Primerano v. Vornado Air, LLC
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER denying 51 Motion to Strike. Granted in part and Denied in part 47 SEALED MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT. Signed by Chief District Judge Julie A Robinson on 7/25/2017. (ydm)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS
VINCENT A. PRIMERANO,
Case No. 16-2752-JAR
VORNADO AIR, LLC,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant alleging misappropriation of trade secret, breach of
contract, unjust enrichment, and quantum meruit. Before the Court is Defendant’s Motion for
Summary Judgment (Doc. 47), seeking dismissal of all claims on various grounds. The motion
is fully briefed and the Court is prepared to rule. For the reasons stated below, the Court
partially grants the motion for summary judgment.
SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD
Summary judgment is appropriate if the moving party demonstrates “that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact” and that it is “entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”1
In applying this standard, the Court views the evidence and all reasonable inferences therefrom
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party.2 “There is no genuine [dispute] of material
fact unless the evidence, construed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, is such
that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving party.”3 A fact is “material” if,
Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a).
City of Herriman v. Bell, 590 F.3d 1176, 1181 (10th Cir. 2010).
Bones v. Honeywell Int’l, Inc., 366 F.3d 869, 875 (10th Cir. 2004) (citing Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248, 255 (1986)).
under the applicable substantive law, it is “essential to the proper disposition of the claim.”4 A
dispute of fact is “genuine” if “there is sufficient evidence on each side so that a rational trier of
fact could resolve the issue either way.”5
The moving party initially must show the absence of a genuine dispute of material fact
and entitlement to judgment as a matter of law.6 In attempting to meet this standard, a movant
who does not bear the ultimate burden of persuasion at trial need not negate the nonmovant’s
claim; rather, the movant need simply point out to the court a lack of evidence for the nonmovant
on an essential element of the nonmovant’s claim.7
Once the movant has met the initial burden of showing the absence of a genuine dispute
of material fact, the burden shifts to the nonmoving party to “set forth specific facts showing that
there is a genuine issue for trial.”8 The nonmoving party may not simply rest upon its pleadings
to satisfy its burden.9 Rather, the nonmoving party must “set forth specific facts that would be
admissible in evidence in the event of trial from which a rational trier of fact could find for the
nonmovant.”10 In setting forth these specific facts, the nonmovant must identify the facts “by
reference to affidavits, deposition transcripts, or specific exhibits incorporated therein.”11 To
Wright ex rel. Trust Co. of Kan. v. Abbott Labs., Inc., 259 F.3d 1226, 1231–32 (10th Cir. 2001) (citing
Adler v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 144 F.3d 664, 670 (10th Cir. 1998)).
Adler, 144 F.3d at 670 (citing Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248).
Spaulding v. United Transp. Union, 279 F.3d 901, 904 (10th Cir. 2002), cert. denied 537 U.S. 816 (2002)
(citing Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322–23 (1986)).
Adams v. Am. Guar. & Liab. Ins. Co., 233 F.3d 1242, 1246 (10th Cir. 2000) (citing Adler, 144 F.3d at
671); see also Kannady v. City of Kiowa, 590 F.3d 1161, 1169 (10th Cir. 2010).
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256; Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324; Spaulding, 279 F.3d at 904 (citing Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986)).
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 256; accord Eck v. Parke, Davis & Co., 256 F.3d 1013, 1017 (10th Cir. 2001).
Mitchell v. City of Moore, Okla., 218 F.3d 1190, 1197–98 (10th Cir. 2000) (quoting Adler, 144 F.3d at
670–71); see Kannady, 590 F.3d at 1169.
Adler, 144 F.3d at 671.
successfully oppose summary judgment, the nonmovant must bring forward more than a mere
scintilla of evidence in support of his position.12 A nonmovant may not create a genuine issue of
material fact with unsupported, conclusory allegations.”13
Finally, summary judgment is not a “disfavored procedural shortcut”; on the contrary, it
is an important procedure “designed to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of
Motion to Strike
Plaintiff denied some of Defendant’s statements of uncontroverted fact by referencing his
letter to strike.15 In that letter, Plaintiff moved to strike: 1) paragraphs 5m. and 5n. and Exhibits
M and N of attorney Neil Smith’s affidavit for lack of foundation; and 2) Brian Cartwright’s
affidavit for Defendant’s failure to disclose Cartwright as an individual likely to have
discoverable information during initial disclosures as required by Fed. R Civ. P. 26(a)(1).16
Defendant opposed the letter to strike on procedural and substantive grounds.
When deciding a summary judgment motion, the Court may consider evidence
submitted, if admissible in substance, even if it would not be admissible, in form,
at the trial. A party may properly authenticate a document “through a supporting
affidavit or deposition excerpt from anyone with personal knowledge of the facts
contained in the exhibit.”17
Vitkus v. Beatrice Co., 11 F.3d 1535, 1539 (10th Cir. 1993).
Tapia v. City of Albuquerque, 170 F. App’x. 529, 533 (10th Cir. 2006).
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 327 (quoting Fed. R. Civ. P. 1).
Id. at 2.
Peterson v. Garmin Int’l., Inc., 833 F. Supp. 2d 1299, 1304 (D. Kan. 2011) (quoting Toney v. Cuomo, 92
F. Supp. 2d 1186, 1196 (D. Kan. 2000), aff’d, 221 F.3d 1353 (10th Cir. 2000)).
An affidavit is not required to authenticate every document submitted for consideration at
summary judgment.18 “The appearance, contents, substance, internal patterns, or other
distinctive characteristics of the item, taken together with all the circumstances” may also satisfy
the authentication requirement.19 An exhibit may also qualify as “self-authenticated” under Fed.
R. Evid. 902.
Plaintiff argues that contrary to paragraph 5m., Exhibit M is not the trademark
registration for HoMedics MyBaby Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. He further argues that
Exhibit M does not support Defendant’s factual allegation that that product has been on the
market since 2012.20 The Court agrees with Plaintiff that Exhibit M is technically not a
trademark registration, but it nonetheless substantiates the facts alleged. Exhibit M is an
electronic search result for the word mark “MYBABY” from the United States Patent and
Trademark website that indicates MYBABY “first use[d] in commerce” “humidifiers
incorporating sound machine device” in July 2012.21 Because it is from a government website
and is capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot
reasonably be questioned, the Court finds Exhibit M a public record.22 Accordingly, the Court
will not strike Exhibit M for lack of foundation.
