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Berish v. Southwestern Energy Production Co.

United States District Court, Third Circuit

January 16, 2014

SUZANNE BERISH, ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
SOUTHWESTERN ENERGY PRODUCTION COMPANY, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM

A. RICHARD CAPUTO, District Judge.

Before me is Southwestern Energy Production Company's motion for reconsideration of my Order of October 11, 2013 finding that open hole logs and seismic data garnered at the Price No. 1 Well are relevant and are not subject to trade secret protection. The production of the logs and data were ordered to be produced to Plaintiffs.

The motion for reconsideration takes issue with the determination that the logs and seismic data are not trade secrets.

Because Defendant has not shown an error of law or fact, the motion for reconsideration will be denied.

The analysis begins with the Pennsylvania law defining a trade secret and the manner of determining whether something is a trade secret. See Crum v. Bridgestone/Firestone N. Am. Tire, LLC, 907 A.2d 578, 585 (Pa.Super. Ct. 2006). There are six elements used to determine whether information must be kept secret so it confers a competitive advantage to the owner of the information. The burden is on SEPCO to demonstrate that the open hole logs and the seismic data are trade secrets. The six elements are:

1. The extent to which the information is known outside the owner's business;
2. the extent to which it is known by employees and others in the owner's business;
3. the extent of measures taken by the owner to guard the secrecy of the information;
4. the value of the information to the owner and to his competitors;
5. the amount of effort and money expended by the Owner in developing the information; and,
6. the ease or difficulty with which the information could be properly acquired or duplicated by others.

Pestco, Inc. v. Assoc. Prods., Inc., 880 A.2d 700, 706 (Pa.Super. Ct. 2005).

I will discuss each in order.

1. Extent to which the information is known outside the ...


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