Monday, July 15, 2013

US Marine, trade secret case against US government

United States Marine, Inc. (USM) sued the United States in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. §§ 1346(b), 2674. USM alleged that the United States misappropriated USM’s trade secrets. Specifically, USM claimed that the United States Navy, which had lawfully obtained USM’s proprietary technical drawings under a contract (to which USM was not a party), owed USM a duty of secrecy that it breached by disclosing those drawings to a rival private firm for use in designing military boats for the government.

The conclusion

The Fifth Circuit ruling that the case must be trans- ferred to the Claims Court is law of the case. Applying that doctrine, we affirm the resulting transfer order. In doing so, we necessarily hold that the Claims Court has jurisdiction over USM’s suit, with all that entails under this court’s precedents about the issues thereby resolved. At this point, this case presents even more than the usual reasons for litigation to proceed with expedition and with minimization of wasteful duplication.



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