Posts tagged "Provost"

The Gillette Company v. Provost, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-071-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. 1584CV00149-BLS2 ____________________ THE GILLETTE COMPANY v. CRAIG PROVOST, JOHN GRIFFIN, WILLIAM TUCKER, DOUGLAS KOHRING, and SHAVELOGIC, INC. ____________________ MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REPORT SUMMARY JUDGMENT DECISION PURSUANT TO RULE 64 In prior rulings, the Court dismissed or granted partial summary judgment against all of The Gillette Company’s claims. Most recently the Court decided that the remaining Defendants are entitled to summary judgment on Gillette’s claims that four of its former employees helped ShaveLogic, Inc., develop a new disposable cartridge shaving razor using Gillette’s confidential information. The only remaining claims to be decided are ShaveLogic’s counterclaims that Gillette intentionally interfered with prospective business relations and violated c. 93A, by threatening to bring and then filing baseless legal claims in an attempt to keep ShaveLogic from entering the market for so-called wet-shaving products. When the Court granted partial summary judgment in Defendants’ favor on Gillette’s “confidential information” claims, it did not enter separate and final judgment under Mass. R. Civ. P. 54(b) because doing so would be inconsistent with the appellate courts’ strong policy against piecemeal appeals.1 Gillette therefore has no right to appeal the Court’s interlocutory decision granting partial summary judgment in Defendants’ favor on what had been Gillette’s remaining claims.2 Gillette has now asked the Court to report its summary judgment decision for interlocutory appellate review under Mass. R. Civ. P. 64(a). The Court will DENY this request for the reasons discussed below. 1 See Long v. Wichett, 50 Mass. App. Ct. 380, 388-404 (2000) (separate judgment held inconsistent with “bedrock policy against premature and piecemeal appeals”). 2 See Morrissey v. New England Deaconess Ass’n—Abundant Life Communities, Inc., 458 Mass. 580, 594 (2010) (in absence of separate and final judgment, “no appeal can be taken from a trial judge’s partial ‘judgment’ on a claim prior to entry of a final judgment disposing of all claims against all parties to the action”). – 2 – Rule 64(a) authorizes a trial court to report an interlocutory order to the appeals court for immediate review. However, “[s]uch a report should be reserved for novel and difficult issues, the appellate decision of which may expedite resolution of the case.” Morrison v. Lennett, 415 Mass. 857, 859 (1993). “Interlocutory matters should be reported only where it appears that they present serious questions likely to be material in the ultimate decision, and that subsequent proceedings in the trial court will be substantially facilitated by so doing.” Globe Newspaper Co. v. Massachusetts Bay Transp. Auth. Ret. Bd., 412 Mass. 770, 772 (1992), quoting John Gilbert Jr. Co. v. C.M. Fauci Co., 309 Mass. 271, 273 (1941). Gillette argues that the summary judgment decision in this case turned […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 16, 2017 at 4:21 am

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , ,

The Gillette Company v. Provost, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No 12-040-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. 1584CV00149-BLS2 ____________________ THE GILLETTE COMPANY v. CRAIG PROVOST, JOHN GRIFFIN, WILLIAM TUCKER, DOUGLAS KOHRING, and SHAVELOGIC, INC. ____________________ MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT The Gillette Company alleges that four former employees helped ShaveLogic, Inc., develop a new disposable cartridge shaving razor using Gillette’s confidential information. Gillette claims that in so doing Defendants violated G.L. c. 93A, the individual defendants breached non-disclosure agreements with Gillette, and all five Defendants engaged in a civil conspiracy. It also claims that ShaveLogic’s patents and patent applications should be subjected to a constructive trust in favor of Gillette. Gillette does not claim that any of the individual defendants breached a covenant not to compete with Gillette. The parties previously stipulated to the dismissal with prejudice of Gillette’s trade secret claims.1 ShaveLogic claims, in turn, that Gillette intentionally interfered with prospective business relations and violated c. 93A, by threatening to bring and then filing baseless legal claims in an attempt to keep ShaveLogic from entering the market for so-called wet-shaving products. The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment on all remaining claims and counterclaims. The Court concludes that Defendants are entitled to summary judgment in their favor on Gillette’s remaining claims because Gillette cannot prove that Defendants misused any of Gillette’s confidential information or that the individual defendants breached any non-disclosure agreement. The Court 1 The Court (Salinger, J.) previously ordered the dismissal with prejudice of Gillette’s claims against three other defendants. It dismissed Gillette’s claims that ShaveLogic’s general counsel breached fiduciary duties that he owed as a former Gillette patent counsel and that ShaveLogic’s CEO, its president, and the other individual defendants aided and abetted that alleged breach of fiduciary duty and conspired to bring it about. – 2 – also concludes that Gillette is not entitled to summary judgment on ShaveLogic’s counterclaims because a reasonable fact finder could conclude that Gillette had deliberately brought baseless claims in an attempt to bully ShaveLogic out of the market. The Court will schedule a final pre-trial conference to discuss trial of ShaveLogic’s counterclaims. 1. Gillette’s Claims. Defendants are entitled to summary judgment in their favor on Gillette’s remaining claims because the undisputed material facts show that Gillette has “no reasonable expectation of proving” at least one element of each of its claims. See Boazava v. Safety Ins. Co., 462 Mass. 346, 350 (2012). “A nonmoving party’s failure to establish an essential element of her claim ‘renders all other facts immaterial’ and mandates summary judgment in favor of the moving party.” Roman v. Trustees of Tufts College, 461 Mass. 707, 711 (2012), quoting Kourouvacilis v. General Motors Corp., 410 Mass. 706, 711 (1991). 1.1. Unfair Competition—G.L. c. […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 27, 2017 at 12:57 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , ,

