Monday, July 12, 2010

If you can’t trust your son…. Multi-million dollar jury verdict for boss’s son’s theft of trade secrets

According to the Youngstown Business Journal, a federal court jury awarded Allied Erecting & Dismantling $3.046 million for claims that its president’s son, Mark Ramun, misappropriated trade secrets while working for a competitor, Genesis Equipment & Manufacturing. The article describes the dispute:
At the center of the dispute is a product Allied … developed…. Between 1992 and 2001, court papers say, Mark Ramun had access to “highly confidential proprietary information and documentation” related to the Allied MT while employed at the company. Those trade secrets, Allied alleged, were given to Genesis after the company hired the younger Ramun in 2003. Allied argued in its case that Mark Ramun kept nearly 15,000 documents that contained “a substantial array of highly confidential and proprietary information.”
There is a good lesson to be learned from this story. When there is money to be made, even those who you trust the most are apt to let you down. I don’t know what the relationship between senior and junior Ramuns was like (although I’m pretty sure they won’t be sharing a Thanksgiving turkey anytime soon). I am confident, however, that dad never for a second thought his son would divert confidential information to a competitor. Even those who you trust the most should be locked down with agreements, and diligently pursued when they breach your trust.
[Hat tip: Trade Secrets Blog]

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