Court Clears Workers of Boosting Trade Secrets

     CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CN) – General Dynamics has no case against two former employees it accused of stealing company secrets before leaving to form a competing defense-technology firm, a federal judge ruled.

     U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney dismissed the case with prejudice on June 10, after the parties agreed before an arbitrator to shelve all claims and counterclaims.
     The former employees, Gerard Snyder and Kenneth Morrison, say they had merely pursued new technologies and business opportunities in which their longtime employer had either expressed no interest or had rejected.
     The men had been members of an advanced program team at General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products, which designs, develops and produces high-performance weapon and armament systems, defensive armor, and biological- and chemical-detection systems.
     Snyder and Morrison established Advanced Mission Systems in 2006, and used General Dynamics’ computers to gather information about new products, applications in development, and the current and future needs of its military and security industry clients, according to the original complaint.     
     Snyder and Morrison said General Dynamics failed to specify what trade secrets were allegedly stolen and how they were used. Given their former positions and the broadness of the allegations against them, they said the court could not possibly reach any legal conclusion about the claim.
     General Dynamics was represented by H. Bernard Tisdale III of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart.
     Snyder and Advanced Mission Systems were represented by Douglas M. Jarrell of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson.
     Kenneth Morrison represented himself.

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