Plaintiff argues that there is no foundation to assert that Exhibit N constitutes “official”
advertising for any product, much less something called a Coway Air + Sound. He further
Law Co. v. Mohawk Const. and Supply Co., 577 F.3d 1164, 1170 (10th Cir. 2009).
Fed. R. Evid. 901(b)(4).
Doc. 47-34, ¶ 100.
Doc. 47-20, Ex. M.
United States v. Iverson, 818 F.3d 1015, 1021–22 (10th Cir.), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 217 (2016) (noting
that several courts have ruled that government websites fall within the exception for public records). See also Caiz
v. Roberts, — F. Supp. 3d —, 2016 WL 7335573, at *3 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 16, 2016) (court took judicial notice of file
history downloaded from United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website).
argues that Ex. N does not support the factual allegation that the Coway Air + Sound product has
been on the market since 201323 since there are no dates on Exhibit N. The Court disagrees.
Exhibit N appears to be a brochure for Coway’s 2 in 1 Air Purifier + Soothing Sounds. It
contains a “JAN2013A” stamp, which suggests that it was published in January 2013. Given its
appearance, content, and other characteristics, the Court finds Exhibit N would be admissible in
evidence through a witness with personal knowledge of their contents, and therefore, for
purposes of this motion only, the Court will not strike it for lack of foundation.
As to Cartwright’s affidavit, Defendant disclosed Cartwright’s contribution to the
development of the BreesiLS in its Revised Initial Disclosures on March 11, 2016.24 Although
this disclosure was approximately four months after the initial disclosures deadline, it predated
the factual discovery deadline by one month and the all-discovery deadline by four months.
Plaintiff did not object to the revised disclosures or request clarification as to any perceived
vagueness. Additionally, Plaintiff had sufficient time to schedule Cartwright for a deposition.
Under these circumstances, the Court finds the delayed disclosure of Cartwright harmless.25
Accordingly, the Court declines to strike Cartwright’s affidavit.
The Court also overrules Plaintiff’s objection to paragraph 16 of Cartwright’s affidavit,
which states: “During the ideation and design of the BreesiLS, the use of computer-generated,
looping sound as a soothing sleep aid was well-known in the industry, and upon information and
Doc. 47-34 at 13, ¶ 102.
Doc. 51, Ex. C at 2.
The determination of whether a Rule 26(a) violation is justified or harmless is “entrusted to the broad
discretion of the district court.” Woodworker’s Supply, Inc. v. Principal Mut. Life Ins. Co., 170 F.3d 985, 993 (10th
Cir. 1999). The following factors should guide the court’s discretion: (1) the prejudice or surprise to the party
against whom the testimony is offered; (2) the ability of the party to cure the prejudice; (3) the extent to which
introducing such testimony would disrupt the trial; and (4) the moving party's bad faith or willfulness. Id.
belief, was also known by the general public.”26 As a director of brand marketing, Cartwright
would be aware of product features in the industry. And under the doctrine of judicial notice, the
Court may consider matters of common knowledge such as using a sound machine to aid with
sleep. Finally, because the Court denies the motion to strike on the merits, the Court finds it
unnecessary to address Defendant’s procedural arguments.
The following material facts are either uncontroverted or, if controverted, are construed
in the light most favorable to Plaintiff, the nonmovant. Defendant, a manufacturer of fans, is
currently and at all material times, a corporation headquartered in Andover, Kansas.
Plaintiff is currently and at all material times, a resident of New York.27 Plaintiff has a
GED and no other formal education. He has no medical or engineering training. Despite this, he
has a history of developing and marketing consumer products.
In 1997, Plaintiff designed and introduced “TV Ears,” a product that wirelessly transmits
audio signals from a television to an individual headset so that hearing-impaired individuals may
listen to a television program with non-hearing-impaired individuals. Plaintiff sold his interest in
TV Ears in 2003, and briefly retired. In 2009-2010, Plaintiff and a business partner designed and
introduced “DrQuickLook,” an intra-oral camera system that permits dental patients to view their
teeth, gums, and mouth before and after any dental work. Both products continue to be sold
Doc. 47-32 at 2.
In 2008, Plaintiff was dating his now wife, who resided in Baltimore, Maryland. He spent his time
between New York and Maryland. Due to his frequent business travels, Plaintiff sometimes directed mail be sent to
her address in order to ensure prompter response.
Plaintiff’s Development of his Sleep System Concept
In 2001-2002, Plaintiff became intrigued with white noise sound machines to aid
concentration and sleep. At that time, he conceived the idea of combining a fan with a white
noise sound machine, but did not act upon it until 2007.28
In 2007, he scoured the internet, the available literature, and the commercial offerings at
the time to see if any fans or other appliances had already incorporated such sound generation
technology. Finding none, he conducted extensive internet research on sleep disorders, the
severe harm caused by such disorders, as well as the lack of desirable, alternative ways to
promote deep sleep. He also studied customer and market demographics. Additionally, he
purchased three to four existing sound machines, analyzed their components, and evaluated how
much it would cost to manufacture and integrate similar sound machines into a portable fan. He
estimated the price range for such an integrated product from $89 to $139.29 He discussed the
concept with his then girlfriend (now wife), who helped him develop the concept and drew
sketches of the product.
By mid-2008, Plaintiff estimated he spent approximately a couple of hundred hours
researching and developing his product concept. He then prepared a power point presentation to
present his idea to major fan manufacturers with the intent of working out a compensation
arrangement if they used his concept.
Doc. 47-18, Primerano Dep. at 74–77.
Doc. 47-12, 8/28/2008 Power Point Presentation at 13.
Plaintiff Presents his Product Idea to Defendant
On August 4, 2008, Plaintiff emailed Vornado and asked if “you accept
proposals/product ideas for untapped market niche’s? [sic]”30 Glen Ediger, then Director of
Design/R&D for Vornado, responded the next day:
[Vornado] will review outside product concepts. But we need to have you sign
an Inventor Disclosure Agreement before we look at your idea. I have attached
this form for you to review then [sign] and mail, or scan and e-mail it back to us.
