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Eagle Harbor Holdings, LLC v. Ford Motor Co.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

February 11, 2015

EAGLE HARBOR HOLDINGS, LLC, and MEDIUSTECH, LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
FORD MOTOR COMPANY, Defendant.

ORDER DENYING COUNTERCLAIM DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Counterclaim Defendants Eagle Harbor Holdings, LLC, and MediusTech, LLC's (collectively "Eagle Harbor") motion for summary judgment on counterclaim for trade secret misappropriation (Dkt. 392). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby denies the motion for the reasons stated herein.

I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

On February 24, 2012, Eagle Harbor filed a second amended complaint alleging Defendant Ford Motor Company ("Ford") infringes numerous patents. Dkt. 61. On July 16, 2014, Ford filed an amended answer and asserted numerous counterclaims, including a counterclaim for misappropriation of Ford's trade secrets and a counterclaim for a violation of Washington's Uniform Trade Secrets Act, RCW Chapter 19.108 ("UTSA"). Dkt. 329, ΒΆΒΆ 75-105.

On December 19, 2014, Eagle Harbor filed a motion for summary judgment on Ford's counterclaim for misappropriation of trade secrets. Dkt. 392. On January 16, 2015, Ford responded. Dkt. 410. On January 26, 2015, Eagle Harbor replied. Dkt. 432.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Ford alleges that Eagle Harbor misappropriated Ford trade secrets contained in six documents in three basic categories. Dkt. 393, Exh. 1 at 13-16. Three of the documents relate to Medius's work as an advisor to a company called Navox in 2007. Id. Exhs. 7 & 8 (the "2007 Navox Documents"). Medius received one of the documents-a "SYNC Traffic, Directions, & Information" specification in 2007- from Invotronics pursuant to a confidentiality agreement. Id., Exh. 9 ("TDI specification"). The other two documents are a schematic and bill of materials for Ford SYNC Gen 2 related to Medius's manufacturing agreement with Invotronics in 2010. Id., Exh. 10 & 11 (the "Schematic" and "BOM").

III. DISCUSSION

A. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is proper only if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law when the nonmoving party fails to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of a claim in the case on which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). There is no genuine issue of fact for trial where the record, taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986) (nonmoving party must present specific, significant probative evidence, not simply "some metaphysical doubt"). See also Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). Conversely, a genuine dispute over a material fact exists if there is sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute, requiring a judge or jury to resolve the differing versions of the truth. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 253 (1986); T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. P. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).

The determination of the existence of a material fact is often a close question. The Court must consider the substantive evidentiary burden that the nonmoving party must meet at trial - e.g., a preponderance of the evidence in most civil cases. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 254; T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc., 809 F.2d at 630. The Court must resolve any factual issues of controversy in favor of the nonmoving party only when the facts specifically attested by that party contradict facts specifically attested by the moving party. The nonmoving party may not merely state that it will discredit the moving party's evidence at trial, in the hopes that evidence can be developed at trial to support the claim. T.W. Elec. Serv., Inc., 809 F.2d at 630 (relying on Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255). Conclusory, nonspecific statements in affidavits are not sufficient, and missing facts will not be presumed. Lujan v. Nat'l Wildlife Fed'n, 497 U.S. 871, 888-89 (1990).

B. Eagle Harbor's Motion

Eagle Harbor moves for summary judgment on Ford's counterclaim for trade secret misappropriation because (1) Ford has no evidence of injury, (2) the claim is either preempted by federal law or barred by the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine, and (3) Ford is unable ...


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