The Gillette Company v. Provost, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-040-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. 1584CV00149-BLS2 ____________________ THE GILLETTE COMPANY v. CRAIG PROVOST, JOHN GRIFFIN, WILLIAM TUCKER, DOUGLAS KOHRING, and SHAVELOGIC, INC. ____________________ MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON CROSS-MOTIONS FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT The Gillette Company alleges that four former employees helped ShaveLogic, Inc., develop a new disposable cartridge shaving razor using Gillette’s confidential information. Gillette claims that in so doing Defendants violated G.L. c. 93A, the individual defendants breached non-disclosure agreements with Gillette, and all five Defendants engaged in a civil conspiracy. It also claims that ShaveLogic’s patents and patent applications should be subjected to a constructive trust in favor of Gillette. Gillette does not claim that any of the individual defendants breached a covenant not to compete with Gillette. The parties previously stipulated to the dismissal with prejudice of Gillette’s trade secret claims.1 ShaveLogic claims, in turn, that Gillette intentionally interfered with prospective business relations and violated c. 93A, by threatening to bring and then filing baseless legal claims in an attempt to keep ShaveLogic from entering the market for so-called wet-shaving products. The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment on all remaining claims and counterclaims. The Court concludes that Defendants are entitled to summary judgment in their favor on Gillette’s remaining claims because Gillette cannot prove that Defendants misused any of Gillette’s confidential information or that the individual defendants breached any non-disclosure agreement. The Court 1 The Court (Salinger, J.) previously ordered the dismissal with prejudice of Gillette’s claims against three other defendants. It dismissed Gillette’s claims that ShaveLogic’s general counsel breached fiduciary duties that he owed as a former Gillette patent counsel and that ShaveLogic’s CEO, its president, and the other individual defendants aided and abetted that alleged breach of fiduciary duty and conspired to bring it about. – 2 – also concludes that Gillette is not entitled to summary judgment on ShaveLogic’s counterclaims because a reasonable fact finder could conclude that Gillette had deliberately brought baseless claims in an attempt to bully ShaveLogic out of the market. The Court will schedule a final pre-trial conference to discuss trial of ShaveLogic’s counterclaims. 1. Gillette’s Claims. Defendants are entitled to summary judgment in their favor on Gillette’s remaining claims because the undisputed material facts show that Gillette has “no reasonable expectation of proving” at least one element of each of its claims. See Boazava v. Safety Ins. Co., 462 Mass. 346, 350 (2012). “A nonmoving party’s failure to establish an essential element of her claim ‘renders all other facts immaterial’ and mandates summary judgment in favor of the moving party.” Roman v. Trustees of Tufts College, 461 Mass. 707, 711 (2012), quoting Kourouvacilis v. General Motors Corp., 410 Mass. 706, 711 (1991). 1.1. Unfair Competition—G.L. c. […]

Read more...

Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 27, 2017 at 5:48 am

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , ,

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; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   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 […]

Read more...

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

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , ,