Marketing Werks v. Fox, Case No. 13-7256 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 11, 2013)(Judge Kendall)
Marketing Werks was denied a TRO against a former employee that started a competing company and attempted to procure the client that he was primarily responsible for working with while at Marketing Werks.
Fox had worked for Marketing Werks as a senior account executive and was primarily responsible for the Indy Racing League (“IRL”) account. In this role, he was privy to Marketing Werks’ strategic plans for the IRL account. Fox then left Marketing Werks and started his own company, in which he immediately bid for the IRL account.
Marketing Werks asserted a number of counts against Fox, including trade secret misappropriation. The Court found that Marketing Werks was likely to be able to establish both the existence of a trade secret (its strategic plans, for example) and that Marketing Werks would also likely be able to prove that Fox misappropriated the trade secret.
However, the Court denied a TRO because the value of the IRL account could be established based on Marketing Werks with IRL. In addition, the Court questioned the measures that Marketing Werks took to maintain its trade secret. Finally, Marketing Werks did not immediately seek a TRO, which is often fatal.