1 800 Postcards Inc. v. Millenium Marketing Consultants Inc.

Intellectual Property

New York Law Journal

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Justice Ellen Coin

Plaintiff 1 800 Postcards entered into a vendor/vendee relationship with. Plaintiff moved for a preliminary injunction enjoining Millenium from using its client list to promote Millenium's business. Plaintiff claimed Millenium gained access to a confidential client list that it agreed to protect and not use for its own purposes, yet misappropriated trade secrets resulting in a loss of clientele and sales. Millenium argued it was not in a vendor/vendee relationship with plaintiff, but an informal partnership, alleging the partnership was mutually beneficial. The court noted plaintiff failed to show a likelihood of success on the merits, findings the facts were sharply disputed, precluding a preliminary injunction. It noted plaintiff failed to establish that the information on its client list should be considered a trade secret, finding plaintiff did not show the list was not readily available by non-confidential sources, including the third parties to whom it sold the list. The court ruled plaintiff did not show that Millenium's continued use of the list would cause an irreparable harm. Yet, Millenium submitted evidence that it shared some customers with plaintiff and an injunction would unfairly enjoin Millenium from engaging in any business with some of its own customers. Plaintiff's motion was denied.

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