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CONAX FLORIDA CORP. v. UNITED STATES

December 23, 1985

CONAX FLORIDA CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PARKER

BARRINGTON D. PARKER, United States District Judge

 MEMORANDUM ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

 In this action the plaintiff Conax Florida Corporation ("Conax") seeks relief against the Secretary of the Navy and other Department of the Navy officials, alleging they have improperly threatened to disclose its trade secrets. Specifically, the plaintiff seeks relief against announced action of the defendants to remove restrictive legends from drawings it developed under Navy contracts. Conax claims that the drawings, which it prepared, contain proprietary and confidential information and are not government property. *fn1" At the same time the plaintiff is prosecuting an appeal before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals ("ASBCA") from an adverse ruling of the Navy's contracting officer.

 The pending complaint before this Court seeks (1) injunctive relief restraining the government from removing any of the plaintiff's legends from the documents pending resolution of its ongoing appeal before the ASBCA and any subsequent judicial review thereof; (2) a mandamus requiring the Navy to place restrictive legends on any drawings made from the documents involved; and (3) a declaratory judgment that the Navy has violated plaintiff's rights under the procurement contract between the parties.

 A.

 Several motions are now before the Court for final resolution. The plaintiff has filed an application for a preliminary injunction. The defendants have presented a motion to dismiss asserting lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Both parties seek summary judgment arguing that there are no contested material facts.

 As to the motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the government contends that because the complaint as presently drafted does not assert or rely upon a violation of the Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1905, but rather only asserts a cause of action in contract, thus jurisdiction is lacking.

 Oral argument on the government's motion to dismiss and the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction was considered on December 18, 1985. For the reasons set out below, the Court denies the motion to dismiss and grants the motion for a preliminary injunction.

 B.

 Plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction, including supporting memoranda, declarations and exhibits set forth in greater detail the history of the plaintiff's development, at its own expense, of the drawings and data previously submitted to the government under restrictive legend and accepted by the government on this basis.

 Concluding the complaint, the plaintiff seeks relief in three separate equitable counts: injunction, mandamus and declaratory judgment, respectively. In each count, plaintiff alleges that "Once trade secrets are disseminated publicly . . . [it] will absolutely destroy all proprietary rights of plaintiff in the data depicted on the drawings so disseminated." (Complaint, paras. 41, 47 and 52).

 The final prayer for relief requests injunctive relief pending the determination of the merits of the action by the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals.

 In moving to dismiss, the government relies heavily on plaintiff's pleading that the drawings were, in fact, provided to the government pursuant to a contract and that the action arose by virtue of a contracting officer's decision. The plaintiff contends, however, that simply because the dispute concerns drawings ...


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