Then we can  discuss your idea.”31
On August 24, 2008, Plaintiff suggested he present his idea in-person.32 Ediger agreed,
but reiterated that the Agreement must be signed before further discussion. On August 25, 2008,
Plaintiff executed the Agreement.33 Due to technical difficulties with email attachments, the
parties agreed that Plaintiff could bring the agreement to the scheduled meeting at Defendant’s
facility in Andover, Kansas on September 4, 2008.
Prior to traveling to Defendant’s headquarters, Plaintiff shared his PowerPoint slides and
report with his uncle, Sam Vulcano, a prominent attorney based in Syracuse, New York with the
Sugarman Law Firm.
Upon arrival at Defendant’s facility, Ediger gave Plaintiff a tour of the facility and took
him out to lunch, where Plaintiff discussed the general characteristics of his product concept to
Ediger. After lunch, they returned to the facility for Plaintiff’s power point presentation. The
following Vornado executives were present at the meeting: Glen Ediger; Gary Israel, Director of
Design and Research and Development; Jesse May, Director of Engineering; Regan Axtel,
Doc. 47-25, Product Idea Email Thread at 6.
Id. at 5.
Id. at 3–4.
The parties dispute where Plaintiff executed the agreement.
Product Marketing Manager; and Drew Jones, Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice
Prior to the presentation, Ediger signed the Disclosure Agreement on Defendant’s behalf
and gave Plaintiff the original. The agreement stated the parties agreed to the following
conditions prior to disclosure:
1. The disclosure by [Plaintiff] to [Defendant] is considered to be confidential.
2. The disclosure or demonstration is . . . purely voluntary.
3. No obligation for compensation of any kind is assumed by [Defendant] unless
a formal contract has been entered into, and any agreement must be in writing and
executed under the seal of [Defendant].
4. If after disclosure to [Defendant] it is determined that [Defendant’s] own staff
has been working on this same idea, they will immediately disclose that fact to
[Plaintiff] along with all evidence of proof of their work on said idea to the extent
the evidence of such work does not go beyond the proprietary technology
disclosed by [Plaintiff].
5. It is understood that compensation for use of the idea or invention will be
subject to negotiations between the parties and that if patent protection is
ultimately or finally denied with regard [to] the proprietary technology by the
United States Patent Office, the amount of compensation will be reduced. To the
extent that [Defendant] and [Plaintiff] do not believe the propriety technology will
be the subject of an application for a patent, the compensation for the use of the
propriety technology will be subject to a final resolution of such matter between
the parties. If the amount of the compensation cannot be agreed upon,
[Defendant] shall not seek to use the propriety knowledge for its own benefit;
provided, however if such proprietary technology is currently available in the
marketplace, [Defendant] has the right to pursue the use of this type of proprietary
technology in the future if [Defendant] later determines that this type of
technology is appropriate for its line of products.34
The Agreement also provided that “[Plaintiff] agrees that [his] claim to compensation shall be
limited to the protection granted by laws relating to patents or proprietary trade secrets.”35
Plaintiff labeled his power point presentation the “Vornado Sleep System” and marked
each page as “Product Concept Confidential.”36 He touted the system as a “Drug Free . . . Non
Addictive solution for a better nights [sic] sleep” for “all ages.”37 Plaintiff’s product concept
included the following features: 1) a sound machine that could produce white noise along with
other sounds such as rain, babbling brook, and ocean waves; 2) a fan with traditional speed
controls that also could run in three different modes, including a sound only, fan only, or
combined mode; 3) manual controls with night light; 4) a clock/alarm; and 5) a wireless
According to Plaintiff, Defendant’s executives seemed enthusiastic about his product
concept throughout his presentation. But during a mid-meeting break, after Defendant’s
executives convened separately, the meeting tone changed. Towards the end of his presentation,
Jones told Plaintiff that Vornado had been working on similar types of systems. Plaintiff asked
for proof as required by the Agreement, but none was ever provided. Plaintiff, nonetheless, left
the meeting “totally excited.”39 After he left Defendant’s facility, Plaintiff called his friend,
Grant Gaynor, and told him all about the presentation.
On September 16, 2008, Jones sent Plaintiff a letter, informing him that Vornado did not
wish to pursue the “Sleep System,” stating:
We are always looking for the·next big (sic) idea to deliver an outstanding
product to consumers. We recognize the passion and research you have
completed in assessing the market. The benefits of restful, deep sleep are well
documented. There are numerous options for consumers to choose to aid their
sleep patterns. Your idea is a mix of current applications in the market.
As a point of reference, Vornado circulators are currently used in bedrooms to
provide air circulation as well as pleasant background noise aiding consumers
with their sleep patterns. You may even notice on some of our product
packaging, we depict use of the product while consumers are sleeping. We work
Doc. 47-4 at 42-59.
Id. at 47-48.
Doc. 47-19, Primerano Dep. at 177.
very diligently to ensure there is a pleasing sound quality to our products so a
consumer has a multi-sensory benefit while in proximity of our products.
As noted in our meeting, this is a market segment that Vornado was aware of
prior to your visit. We have explored, discussed, and sketched product concepts
that improve the environmental comfort for consumers including night-time, sleep
use. These product concepts incorporate the use of background noise, air
movement, physical pressure comfort, air quality, air temperature, and diverted or
directional air flow. The concepts have also incorporated using lights, clocks,
auxiliary electronic connections such as MP3, radio or CD. In the above noted
circumstances[,] we do have art or written documentation on such product ideas.
In light of our own product ideas aimed at a similar consumer segment and the
financial commitment that is still required on advancing your idea, we do not wish
to pursue the “Sleep System” using a white noise generator in a fan as you have
presented. You have not taken this product concept to a point of confirming the
health benefits or the product efficacy. Therefore, the development costs,
research time, market penetration and supporting marketing claims are solely our
responsibility. We do not see the basis for your request of a down payment or
royalty. We also do not believe that your presentation precludes Vornado from
executing any previous idea or concept as noted above that could be determined
to assist consumers with more restful sleep patterns.40
On September 18, 2008, Plaintiff replied by email:
Clearly I am not comfortable with your letter . . . , the agreement I signed stated in
section 4 that Vornado was to immediately disclose proof of working on a similar
idea. In this case, the benefits of more restful sleep using a fan or white noise.
What I brought to you was an idea that no one in your company had been working
on or even thinking about other than in casual conversation, that was clearly
stated to me in the meeting by your staff and at lunch with Glen.
