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Vesta Corp. v. Amdocs Management Ltd.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

February 12, 2018


          Erick J. Haynie Stephen English Julia E. Markley PERKINS COIE, LLP Attorneys for Plaintiff

          Andrew G. Klevorn Bruce G. Vanyo Yonaton M. Rosenzweig Jeffrey A. Finn Richard H. Zelichov KATTEN MUCHIN ROSENMAN, LLP

          Joshua L. Ross Robert A. Shlachter Timothy S. DeJong STOLL STOLL BERNE LOKTING & SHLACHTER, PC Attorneys for Defendants

          OPINION & ORDER


         Defendants Amdocs Management Limited and Amdocs, Inc. bring this Motion to Exclude and Strike Plaintiff's Late Identified Alleged Trade Secrets [483]. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants in part Defendants' motion.


         Plaintiff Vesta, an electronic payments and fraud prevention technology company, has sued Defendants Amdocs Management Limited and Amdocs, Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”), telephone billing software and services companies, for breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. Fourth Am. Compl. (“FAC”) Intro., ECF 405. Beginning in 2006, the parties collaborated with one another to integrate their services and platforms in order to appeal to their shared customer base. Id. at ¶ 11. In 2009, the parties began working jointly to market their respective services. Id. at ¶ 12. Since 2010, Defendants have twice approached Plaintiff about the possibility of Defendants acquiring Plaintiff. Id.

         The parties entered into a series of Non-disclosure/Confidentiality Agreements to preserve their confidentiality while sharing information in their effort to develop these joint services and products. Id. at ¶¶ 13-15. The first non-disclosure agreement was entered into in 2006, and confidential information was exchanged in connection with joint projects for customers such as MetroPCS, Vodafone, T-Mobile, and Boost Mobile. Id. at ¶¶ 21-22.

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendants breached these non-disclosure agreements and stole trade secrets that were shared in the course of this collaboration. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that in the course of jointly collaborating on marketing and the possibility of the acquisition of Plaintiff by Defendants, Plaintiff shared “highly confidential and proprietary information, ” which Defendants used and relied upon “improperly to create, price and sell a competing product in order to increase its profits.” Id. at Intro. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants “used [their] knowledge of Vesta's Confidential Solution Methods and Vesta's Confidential Risk Information to displace Vesta and take over payment processing services for all of Sprint's prepaid brands (Sprint, Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Assurance).” Id. at ¶ 64. As a result of Defendants' misappropriation and breach of contract, Plaintiff alleges it “suffered lost profits and royalties on various accounts, including MetroPCS, Sprint and T-Mobile.” Id. at ¶¶ 79, 85, 95, 108.

         Defendants' current motion revolves around an issue that is not unfamiliar to this Court: the definition of Plaintiff's trade secrets. Defendants have twice moved to compel a more particular disclosure of Plaintiff's trade secrets. Defs.' Mot. Prot. Order, ECF 141; Defs.' Mot. Evid'y Sanc., ECF 182. On both occasions, this Court has required Plaintiff to describe its trade secrets with reasonable particularity. Opinion & Order, November 30, 2015, ECF 141; Opinion & Order, April 1, 2016, ECF 219 (“April O&O”). On April 26, 2016, Plaintiff complied with the Court's order by supplementing its response with a “three-column, 22-page chart listing 19 categories of technical information, plus a description of its alleged trade secret methods, code or architecture within the categories.” Defs.' Mot. Exclude & Strike Trade Secrets 5 (“Defs.' Mot.”), ECF 483; Rosenzweig Decl. Ex. 5, ECF 484.

         Fact discovery ended on June 6, 2017. Throughout the summer, the parties engaged in expert discovery, and on July 24 and 25, 2017, Plaintiff disclosed three expert reports that Defendants assert contain new trade secrets. Defs.' Mot. 7. Specifically at issue are portions of the expert reports of Rene Pelegero, George Edwards, and Stephen Kursh. Rosenzweig Decl. ¶ 20; Haynie Decl. Exs. F (“Edwards Report”), G (“Kursh Report”), M (“Pelegero Report”), ECF 505. Defendants challenge the experts' discussion of ten documents that allegedly constitute four new trade secrets:

(1) 2010 emails regarding a joint pitch to MetroPCS;
(2) The “Payments Architecture” slideshow;
(3) Version 0.2 of the Vesta Scope of Services document; and
(4) The 2008 API for Boost ...

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