Frommer Lawrence & Haug wins trade secrets case on behalf of Tokyo Electron

New York, -Frommer Lawrence & Haug LLP announced on April 1, 2004 that it had won a complex trade secrets jury trial for its long-time client Tokyo Electron Limited's subsidiary Tokyo Electron Arizona (TAZ). A 10-person jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip returned a verdict of liability against Discreet Industries Corporation of Mineola, New York. FLH also succeeded in winning a personal judgment against Ovadia Meron, the President of Discreet, for his role in the misappropriation of TAZ's trade secrets.

For over three years, FLH conducted intensive investigations of Discreet and Meron, and was able to uncover Discreet and Meron's scheme to obtain and copy TAZ's proprietary trade secrets and technical drawings. Meron sent these copied drawings back to TAZ's own suppliers for Eclipse replacement parts, who agreed to conduct business with Discreet under assumed names. TAZ filed suit against most of these suppliers, who in turn admitted liability, paid damages and testified during TAZ's case-in-chief.

Ed Haug led the trial team of Kevin Murphy, Jim Stronski and David Zwally with extraordinary assistance and trial support from Grace Pan, Wendy Stein and Joyce Luk. The four-week trial included 35 witnesses and more than 250 exhibits.

The jury decided in favor of TAZ on five separate counts of liability and awarded punitive damages. Specifically, the jury awarded TAZ compensatory damages of $2,000,000.00 for trade secret misappropriations by Discreet and Ovadia Meron, $1,000,000.00 for conversion of TAZ's technical drawings, $1,000,000.00 for unfair competition under federal law, $1,300,000.00 for unfair competition under New York state law and $1,000,000.00 for Discreet and Meron's tortious interference with TAZ's supplier contracts. The jury also awarded punitive damages of $1,000,000.00 against Discreet and, notably, punitive damages of $2,600,000.00 against Meron personally.

"Trade secrets cases are especially difficult to prove both as to liability as well as damages. This case was no exception and involved an unusual amount of investigation and technical review," said Haug. "Our clients were committed to the litigation process from the start as part of their efforts to stem the flow of pirated parts and equipment. Apart from lost sales, knock-off parts create ongoing problems for their customers in downtime, equipment damage and industrial safety. So it's a win for the industry as well."

Once again, congratulations to the entire litigation team of Ed Haug, Kevin Murphy, Jim Stronski, David Zwally, Grace Pan, Wendy Stein and Joyce Luk.

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