It seems very obvious that something is very wrong here, it was clear that
everyone in the meeting was overtaken and had a surprised and positive reaction
to the product idea, including yourself.
The bottom line is it appears I was taken advantage of, thinking I was in the
company of honest people. You stated in your letter of having written
documentation and artwork, why was it not disclosed? [sic] as per the agreement
both parties signed.
I am also requesting all material I brought to Vornado to be returned to me as
On September 19, 2008, Jones replied via email that Plaintiff’s materials were being
returned to him, that Plaintiff’s idea of using white noise to promote sleep was not proprietary,
Doc. 47-4 at 60.
Doc. 47-28 at 2 (emphasis in original).
and that Vornado was not interested in pursuing a “white noise generator fan.”42 Jones also
addressed Vornado’s verbal disclosure at the meeting and stated that Vornado had lived up to its
commitment. Vornado did not hear from Plaintiff again until the instant lawsuit was filed.
Plaintiff later presented his product concept to Hunter Fans.43 Hunter gave a response
similar to Vornado — it was not something it saw itself doing.44
In July 2015, Plaintiff considered manufacturing his product concept himself. He again
conducted an internet search to see if any similar products were commercially available. He
found Defendant’s BreesiLS, which he thought was strikingly similar to his product concept – a
fan with a white noise machine. Plaintiff filed this suit against Defendant on July 15, 2015.
Vornado’s Development of the BreesiLS
In June 2012, Vornado formed a team to brainstorm and develop new product ideas
called VAccelerator.45 The VAccelerator team consisted of five members: Brian Cartwright,
Cole Hoppock, Chase Hoppock, Tanya Potter, and DJ Bell. None of them were present at
Plaintiff’s 2008 presentation. The VAccelerator team came up with the idea for a baby line of
products, and, specifically conceived of using white noise in nursery appliances between June
and October 2012 after a study came out that air circulation could prevent Sudden Infant Death
Syndrome.46 In early 2014, the VAccelerator team presented a BreesiLS prototype to Vornado
executives, including but among others, Drew Jones and Regan Axtell. Vornado first
manufactured BreesiLS at the end of 2014, and its first sales occurred in the first quarter of 2015.
Id. at 1.
Doc. 47-19, Primerano Dep. at 252-55.
Id. at 254.
Doc. 47-32, Cartwright Aff., ¶ 2.
Id., ¶¶ 7–10.
Defendant marketed BreesiLS as a baby product that creates a safe and soothing nursery
environment by providing good air flow and circulation with a night light and four soothing
sounds: white noise from a fan, “womb,” “brookside,” and “froggy night.”47
Other Products with Integrated Sound Machine
The BreesiLS was not the only product in the market that integrated a sound machine
with another appliance. Homedics introduced in commerce humidifiers with sound machines
called MyBaby in July 2012.48 Coway also had an air purifier and sound machine on the market
in January 2013 called the 2 in 1 Air Purifier + Soothing Sound.49
Defendant seeks summary judgment on five grounds: 1) Plaintiff’s breach of contract
claim is barred by the statute of limitations; 2) Plaintiff’s concept was not a trade secret entitled
to protection; 3) BreesiLS is different from Plaintiff’s concept and was developed through
independent invention; 4) Plaintiff’s punitive damages claims are unsupported by the record; and
5) Plaintiff’s claims for unjust enrichment and quantum meriut are duplicative of the
misappropriation claims, barred by the statute of limitations, and displaced by the Kansas
Uniform Trade Secret Act (“KUTSA”). Defendant argues that after applying New York’s choice
of law rules, Kansas law governs all four of Plaintiff’s claims including their accrual. It,
however, concedes that New York’s limitations period would likely apply.50 Plaintiff did not
brief the choice of law issue. Instead, he essentially argued that under either New York or
Id., ¶¶ 8 and 12.
Doc. 47-20, Ex. M.
Doc. 47-21, Ex. N.
Doc. 47-33 at 6.
Kansas law, all of his claims survive summary judgment. But in the Pretrial Order, Plaintiff
maintained that Kansas law applied to all claims.51
Choice of Law in General
Before addressing the merits of Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, the Court
must first determine the applicable substantive law for each claim.52 In a diversity case, a federal
court adjudicating state law claims ordinarily applies the substantive law of the forum state.53
Where a case is transferred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), as was the case here, the law of the
transferor court applies.54 Because the present matter was transferred from the Northern District
of New York, the Court will apply New York’s choice of law rules.55
New York’s choice of law rules are multi-layered. It begins with a two-step inquiry.56
The first step is to determine whether an actual conflict exists between the laws of the
jurisdictions involved.57 An “actual conflict” exists where “the applicable law from each
jurisdiction provides different substantive rules” and those differences are “relevant to the issue
at hand” and have a “significant possible effect on the outcome of the trial.”58 Where there is no
Doc. 74 at2.
Utts v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., 226 F. Supp. 3d 166, 176 (S.D.N.Y. 2016) (“Choice of law analysis is
conducted on a claim-by-claim basis.”).
Klaxon Co. v. Stentor Elec. Mfg. Co., 313 U.S. 487, 496 (1941).
See Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 639 (1964) (holding that the substantive law of the transferor
court applies when the defendant initiates transfer); Ferens v. John Deere Co., 494 U.S. 516, 524-25 (1990) (holding
that the substantive law of the transferor court applies when the plaintiff initiates transfer); Trierweiler v. Croxton,
90 F.3d 1523, 1532 (10th Cir. 1996) (transferee court must follow choice of law rule of transferor court).
Waller v. Pittsburgh Corning Corp., 742 F. Supp. 581, 585 (D. Kan. 1990), aff'd, 946 F.2d 1514 (10th
Cir. 1991) (transferee court sitting in Kansas applied Texas choice of law rules).
Liberty Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Burlington Ins. Co., No. 15 CIV. 3438, 2016 WL 4046875, at *4 (S.D.N.Y.
July 27, 2016).
Elgin Sweeper Co. v. Melson Inc., 884 F. Supp. 641, 648 (N.D.N.Y 1995).
