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Emc Corporation v. Leblanc

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

August 11, 2014

EMC CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
JEREMY LeBLANC, Defendant.

MEMORANDUM & ORDER

INDIRA TALWANI, District Judge.

I. Introduction

Plaintiff EMC Corporation ("EMC") seeks preliminary injunctive relief against its fomer employee, Defendant Jeremy LeBlanc. Pl.'s Mot. Prelim. Inj. [#5]. Because EMC has failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits of its underlying claim, the motion is DENIED.

II. Background

EMC is a technology company engaged in the business of designing, manufacturing, and selling technologies and information storage systems for managing information. One of the markets in which EMC competes is the market for computer data storage designed for large-scale high-technology environments. One of EMC's competitors in this market is Pure Storage, Inc. ("Pure Storage").

EMC first employed LeBlanc from 1999 through 2005. LeBlanc later rejoined EMC as a Senior Systems Engineer working out of EMC's office in Raleigh, North Carolina from July 30, 2012 until May 7, 2014.

EMC requires employees such as LeBlanc to enter into Key Employee Agreements at the commencement of their employment with EMC. LeBlanc entered into such an agreement (the "Agreement"), which states that its purpose is for EMC "to maintain its competitive position through the protection of its goodwill, trade secrets and confidential and proprietary information." Verified Am. Compl., Ex. A, 1 [#16] [hereinafter Agreement]. The Agreement provides, in part:

(b) Non-Solicitation of Customers. During your employment with the Company and for a period of twelve (12) months following the effective date of the termination of your employment with the Company for any reason, you will not (either on your own behalf or on behalf of any person or entity other than the Company) directly or indirectly solicit, or attempt to solicit, the business of any person or entity that is either a customer or a potential customer of the Company, to which you, directly or indirectly, attempted to or did, sell or provide any product or service on behalf of EMC, or about which you obtained any Confidential Information, during the two (2) year period prior to your last day of active employment with the Company....
(c) Restriction on Servicing Company Customers. For a period of twelve (12) months following the effective date of the termination of your employment with the Company for any reason, you will not provide consulting or other IT services (as an employee, contractor, or in any other capacity) of the same or similar type you provided or performed as an employee of the Company to any customer of the Company for whom you provided services or managed the delivery of services on behalf of the Company during the two (2) year period prior to your last day of active employment with the Company.

Id. ¶ 1(b), (c) [#16]. The Agreement also contains a section on customer, partner, and vendor confidentiality:

You recognize that it is essential to the Company's success that all non-public customer, partner and vendor information is deemed to be confidential and is properly treated as a confidential trade secret. Therefore, you agree not to use or disclose any such customer, partner or vendor information except as may be necessary in the normal conduct of the Company's business for the specific customer, partner or vendor, and at the end of your employment with the Company, you will return to the Company any materials containing such information.

Id. ¶ 2. Finally, the Agreement contains a section on the confidentiality of EMC materials:

You agree that both during your employment with the Company and thereafter you will not use for your own benefit, or for the benefit of any other person or entity, divulge or disclose to anyone, except to persons within the Company whose positions require them to know it, any information not already lawfully available to the public concerning the Company or any information constituting a trade secret ("Confidential Information"). Confidential Information includes, without limitation, any technical data, design, pattern, formula, computer program, source code, object code, algorithm, subroutine, manual, product specification, or plan for a new, revised or existing product; any business, marketing, financial, pricing or other sales-related data; information regarding the present or future business or products of the Company; any information regarding employees including contact information, employee lists, organizational charts, information concerning particular employee skill sets, technical and business knowledge, and compensation; and any ...

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