February 28, 2006
Kelley Drye obtained a significant victory for Foot Locker, Inc. in an action commenced by its competitor, The Finish Line, in Federal Court in Indiana. Finish Line alleged that Foot Locker engaged in a program designed to harm Finish Line by hiring away its most talented employees and obtaining confidential information from them. The Complaint alleged causes of action for tortious interference, unfair competition and theft of trade secrets.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana granted Kelley Drye’s motion for summary judgment on behalf of Foot Locker, and dismissed the case in its entirety. The Court held that as a competitor, Foot Locker was substantially justified in seeking to hire Finish Line’s “at-will” employees. The Court also held that internal Finish Line documents allegedly obtained by Foot Locker did not qualify for trade secret protection.