Fin. One Pub. Co. Ltd. v. Lehman Bros. Special Fin., Inc., 414 F.3d 325, 331–32 (2d Cir. 2005)
(emphasis in original) (quoting Curley v. AMR Corp., 153 F.3d 5, 12 (2d Cir.1998)); Tronlone v. Lac d'Amiante Du
actual conflict, the second step is unnecessary and New York law will apply. 59 But if an actual
conflict exists, then the Court must proceed to the second step and perform a choice of law
“New York applies separate choice-of-law approaches to contract and to tort claims.”61
For contract and quasi-contract claims, New York courts apply a “center of gravity” analysis,
which requires examining “the place of contracting, negotiation and performance; the location of
the subject matter of the contract; and the domicile of the contracting parties.”62
For tort cases, New York employs an “interest analysis” so that “the law of the
jurisdiction having the greatest interest in resolving the particular issue” applies.63 The interest
analysis requires courts to look only to those facts or contacts that relate to the purpose of the
particular law in conflict.64 “Under this formulation, the significant contacts are, almost
exclusively, the parties’ domiciles and the locus of the tort.”65 New York also distinguishes
between types of torts — those that regulate conduct and those that allocate losses, resulting in
the following rules.66 If the law in conflict involves regulating conduct, then the law of the place
where the tort occurred will generally apply because that jurisdiction has the greatest interest in
Quebec, Ltee, N.Y.S.2d 79, 80 (N.Y. App. Div. 2002); Simon v. Philip Morris, Inc., 124 F. Supp. 2d 46, 71
Curley, 153 F.3d at 12.
Fin. One Pub. Co. Ltd., 414 F.3d at 336.
Phillips v. Reed Grp., Ltd., 955 F. Supp. 2d 201, 238 (S.D.N.Y. 2013) (quoting Allstate Ins. Co. v.
Stolarz, 613 N.E.2d 936, 940 (N.Y. 1993)).
GlobalNet Fin. Com, Inc. v. Frank Crystal & Co., 449 F.3d 377, 384 (2d Cir. 2006); Schultz v. Boy
Scouts of Am., Inc., 480 N.E.2d 679, 684 (N.Y. 1985).
GlobalNet, 449 F.3d at 384 (citing Schultz, 480 N.E.2d at 684).
Schultz, 480 N.E.2d at 684.
Bankers Tr. Co. v. Lee Keeling & Assocs., Inc., 20 F.3d 1092, 1096 (10th Cir. 1994) (applying New York
choice of law rules to damage allocations laws) (citing Cooney v. Osgood Mach., Inc., 612 N.E.2d 277, 280 (N.Y.
regulating conduct within its borders.67 If the law in conflict involves allocating losses, then the
law of the parties’ domicile applies where they share a common domicile.68 Where the parties
are domiciled in different jurisdictions, the law of the site of the tort shall apply unless “it can be
shown that displacing that normally applicable rule will advance the relevant substantive law
purposes without impairing the smooth working of the multi-state system or producing great
uncertainty for litigants.”69
With these general rules in mind, the Court will set forth which state law applies under
each claim’s respective section. New York’s statutes of limitations, however, apply to all claims.
“New York courts generally apply New York’s statutes of limitations, even when the injury
giving rise to the action occurred outside New York,” unless suit was brought by a non-resident
plaintiff, which would trigger New York’s borrowing statute.70 Because Plaintiff was and is a
resident of the state of New York, the Court will apply New York’s limitations periods.71
Misappropriation of Trade Secret
1. Kansas Law Governs the Misappropriation Claim
Although Kansas and New York have the same three-year limitations period for
misappropriation of trade secrets claims, they differ in several ways. First, in Kansas, an action
for misappropriation accrues “after the misappropriation is discovered or by the exercise of
GlobalNet, 449 F.3d at 384; see also AroChem Int’l, Inc. v. Buirkle, 968 F.2d 266, 270 (2d Cir. 1992);
Elmaliach v. Bank of China Ltd., 971 N.Y.S.2d 504, 2013 N.Y. Slip Opin. 05858, at *7 (N.Y. App. Div. Sep. 17,
Butler v. Stagecoach Grp., PLC, 900 N.Y.S.2d 541, 2010 N.Y. Slip Op. 03615, at *3 (N.Y. App. Div.
April 30, 2010), aff’d as modified sub nom. Edwards v. Erie Coach Lines Co., 952 N.E.2d 1033 (N.Y. 2011).
Id. (quoting Neumeier v. Kuehner, 286 N.E.2d 454. 458 (N.Y. 1972)).
Landow v. Wachovia Secs., LLC, 966 F. Supp. 2d 106, 125-26 (E.D.N.Y. 2013) (quoting Stuart v.
American Cyanamid Co., 158 F.3d 622, 627 (2d Cir. 1998)).
Desir v. Austin, Case No. 13 CV 912, 2016 WL 1700386, at *3–4 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 27, 2016) (explaining
New York state residents are affected only by the New York limitations period).
reasonable diligence should have been discovered.”72 Additionally, “a continuing
misappropriation constitutes a single claim.”73 In New York, the same action “first accrues
either when defendant discloses the trade secret or when he first makes use of plaintiff’s ideas.”74
Additionally, “New York courts recognize the continuing tort doctrine, such that each use by the
defendant of plaintiff’s trade secret constitutes a new, actionable tort.”75
Second, New York applies a common law test, requiring a plaintiff to demonstrate:
1) that it possessed a trade secret, and 2) that the defendant used that trade secret in breach of an
agreement, confidential relationship or duty, or as a result of discovery by improper means.76
Kansas adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”), which similarly requires a plaintiff to
show that it has possession of a valid trade secret, that the trade secret was disclosed or used
without consent, and that the defendant knew or should have known that the trade secret was
acquired by improper means.77 KUTSA, however, preempts any non-contract based remedy,
while New York law does not.78 For the above reasons, the Court finds that an actual conflict
exists between Kansas and New York law.
Proceeding to the next step, the Court applies the interest analysis approach since
misappropriation of a trade secret is a tort.79 And because the law in conflict involves regulating
conduct and the parties’ domicile differ, the locus of the misappropriation constitutes the locus of
Lemelson v. Carolina Enters., Inc., 541 F. Supp. 645, 659 (S.D.N.Y. 1982).
Sarkissian Mason, Inc. v. Enter. Holdings, Inc., 955 F. Supp. 2d 247, 253 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), aff’d, 572 F.
App’x 19 (2d Cir. 2014).
K.S.A. 60-3320 et seq.
