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Quaiz v. Rockler Retail Group, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

March 13, 2017

MAJED QUAIZ, Plaintiff,
v.
ROCKLER RETAIL GROUP, INC., and ROCKLER COMPANIES, INC., Defendants.

          Brain Chenoweth, Brooks M. Foster, and Andrea R. Meyer, Chenoweth Law Group, PC, Of Attorneys for Plaintiff.

          Klaus H. Hamm, Klarquist Sparkman, LLP, John M. Weyrauch and Peter R. Forrest, Dicke, Billig & Czaja, PLLC, Of Attorneys for Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL H. SIMON, DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Majed Quaiz (“Plaintiff”) brings this lawsuit against Rockler Retail Group, Inc. and Rockler Companies, Inc. (collectively “Rockler” or “Defendants”), alleging misappropriation of trade secrets in violation of Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 646.461, 646.463 and 646.465 and common law unjust enrichment. Before the Court is Defendants' motion to compel Plaintiff to identify his alleged trade secrets with reasonable particularity and to stay discovery until he does so. For the reasons discussed below, Defendants' motion is denied.

         STANDARDS

         Rule 26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides in relevant part:

Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). Among the limitations stated in Rule 26(b)(2)(C) is the direction that the court must limit the extent of discovery if it determines that the discovery sought is outside the scope of Rule 26(b)(1) or if it is “unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C)(i). In addition, Rule 26 provides that the court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from oppression or undue burden, including “requiring that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be revealed or be revealed only in a specified way.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c)(1)(G).

         BACKGROUND

         In November 2011, Plaintiff designed a corner clamp for use in woodworking (“Plaintiff's Clamp”). Am. Compl. ¶ 8. As designed, Plaintiff's Clamp holds two pieces of wood together at a right angle without the aid of any additional structures. Id. Rockler solicits the general public to submit design ideas, representing that their “philosophy is to support and encourage inventors who bring innovation to the woodworking market. We do no steal ideas, and we are willing to pay inventors for partnering with Rockler.” Id. at ¶ 10.

         After reviewing Rocker's web page and representations, in mid-2012 Plaintiff approached Rockler describing Plaintiff's Clamp. Id. ¶¶ 11-12. Rockler responded by requesting that Plaintiff submit images of his design. Id. ¶ 13. On July 13, 2013, in continued reliance on Rockler's representations from its website, Plaintiff submitted by email to Rockler 14 detailed design drawings of Plaintiff's Clamp. Id. ¶ 14. On August 8, 2012, Rockler declined to enter into a business relationship with Plaintiff. Id. at ¶ 16.

         Plaintiff does not allege and Rockler does not argue that Plaintiff submitted any other ideas to Rockler or had any additional contacts with Rockler until this lawsuit. In August 2015, Rockler began selling a new corner-clamping jig (“Rockler's Clamp”). Id. at ¶ 20. Plaintiff alleges that by making Rockler's Clamp, Rockler misappropriated the design of Plaintiff's Clamp that Plaintiff provided to Rockler in July 2012. Id. at ¶¶ 21-22.

         Plaintiff did not attach to his Amended Complaint copies of any of the 14 images that he provided to Rockler in July 2012. Defendants state that after conducting a search for the images, they were unable to locate them. ECF 26 at 7. Plaintiff's ...


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