Serious substantial difficult and doubtful as to make

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serious, substantial, difficult and doubtful, as to make them fair ground for litigation and thus for more deliberate investigation.” Trade Secret Protection Act Claim Asheboro Paper contends that Dickinson was provided a host of allegedly confidential and proprietary information, including customer lists, pricing information, product and sales information, and information about customers and their relationships with it (including types and quantities of items purchased, margins, and dates of sales). It contends that Dickinson has either misappropriated such information or that there is a very real likelihood that he will do so. Dickinson argues that Asheboro Paper has failed to sufficiently identify trade secret materials, contends that what it has identified was never provided to Dickinson during his employment, and denies that he has disclosed any such information. The North Carolina Trade Secret Protection Act provides that “actual or threatened misappropriation of a trade secret may be preliminarily enjoined during the pendency of the action.” N.C. Gen.Stat. § 66–154(a). The alleged trade secret information must be identified “with sufficient particularity so as to enable a defendant to delineate that which he is accused of misappropriating and a court to determine whether misappropriation has or is threatened to occur.” An employer must demonstrate that it took reasonable measures to protect the trade secrets. N.C. Gen.Stat. § 66–152(3). Customer pricing lists, cost information, confidential customer lists, and pricing and bidding formulas can constitute trade secrets. Customer names and addresses may not be protected as a “trade secret” inasmuch as they can be readily ascertained through independent development. Misappropriation of trade secret information can constitute irreparable harm. At the January 15, 2009, hearing, the court directed Asheboro Paper to identify exactly what it contends constitutes trade secrets that were made available to Dickinson. Asheboro Paper has provided a host of general categories of information it claims it provided to Dickinson, as noted above. Asheboro Paper’s Dawson testified that he has reviewed the “documents produced in discovery” and affirms that they are “exactly the types of confidential information and proprietary documents and information provided to Dickinson.” Dickinson acknowledges that Asheboro Paper did identify certain price lists and customer lists in response to the court’s direction, but he claims that the ones so identified were never given to him. Dickinson admitted generally in his deposition that he was provided and still had in his possession documents containing names of customers and pricing and margin information (though he was never asked to further identify such information), which he denied having looked at since his resignation. So, there is some lack of clarity as to what was allegedly given to
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Spring 2017 LER 590-E: GOVERNMENT REGULATION II 83 | P a g e
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