confidential.  Here, while the parties’ principals signed an initial confidentiality agreement, no additional confidentiality agreements were required to be signed by the individuals who actually accessed the design files, the designs were not marked confidential, and they were not stored under lock and key or on computers with limited access.  The court concluded that these facts showed that plaintiff did not engage in reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of its proprietary information and, therefore, its confidentiality agreement with defendant was unenforceable.