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Hallmark awarded $31.3 million in trade secrets lawsuit

A federal jury in a business litigation case involving Hallmark Cards Inc. recently reached a decision to award the company $31.3 million in damages from another company that used inside information illegally obtained from the behemoth greeting card company.

Monitor Clipper Partners was accused of breaching confidentiality when it allegedly used information acquired during its 2001 work with Hallmark when Monitor was hired to help redesign the Hallmark business model. Four years later, Monitor purchased Recycled Paper Greetings Inc., a direct competitor of the Hallmark Company. The lawsuit alleged that Monitor used confidential insider information to give an unfair advantage to the new company, which enabled them to make money illegally using this information.

In 2007, an arbitration action was resolved when the arbiter ruled that Monitor had breached the agreement of confidentiality it was under through its work with Hallmark. Specifically, Monitor used inside information it acquired during its work with Hallmark, and the company was ordered to pay Hallmark $12.5 million for its breach of contract.

The latest award stems from the final action in the overall lawsuit. A lawsuit for breach of contract or breach of confidentiality is based on the idea that these actions have significantly damaged a company and possibly caused it to lose money. A business attorney represents companies that find themselves in these situations. A business attorney may also represent the plaintiff to work to make sure that the company receives the payments to which it is entitled in a breach of confidentiality lawsuit.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Jury awards Hallmark Cards $31.3 million in trade secrets case," Matt Campbell, Nov. 19, 2012

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