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Caudill Seed and Warehouse Company, Inc. v. Jarrow Formulas, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

October 24, 2017



          Colin Lindsay, Magistrate Judge

         I. Introduction

         Jarrow Formulas, Inc. (“Jarrow”) moves to compel Caudill Seed and Warehouse Company, Inc. (“Caudill”) to supplement its written discovery responses, a production of documents, and responses to requests for admission. (DN 192.) Caudill opposes Jarrow's motion in its entirety. (DN 199.) For the reasons stated below, the Court will GRANT Jarrow's motion in part and DENY its motion in part.

         II. Background

         The procedural history of this case is quite long. The Court will detail only what is necessary for understanding its decision on Jarrow's motion to compel.

         On October 29, 2015, the Court entered a memorandum opinion and order on the parties' competing motions for summary judgment. (DN 145, 146. See also Caudill Seed and Warehouse Co., Inc. v. Jarrow Formulas, Inc., 161 F.Supp.3d 513 (W.D. Ky. 2015).) The Court stated as follows:

Caudill Seed identified its trade secrets which it alleges were misappropriated as follows: (1) research and development on supplements, broccoli, and chemical compounds; (2) the general manufacturing process detailed in Caudill Seed's provisional patent application; (3) the precise process for spray-drying myrosinase; (4) vendor information for Caudill Seed's glucoraphanin and activated products; (5) customer pricing and sales information; and (6) the hard drive and research notebook as described herein.

(DN 145, #9417.)

         In the motion for summary judgment, Jarrow Formulas argued that, “in response to its interrogatories, Caudill Seed gave a vague answer that identified only research and formulas, information in ‘certain patent applications, ' and a customer list.” (DN 145, #9423.) “And Jarrow Formulas asserts that Caudill Seed failed to properly supplement its answers.” (Id. at #9424.)

         The Court denied Jarrow's motion for summary judgment. (Id. at #9435.) The Court rejected Jarrow's arguments regarding the particularity with which Caudill identified its trade secrets: “Jarrow Formulas may not approve of Caudill Seed's specificity in identifying the trade secrets, but it cannot be said that Jarrow Formulas would be prejudiced, because there is a factual record that Jarrow Formulas can use in its defense.” (DN 145, #9424.) The Court found as follows:

Caudill Seed has described its purported trade secrets with sufficient particularity to overcome summary judgment. We conclude that genuine issues of material fact exist with respect to whether the information so identified constitutes trade secrets, whether Jarrow Formulas made unauthorized use of Caudill's trade secrets, and whether Caudill Seed was injured thereby. A jury should decide these fact-based issues.

(Id. at #9428-29.) The Court concluded,

Nothing in this opinion should be construed as a finding that Caudill Seed has met its burden to establish that its proprietary information constitutes trade secrets. Rather, we find only that Caudill Seed has identified what it claims to be trade secrets with the requisite particularity to overcome summary judgment.

(Id. at #9435.)

         Jarrow now asks the Court to compel Caudill to supplement its responses to interrogatory numbers 1, 2, 6, and 16; request for production number 22; and request for admission numbers 21 and 23. (DN 192.)

         III. Legal Standard

         Rule 26(b)(1) defines the scope of and limits on discovery. It provides as follows:

Scope in General. Unless otherwise limited by court order, the scope of discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within the scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). Additionally, “[o]n motion or on its own, the court must limit the frequency or extent of discovery otherwise allowed by these rules or by local rule if it determines that:

(i) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive;
(ii) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity to obtain the information by ...

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