K.S.A. 60-3326; Sarkissian Mason, 955 F. Supp. 2d at 255 (noting New York does not preempt any noncontract based remedy).
Kramer v. Sec’y, U.S. Dep’t of the Army, 623 F. Supp. 505, 507 (E.D.N.Y. 1985).
the tort and the state with the greatest interest.80 The Court concludes that Kansas has the
greatest interest in this case. Defendant’s principal place of business is in Kansas, the parties
finalized the Agreement in Kansas, Plaintiff disclosed his idea in Kansas, and Defendant
allegedly misappropriated Plaintiff’s idea in Kansas.81 The only interest New York has in this
case is Plaintiff’s domicile. Kansas law therefore governs this claim.
2. The Misappropriation Claim is Timely
The Court rejects Defendant’s argument that the misappropriation claim accrued in
September 2008 when Defendant told Plaintiff that it would not pursue his idea, that there was
no basis to pay him a down payment or royalty, and that it was not precluded from executing on
any of its previous ideas. An action for misappropriation under the KUTSA accrues when the
plaintiff discovers the misappropriation, or with reasonable diligence should have discovered it,
not when the injury occurs.82
Defendant decided to combine a fan with a sound machine between June and October
2012, developed a prototype in early 2014, first manufactured the offending product at the end of
2014, and first sold it in the first quarter of 2015. Plaintiff discovered Defendant’s BreesiLS in
July 2015. Whether or not Plaintiff could have discovered the alleged misappropriation before
July 2015 is disputed. But viewing all facts and inferences in a light most favorable to the nonmovant, the misappropriation claim began accruing in July 2015. Thus, Plaintiff’s
misappropriation claim is timely, considering it was filed within that month. Accordingly, the
Sarkissian Mason, 955 F. Supp. 2d at 254 (In trade secret cases, New York courts often use the locus of
the misappropriation to determine the locus of the tort and the state with the greatest interest.).
Although it is unclear where Plaintiff signed the Agreement, it is undisputed that Ediger signed the
Agreement on Defendant’s behalf right before the presentation in Kansas.
K.S.A. 60-3325; Guang Dong Light Headgear Factory Co. v. ACI Int’l, Inc., No. 03-4165-JAR, 2007
WL 1341699, at *9 (D. Kan. May 4, 2007).
Court finds Defendant is not entitled to judgment on the misappropriation claim based on the
statute of limitations.
3. Trade Secret or Not
Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s concept and analysis do not constitute a trade secret
entitled to protection. Plaintiff asserts his product concept, research, and analysis constituted
The KUTSA defines a trade secret as:
information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method,
technique, or process, that: (i) derives independent economic value, actual or
potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable
by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its
disclosure or use, and (ii) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the
circumstances to maintain its secrecy.83
“[T]o be a trade secret, the information must have independent economic value, must derive its
value from not being generally known or readily ascertainable, and must have its secrecy
maintained by reasonable efforts.”84 The Kansas Supreme Court considers the following factors
to determine trade secret status:
(1) the extent to which the information is known outside of his business; (2) the
extent to which it is known by employees and others involved in his business;
(3) the extent of measures taken by him to guard the secrecy of the information;
(4) the value of the information to him and to his competitors; (5) the amount of
effort or money expended by him in developing the information; (6) the ease or
difficulty with which the information could be properly acquired or duplicated by
Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s product concept was an obvious combination of existing
products that was known within the fan industry. It further argues that Plaintiff’s analysis is not
Dodson Int’l Parts, Inc. v. Altendorf, 347 F. Supp. 2d 997, 1010 (D. Kan. 2004).
Mann v Tatge Chem. Co., 440 P.2d 640, 646 (Kan. 1968) (quoting Vol. 4 Restatement of the Law of
Torts § 757, Comment (b)).
a trade secret as it was based on publicly available information. It also claims Plaintiff
compromised his secret and that he did not expend significant resources to develop the secret.
Lastly, it argues that Plaintiff’s case must fail without expert proof to prove the elements of the
The Court finds Defendant’s arguments not well-suited for summary judgment. First,
trade secret status is a question of fact.86 Second, trade secrets can exist in a combination of
characteristics, each of which, considered separately, is in the public domain, but, taken together,
may yield a competitive advantage that results in a protectable trade secret.87 Courts have held
that advancing or improving an old product is a trade secret.88 Plaintiff claims his idea improved
the fan and offers the price difference between the Breesi and the BreesiLS to show his concept
did indeed offer a competitive advantage.
With respect to guarding the secret, Kansas law does not require the holder of a trade
secret to maintain its complete secrecy; rather Kansas law requires merely that the holder of a
trade secret exercise reasonable efforts under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.”89
Plaintiff testified that he keeps his PowerPoint slides on a disk, locked in a safe at his residence.
A trier of fact could find this a sufficient measure to guard the secret.
With respect to resources expended, Defendant concentrates on the amount of money
Plaintiff spent purchasing sound machines. Plaintiff counters by pointing to his time and effort,
which a trier of fact could find considerable.
Wolfe Elec., Inc. v. Duckworth, 266 P.3d 516, 518 (Kan. 2011).
Harvey Barnett, Inc. v. Shidler, 338 F.3d 1125, 1129 (10th Cir. 2003); Rivendell Forest Prods., Ltd. v.
Georgia–Pacific Corp., 28 F.3d 1042, 1045 (10th Cir. 1994); Mann, 440 P.2d at 647.
Mann, 440 P.2d at 647 (collecting cases).
Bradbury Co. v. Teissier-duCros, 413 F. Supp. 2d 1209, 1222 (D. Kan. 2006) (quoting Fireworks
Spectacular, Inc. v. Premier Pyrotechnics, Inc., 107 F. Supp. 2d 1307, 1310 (D. Kan. 2000)).
Defendant’s argument that an expert is required to prove trade secret status lacks legal
support. While it may be helpful, it is by no means mandatory.
The Court concludes that genuine issues of material fact surround the misappropriation
claim. Accordingly, summary judgment on the misappropriation claim is inappropriate.
