Illinois Federal Court Rules Reasonable Protections of Trade Secrets Different for Small Companies

Hyunju Song, founder and Ceo of Puroon, Inc., developed a “Memory Book”, which it described as “an all-in-one convertible photo frame, album, and scrapbook”. Song launched a website promoting the product, displayed it during industry trade shows, and sent samples to retailers without requiring a Non Disclosure Agreement “NDA. When Song approached Midwest Photographic Resource Center, Inc. about manufacturing the product, it required an NDA before sharing product specifications. Within a year, Song discovered Midwest was marketing a similar product based on his product’s specifications. Midwest argued Song forfeited his trade secrets rights when he showed the product to retailers and others without requiring an NDA. An Illinois federal court sent the case to trial because the court felt Song displayed reasonable efforts as a small mom and pop business to protect his trade secrets. Find why these same efforts might not be enough to protect the trade secrets of larger companies.