Decision of the Supreme Court of the State of California on one of Konica Minolta Group companies
Sep 3, 2014
Recently the Supreme Court of the State of California issued its decision on a legal case that was brought against Konica Minolta Systems Laboratory, Inc. (“HLUS”), in 2007 by Altavion Inc. (“Altavion”) alleging that, among other things, HLUS misappropriated Altavion’s trade secret. While the Trial Court and Appellate Court ruled in Altavion’s favor, we had asked the California Supreme Court to reconsider this case as it was never made clear what this “trade secret” was, but our request was denied.
During the course of litigations, Altavion asserted that HLUS filed some patent applications unlawfully using Altavion’s “trade secret”, and HLUS contended that those patent applications were created based on public information and HLUS’s own information and that no Altavion’s “trade secret” was incorporated therein. However, the Courts decided that HLUS did not demonstrate its contention with sufficient evidence.
Konica Minolta’s Group companies’ policy explicitly states that we will respect confidential information, whether it belongs to us or others, as valuable property in every manner. Konica Minolta Group companies has conducted its business activities in accordance with this policy and will certainly continue to do so. Upon this decision, we have learned that our past activities lacked protection of our own inventions by not maintaining appropriate records and evidences of them. Based on this experience, we must strengthen management of our recordkeeping of such records and evidence to avoid falling under suspicion for trade secret misappropriation.