Breach of Contract Claim
Defendant argues Plaintiff’s breach of contract claim is time-barred under both Kansas
and New York limitations law. Plaintiff counters that regardless of which state limitations laws
apply, his claims are timely because they did not accrue until the “last, final act that establishes
all of the elements of the causes of action,” which was when he discovered Defendant had used
his idea.90 In reply, Defendant essentially argues that Plaintiff conflates the accrual rules for his
breach of contract claim with his misappropriation claim.91 In addition, for the first time,
Defendant advances that “an agreement to agree to negotiate is not enforceable in New York or
1. New York Law Governs the Breach of Contract Claim
Defendant concedes there are no significant differences between Kansas and New York
law on breach of contract claims.93 Thus, a choice of law analysis is unnecessary and the Court
will apply New York law.
Doc. 54 at 12.
See Voiceone Commc'ns, LLC v. Google Inc., Case No. 12 CIV. 9433, 2014 WL 10936546, at *10
(S.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2014) (explaining action for misappropriation accrues when the misappropriation is discovered
or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered; while breach of contract action accrues at
the time of the breach).
Doc. 56 at 4.
Doc. 47-33 at 9.
2. The Breach of Contract Claim is Timely
Under New York law, the statute of limitations for a breach of contract claim is generally
six years.94 And a cause of action for breach of contract accrues when the breach occurs or when
a party to the agreement fails to perform an obligation.95 “‘[E]xcept in cases of fraud where the
statute expressly provides otherwise, the statutory period of limitations begins to run from the
time when liability for wrong has arisen even though the injured party may be ignorant of the
existence of the wrong or injury.”’96
Defendant argues the breach occurred no later than September 19, 2008, when Jones
informed Plaintiff that Vornado did not wish to pursue his product concept, that Vornado
believed it was not precluded from executing on any of its own previous concepts, and that there
was no basis to compensate him. This is true if Plaintiff’s claim was based on Defendant’s
failure to provide proof of its similar, prior ideas to Plaintiff as required by paragraph 4 of the
Agreement. But in his response to the motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff clarified that his
breach of contract claim is solely based on paragraph 5.97
Paragraph 5 of the Agreement states that “compensation for use of the idea . . . will be
subject to negotiations between the parties.”98 Paragraph 5 talks in terms of an obligation to
negotiate for compensation for use of the idea. The record reflects Defendant considered using
the idea of combining a fan with a sound machine between June and October 2012, developed a
N.Y. C.P.L.R. 213.
Velocity Invs., LLC v. McCaffrey, 921 N.Y.S.2d 799, 804 (N.Y. Civ. Ct. 2011) (citing Ely–Cruikshank
Co. v. Bank of Montreal, 615 N.E.2d 985, 986 (N.Y. 1993)).
Ely-Cruikshank, 615 N.E. 2d at 987 (quoting Schmidt v. Merchs. Despatch Transp. Co., 200 N.E. 824,
827 (N.Y. 1936)).
Doc. 54 at 7, n.2.
Doc. 47-24, ¶ 5.
prototype in early 2014, first manufactured the offending product at the end of 2014, and first
sold it in the first quarter of 2015. Whether Defendant developed the prototype using Plaintiff’s
idea or that of its development team is a factual dispute that cannot be determined on summary
judgment. But even if the Court considered June 2012 as the accrual date, Plaintiff’s breach of
contract is timely because it was brought approximately three years thereafter, well within New
York’s six-year limitations period.
3. An Argument Raised For the First Time in a Reply Brief is Waived.
Because Defendant advanced the unenforceability of an agreement to agree for the first
time in its reply brief, the Court will not consider it and deems it waived.99
Plaintiff alleged that Defendant benefitted from the disclosure of his product concept and
that equity and good conscience require restitution.100 Defendant argues that Plaintiff’s claim for
unjust enrichment should be dismissed because it is barred by the statute of limitation, it is
duplicative of his misappropriation claim, and it is displaced by the KUTSA. Plaintiff counters
that Defendant has failed to establish that Kansas law applies, and even if it did, his claim for
unjust enrichment does not conflict with his misappropriation claim.
1. Kansas Law Governs the Unjust Enrichment Claim
Kansas and New York law on unjust enrichment claims conflict because Kansas bars
unjust enrichment claims based on trade secret misappropriation, while New York has no such
Klima Well Serv., Inc. v. Hurley, 133 F. Supp. 3d 1297, 1302 n.2 (D. Kan. 2015) (“Arguments raised for
the first time in a reply brief [on a motion for summary judgment] are waived and will not be considered”) (citing
Water Pik, Inc. v. Med–Sys., Inc., 726 F.3d 1136, 1159 n.8 (10th Cir. 2013)).
Doc. 47-2 at 5, ¶¶ 26–27.
statute.101 For this reason, the Court finds an actual conflict exists between Kansas and New
York law, requiring the Court to proceed to the next step.
Because Plaintiff pleaded his unjust enrichment alternatively, in the event the Agreement
was deemed unambiguous or unenforceable,102 the Court will treat it as a tort claim and apply the
“interest analysis” applicable to tort claims. Unjust enrichment claims concern regulating
allegedly unjust conduct, thus the locus of the tort determines the prevailing law.103 The Court
finds Kansas has the greater interest in policing tortious conduct committed in Kansas by a
company with its principal place of business in Kansas. Additionally, Plaintiff disclosed his idea
in Kansas, and Defendant allegedly benefitted from the disclosure in Kansas. Kansas law,
therefore, governs Plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim.
2. KUTSA Displaces the Unjust Enrichment Claim
Kansas patterned the KUTSA after the UTSA, which includes an identical preemption
provision.104 K.S.A. § 60-3326 provides the KUTSA “displaces conflicting tort, restitutionary
and other law of this state providing civil remedies for misappropriation of a trade secret.”
Plaintiff argues that his unjust enrichment claim does not conflict with his trade secret claim,
thus the KUTSA is inapplicable. The Court rejects this argument because Plaintiff provides no
support for this conclusory argument. Plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim seeks restitution, thus
K.S.A. 60-3326; Thompson v. Jiffy Lube Int'l, Inc., 250 F.R.D. 607, 626 (D. Kan. 2008) (finding true
conflict existed between Kansas and other states as to unjust enrichment claim because its availability as a remedy
differ from state to state –some states preclude such claims when an adequate legal remedy is available, and many
states say the existence of an enforceable contract will preclude an unjust enrichment claim).
Doc. 47-2 at 5, ¶ 25.
