Pactiv Corp. v. Multisorb Techs, Inc., No. 10 C 461, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. March 27, 2012) (Leinenweber, Sen. J.).

Judge Leinenweber granted defendant Multisorb partial summary judgment that it did not breach the parties’ contract by using confidential information received from plaintiff Pactiv to create a competing “oxygen scavenger” product - a product that is placed in a package of raw meat to remove oxygen and preserve freshness.  Initially, the Court limited the confidential information to that information marked “confidential” pursuant to the agreement and that were not otherwise publicly known.  That left three documents related to how oxygen scavenger packet weight and different packet types impact absorption.  Pactiv lacked direct evidence that Multisorb used the confidential information to develop its Fresh Pax CR or Maplox Program.

In order to find for Pactiv, a jury would have had to infer both that Multisorb’s packages and weights were instrumental to its products and that Multisorb used the confidential information in developing the products.  Summary judgment was proper because finding for Pactiv would have required “pil[ing] inference upon inference” with “less than a scintilla of evidence.”