United States District Court, D. Utah
WILSON ELECTRONICS, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Plaintiff,
CELLPHONE-MATE, INC. DBA SURECALL, a California corporation; and JONATHAN BACON, an individual and resident of the state of Utah; and DOES 1-5, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
Benson United States District Judge.
the court is Defendants' Motion to Dismiss pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt. No. 33.) The
Motion has been fully briefed by the parties, and the court
has considered the facts and arguments set forth in those
filings. Pursuant to civil rule 7-1(f) of the United States
District Court for the District of Utah Rules of Practice,
the Court elects to determine the motion on the basis of the
written memoranda and finds that oral argument would not be
helpful or necessary. DUCivR 7-1(f).
court, as it must, accepts all well-pleaded factual
allegations in the Complaint as true for purposes of
Defendant's motion. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
622, 678 (2009).
Wilson Electronics, LLC (“Wilson”) develops,
manufactures, markets, and sells cellular signal booster
technology. (First Amended Complaint, Dkt. No. 27,
¶¶ 16-17.) Defendant CellPhone-Mate, Inc. d/b/a
SureCall (“SureCall”) similarly creates and sells
cellular signal boosters. (Id. ¶ 27.) Over the
course of its business, SureCall has hired at least nineteen
former Wilson employees. (Id. ¶¶ 41-42.)
One of these former employees is Defendant Jonathan Bacon
(“Bacon”), who Wilson as its Director of
Marketing. (Id. ¶ 51.) Bacon assisted in
developing profiles of various categories of Wilson's
target consumers, known as “Personas.”
(Id. ¶ 55.) On or about February 29, 2016,
Bacon's employment with Wilson ended, and Wilson began
working for SureCall's marketing department.
(Id. ¶ 60.) To assist in developing
SureCall's marketing strategy, Bacon worked with the
marketing firm Method Communications. (Id. ¶
62.) On May 17, 2016, Bacon sent an email to Method
Communications with a revised version of the Personas he had
helped create for Wilson. (Id. ¶¶ 63-64.)
filed its original Complaint (Dkt. No. 2) on November 9,
2018, alleging eleven causes of action against Defendants.
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a
claim (Dkt. No. 19) on January 10, 2019. The court granted
this motion without prejudice with respect to Plaintiff's
first six causes of action, and denied the motion with
respect to Plaintiff's last five causes of action. (Dkt.
then filed its First Amended Complaint on August 9,
2019, alleging three causes of action. (Dkt. No. 27.) In its
first cause of action, Plaintiff alleges trade secret
misappropriation against both Defendants. (Id.
¶¶ 82-94.) In its second cause of action, Plaintiff
alleges breach of contract against Defendant Bacon for
disclosing Wilson's marketing Personas in violation of
Wilson's Employee Handbook. (Id. ¶¶
95-104.) In its third cause of action, Plaintiff alleges that
both defendants engaged in acts of unfair competition by (a)
engaging in unlawful predatory hiring; and (b) engaging in
malicious cyber activity by accessing or inducing former
Wilson employees to access Wilson's computers without
authorization. (Id. ¶¶ 105-08.) Defendant
has filed a motion to dismiss all three claims with prejudice
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). (Dkt.
court's function on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is not to
weigh potential evidence that the parties might present at
trial, but to assess whether the plaintiff's complaint
alone is legally sufficient to state a claim for which relief
may be granted.” Dubbs v. Head Start, Inc.,
336 F.3d 1194, 1201 (10th Cir. 2003) (citations and quotation
marks omitted). Under Rule 12(b)(6), the court must accept
all well-pleaded allegations in the Amended Complaint as true
and view those allegations in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Stidham v. Peace Officer Standards
Training, 265 F.3d 1144, 1149 (10th Cir. 2001) (quoting
Sutton v. Utah Sch. for the Deaf & Blind, 173
F.3d 1226, 1236 (10th Cir. 1999)). The court may consider the
complaint, any documents attached thereto, and any external
documents that are referenced in the complaint and whose
accuracy is not in dispute. Oxendine v. Kaplan, 241
F.3d 1272, 1275 (10th Cir. 2001); Jacobsen v. Deseret
Book Co., 287 F.3d 936, 941 (10th Cir. 2002).
survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must contain
sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (citing
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007)). Plausibility, in the context of a motion to dismiss,
constitutes facts which allow “the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id.
Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, as in its initial
Complaint, Plaintiff has failed to satisfy the requisite
pleading standard for the three causes of action at issue. In
particular, the court finds that Plaintiff has not pled
sufficient facts to support an inference that the
“Personas” and other confidential information
constitute trade secrets as a matter of law. Furthermore,
even assuming that Plaintiff adequately alleged the existence
of a trade secret in this case, Plaintiff has not
sufficiently pled that the alleged trade secrets were
improperly disclosed, or that Defendant's use of the
alleged trade secrets injured Plaintiff.
foregoing reasons, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (Dkt.
No. 33) is GRANTED, and Plaintiff's First and Second
Amended Complaints ...