Posts tagged "1102317"

The Gillette Company v. Provost, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-023-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   16-P-42                                         Appeals Court   THE GILLETTE COMPANY  vs.  CRAIG PROVOST & others.[1]     No. 16-P-42.   Suffolk.     October 13, 2016. – March 7, 2017.   Present:  Wolohojian, Carhart, & Shin, JJ.     “Anti-SLAPP” Statute.  Privileged Communication.  Practice, Civil, Motion to dismiss, Interlocutory appeal.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on January 16, 2015.   A special motion to dismiss was heard by Janet L. Sanders, J.     Christopher Morrison for the plaintiff. Brian C. Swanson, of Illinois, for the defendants.     SHIN, J.  The Gillette Company sued four of its former employees (the individual defendants), claiming that they misappropriated Gillette’s trade secrets and other confidential information to develop a wet-shaving razor for the benefit of their new employer, the defendant ShaveLogic, Inc.  After ShaveLogic counterclaimed, alleging that Gillette brought its lawsuit in bad faith, Gillette moved to dismiss the counterclaims on grounds that the filing of the lawsuit was petitioning activity protected by G. L. c. 231, § 59H (commonly known as the anti-SLAPP[2] statute), and was protected by the litigation privilege.  A judge of the Superior Court denied the motion, and Gillette filed this interlocutory appeal. We conclude that, based on the record before her, the judge could have found that ShaveLogic met its burden of showing that Gillette’s petitioning activity was “devoid of any reasonable factual support” and caused ShaveLogic “actual injury.”  Under the anti-SLAPP statute, that showing was sufficient to allow the counterclaims to go forward.  We further conclude that the litigation privilege does not bar the counterclaims because they seek to hold Gillette liable not for speech, but for conduct (its act of filing an allegedly groundless lawsuit), to which the privilege does not apply.  We therefore affirm that part of the judge’s order resolving these two issues in ShaveLogic’s favor.[3] Background.  We summarize the allegations made by each party, reserving other facts as they become relevant to our analysis of the issues raised. Gillette’s claims.  The complaint alleges the following facts:  Gillette is in the business of “designing, manufacturing, and marketing razors and other shaving products.”  As a leader in this field, Gillette holds “thousands of patents covering razors and other shaving technology.”  It is also “constantly researching and designing new technology and advancing current technology” and “has taken affirmative steps to protect the confidentiality of” information related to […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 7, 2017 at 4:56 pm

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