Negri v. Friedman, 14-CV-10233-GHW, 2017 WL 2389697, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. May 31, 2017) (finding
causes of action for fraudulent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment conduct regulating).
MCaffree Fin. Corp. v. Nunnick, 847 P.2d 1321, 1327 (Kan. Ct. App. 1993); Wolfe Elec., Inc. v.
Duckworth, 266 P.3d 516, 532 (Kan. 2011) (noting identical preemption language between UTSA and KUTSA).
it is restitutionary in nature and subject to displacement.105 Preemption is also appropriate
because Plaintiff relies upon the same operative facts for both his misappropriation and unjust
enrichment claims.106 Accordingly, the Court will dismiss Plaintiff’s unjust enrichment claim.
Plaintiff alleged the following for his quantum meruit claim: 1) Plaintiff disclosed his
Modified Designs and Analysis in good faith; 2) Defendant accepted and used such disclosure;
3) Plaintiff expected compensation for Defendant’s use of such disclosure, and Defendant knew
that Plaintiff expected such compensation; and 4) Defendant has unjustly enriched itself and has
caused damage to Plaintiff.107 Defendant makes the same arguments for this claim’s dismissal
— untimely, duplicative, and displacement. Plaintiff offers the same conclusory arguments for
nondismissal — New York law governs and does not preempt non-contract based claims; but
even if Kansas law applied, KUTSA’s preemption clause is inapplicable.
1. Kansas Law Governs the Quantum Meruit Claim
Kansas and New York law on quantum meruit claims conflict because Kansas bars
quantum meruit claims based on trade secret misappropriation, while New York has no such
Glasstech, Inc. v. TGL Tempering Sys., Inc., 50 F. Supp. 2d 722, 731 (N.D. Ohio 1999) (concluding
Plaintiff's claims for quasi-contract/quantum meruit and unjust enrichment are essentially restitutionary in nature
and are displaced by same preemption language).
Office Depot, Inc. v. Impact Office Prods., L.L.C., 821 F. Supp. 2d 912, 918 (N.D. Ohio 2011)
(explaining majority interpretation of UTSA preemption is that common-law claims are preempted only to the extent
that they are based on misappropriation-of-trade-secrets facts; concluding a non-UTSA claim survives only if
plaintiff alleges factual matter beyond misappropriation-of-trade-secrets or other information); Powell Prod., Inc. v.
Marks, 948 F. Supp. 1469, 1474 (D. Colo. 1996) (Preemption is only appropriate where “other claims are no more
than a restatement of the same operative facts which would plainly and exclusively spell out only trade secret
misappropriation”) (quoting Roger M. Milgrim, Milgrim on Trade Secrets, § 1.01, at 1–68.14 (1996)).
Doc. 47-2 at 5, ¶¶ 29–32.
statute.108 For this reason, the Court finds an actual conflict exists between Kansas and New
Because quantum meruit claims are contractual in nature, the Court applies the center of
gravity approach to determine which state law applies. Here, Defendant’s principal place of
business is in Kansas, Defendant drafted the Agreement in Kansas, the parties finalized the
Agreement in Kansas, Plaintiff performed his part of the Agreement in Kansas, and Defendant
allegedly used Plaintiff’s idea in Kansas.109 For these reasons, the Court finds Kansas is the
center of gravity for this claim. Kansas law, therefore, governs Plaintiff’s quantum meruit claim.
2. KUTSA Displaces the Quantum Meruit Claim
Plaintiff argues that his quantum meruit claim does not conflict with his trade secret
claim, thus the KUTSA is inapplicable. The Court rejects this argument because Plaintiff
provides no support for this conclusory argument. In Kansas, quantum meruit and restitution are
synonymous terms.110 Thus, Plaintiff’s quantum meruit claim is restitutionary in nature and
subject to displacement.111 Preemption is also appropriate because Plaintiff relies upon the same
K.S.A. 60-3326; see also Glasstech, 50 F. Supp. 2d at 731 (concluding quantum merit claim displaced
by UTSA); Opteum Fin. Servs., LLC v. Spain, 406 F. Supp. 2d 1378, 1381 (N.D. Ga. 2005) (holding: 1) the GTSA
is the exclusive remedy for misappropriation of trade secrets, and plaintiff cannot plead an alternative theory of
recovery should the information ultimately not qualify as trade secrets, and 2) because these claims are predicated
on defendants’ taking and using plaintiff’s confidential information and are based on the same facts that comprise
the trade secrets claims, GTSA preempts the claim for quantum meruit); John T. Cross, UTSA Displacement of
Other State Law Claims, 33 Hamline L. Rev. 445, 461 (2010) (“Most courts agree that the UTSA displaces claims
for . . . quantum meruit and unjust enrichment . . .”).
Although it is unclear where Plaintiff signed the Agreement, it is undisputed that Ediger signed the
Agreement on Defendant’s behalf right before the presentation in Kansas.
Regal Ware, Inc. v. Vita Craft Corp., 653 F. Supp. 2d 1146, 1150 (D. Kan. 2006); Fusion, Inc. v. Neb.
Aluminum Castings, Inc., 934 F. Supp. 1270, 1274 (D. Kan. 1996) (“In Kansas, quantum meruit and restitution are
recognized as equivalent theories.”).
Glasstech, 50 F. Supp. 2d at 731 (concluding Plaintiff's claims for quasi-contract/quantum meruit and
unjust enrichment are essentially restitutionary in nature and are displaced by same preemption language).
operative facts for both his misappropriation and quantum meruit claims.112 Accordingly, the
Court will dismiss Plaintiff’s quantum meruit claim.
Summary judgment is inappropriate on the misappropriation claim because genuine
issues of material fact exist as to whether Plaintiff’s concept and analysis constitute trade secrets.
Plaintiff’s breach of contract was timely filed and thus, is not barred by the statute of limitation.
The KUTSA preempts Plaintiff’s unjust enrichment and quantum meruit claims.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED BY THE COURT that Plaintiff’s motion to strike
(Doc. 51) is DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant’s motion for summary judgment (Doc.
47) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: July 25, 2017
S/ Julie A. Robinson
JULIE A. ROBINSON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Powell Prod., Inc. v. Marks, 948 F. Supp. 1469, 1474–75 (D. Colo. 1996) (preemption section of the
UTSA has been interpreted to bar claims which are based entirely on factual allegations of misappropriation of trade
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