IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
November 18, 2009
WALTER BENNETT COMMUNICATIONS OF PENNSYLVANIA, INC.
JACK K. HIBBARD
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Fullam, Sr. J.
The plaintiff has filed suit against its former president, the defendant, who left his employ and allegedly took unspecified confidential information with him. The defendant has moved to dismiss claims for misappropriation of trade secrets (Count II), violation of the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act, 53 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5301, et seq.(Count V), and violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030(g) (Count VI).
The common-law claim for misappropriation of trade secrets is dismissed; the statute preempts such claims. Youtie v. Macy's Retail Holding, Inc., - F. Supp. 2d -, 2009 Westlaw 2902341 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 10, 2009) (O'Neill, J.). The claim under the Pennsylvania statute is itself deficient; no attempt has been made to identify trade secrets as defined by the statute. See 12 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5302. Similarly, the claim under the federal computer fraud statute simply recites the elements of that law, which under recent Supreme Court authority, will not suffice. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007).
The plaintiff will be permitted the opportunity to file an amended complaint, in which the "[f]actual allegations must be enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level on the assumption that all of the complaint's allegations are true." Id. at 555 (citations omitted)
An Order will be entered.
John P. Fullam, Sr. J.
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