Thursday, January 14, 2010

Corporate espionage case moves forward

HACIENDA HEIGHTS - A federal judge has upheld most of a local company's counter-lawsuit against Seiko Epson that claims the printing giant used a spy to gain trade secrets while illegally cracking down on the local firm's right to sell recycled products.

The ruling was a victory for two-year-old Hacienda Heights-based Green Project, a 13-employee company that recycles and sells used ink and toner cartridges.

In July, the firm alleged in U.S. District Court in Oregon that Seiko Epson sent an investigator named Herbert W. Seitz, who trespassed into its Hacienda Heights headquarters and used a false identity to obtain price lists and other information from Green Project's sales department.

Green Project's lawsuit was a response to Seiko Epson's original suit in April, claiming that Green Project and several similar firms infringed on their copyrights.

For Judge Anna H. Brown, the issue centered around whether Green Project had taken reasonable measures to protect what the firms says were vital "trade secrets."


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