United States District Court, E.D. New York
Robert David Garson, GARSON, SEGAL, STEINMETZ, FLADGATE LLP, New York, NY, Attorney for Plaintiff.
KEVIN E. ROCKITTER, Woodbury, NY, Attorneys for Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
STERLING JOHNSON, Jr., District Judge.
This lawsuit boils down to whether an individual's email address is confidential information that is worth $75, 000.
The action is before the Court on defendants Kilo International, LLC ("Rocksmith"), The Rocksmith Retail Corp., The Rocksmith Online Corp., Power Circle, Inc. d/b/a WuTang Ltd ("WuTang"), Kenshin Ichikawa and Erik Marino (collectively "Defendants") motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint filed in this Court on May 6, 2014 by plaintiff Erastus Pratt ("Plaintiff" or Pratt"). Pratt alleges three claims: (1) misappropriation, misuse and conversion of confidential information; (2) unjust enrichment; and (3) breach of non-disclosure agreement. By way of background, as alleged in the Amended Complaint, Plaintiff is a resident of New Jersey who has worked in the consumer apparel industry for over 20 years. Defendant Rocksmith is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Brooklyn, New York. Defendants Rocksmith Retail Corp., Rocksmith Online Corp, and WuTang Ltd, are New York corporations with principal places of business in Brooklyn, New York. Defendant Kenshin Ichikawa ("Ichikawa") is a New York resident and the CEO, Creative Director and "Member" of Rocksmith, Rocksmith Retail, Rocksmith Online and WuTang. Defendant Erik Marino ("Marino") is a New York resident and principal to Rocksmith, Rocksmith Retail, Rocksmith Online and WuTang.
Plaintiff alleges that his decades of experience "and extensive research and development within the apparel and consumer product market" culminated in "a substantial number of commercially valuable trade secrets" which are "embodied... in writing, materials, procedures, lists of suppliers and customers and the like." Plaintiff and defendant Rocksmith entered into Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement on July 28, 2011. The agreement defines confidential information as follows:
"Confidential information" shall include all data, materials, products, technology, computer programs, specifications, manuals, business plans, software, marketing plans, business plans, financial information, and other information disclosed or submitted orally, in writing, or by any other media, by the Disclosing Party to the Receiving Party.
The agreement goes on to describe the parties' responsibilities as to any confidential information disclosed.
The Receiving Party agrees that Confidential Information is considered confidential and proprietary to the Disclosing Party.
The Receiving Party shall hold the same in confidence, shall not use the Confidential Information other than for the Authorized Purpose, and shall disclose it only to its officers, directors, or employees with a specific need to know.
A second agreement provided, inter alia, that Plaintiff would provide "consulting services" at a rate of $1, 500 per month for six months and "financial services" for $6, 000.
Plaintiff claims to have facilitated the introduction of defendant Ichikawa to a clothing manufacturer referred to as Bill Tong ("Tong"). Plaintiff claims Defendants emailed Tong, failed to keep Plaintiff "apprised of developments" involving Tong, and failed to pay Plaintiff commissions. Plaintiff argues that Tong is among his professional contacts and was "vetted and cleared as trustworthy... which is why introductions were sought" and why compensation is due.
To defeat a Federal Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, Plaintiff must state a plausible claim. See Morgan v. County of Nassau, 720 F.Supp.2d 229, 234 (E.D.N.Y. 2010) (citing Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009)). "Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by mere conclusory statements" are not legally sufficient to withstand a 12(b)(6) motion. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. Plaintiff must offer "enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Id. (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). However, the Plaintiff need not set forth a multitude of facts to survive a motion to dismiss, but rather a "short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief" will suffice. Fed.R.Civ.P. ...