California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

VF-4400. Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

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VF-4400.Misappropriation of Trade Secrets
We answer the questions submitted to us as follows:
1. Was [name of plaintiff] [the owner/a licensee] of [insert general
description of alleged trade secret[s] subject to the misappropriation
claim]?
1. Yes No
1. If your answer to question 1 is yes, then answer question 2. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
2. [Was this/Were these] [select short term to describe, e.g.,
information] secret at the time of the alleged misappropriation?
2. Yes No
2. If your answer to question 2 is yes, then answer question 3. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
3. Did [this/these] [e.g., information] have actual or potential
independent economic value because [it was/they were] secret?
3. Yes No
3. If your answer to question 3 is yes, then answer question 4. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
4. Did [name of plaintiff] make reasonable efforts under the
circumstances to keep the [e.g., information] secret?
4. Yes No
4. If your answer to question 4 is yes, then answer question 5. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
5. Did [name of defendant] [acquire/use [or] disclose] the trade
secret[s] by improper means?
5. Yes No
5. If your answer to question 5 is yes, then answer question 6. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
6. Was [name of defendant]’s improper [acquisition/use/ [or]
disclosure] of the [e.g., information] a substantial factor in
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causing [[name of plaintiff] harm/ [or] [name of defendant] to be
unjustly enriched]?
6. Yes No
6. If your answer to question 6 is yes, then answer question 7. If
you answered no, stop here, answer no further questions, and
have the presiding juror sign and date this form.
7. What are [name of plaintiff]’s damages?
[a. Past economic loss
[lost earnings $ ]
[lost profits $ ]
[other past economic loss $ ]
[a. Total Past Economic Damages: $ ]
[b. Future economic loss
[lost earnings $ ]
[lost profits $ ]
[other future economic loss $ ]
[b. Total Future Economic Damages: $ ]
[b. TOTAL $
Signed: Presiding Juror
Dated:
After [this verdict form has/all verdict forms have] been signed, notify
the [clerk/bailiff/court attendant] that you are ready to present your
verdict in the courtroom.
New December 2015; Revised December 2016
Directions for Use
This verdict form is based on CACI No. 4401, Misappropriation of Trade
Secrets—Essential Factual Elements, CACI No. 4402, “Trade Secret” Defined,
CACI No. 4403, Secrecy Requirement, CACI No. 4404, Reasonable Efforts to
Protect Secrecy, and CACI No. 4412, “Independent Economic Value” Explained.
The special verdict forms in this section are intended only as models. They may
need to be modified depending on the facts of the case.
In question 1, briefly describe the material alleged to be a trade secret that is set
TRADE SECRETS VF-4400
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forth in detail in element1 of CACI No. 4401. Then in question 2, select a short
term to describe the material.
Additional questions may be added depending on whether misappropriation is
claimed in question 5 by acquisition, disclosure, or use. See CACI No. 4405,
Misappropriation by Acquisition, CACI No. 4406, Misappropriation by Disclosure,
and CACI No. 4407, Misappropriation by Use, for additional elements that the jury
should find in each kind of case.
Modify the claimed damages in question 7 as appropriate depending on the
circumstances. (See CACI No. 4409, Remedies for Misappropriation of Trade
Secret.) If unjust enrichment is alleged, additional questions on the value of the
benefit to the defendant and the defendant’s reasonable expenses should be
included. (See CACI No. 4410, Unjust Enrichment.)
In cases involving more than one trade secret, the jury must answer all of the
questions in the verdict form separately for each trade secret at issue.
If there are multiple causes of action, users may wish to combine the individual
forms into one form. If different damages are recoverable on different causes of
action, replace the damages tables in all of the verdict forms with CACI No. VF-
3920, Damages on Multiple Legal Theories.
If the jury is being given the discretion under Civil Code section 3288 to award
prejudgment interest (see Bullis v. Security Pac. Nat’l Bank (1978) 21 Cal.3d 801,
814 [148 Cal.Rptr. 22, 582 P.2d 109]), give CACI No. 3935, Prejudgment Interest.
This verdict form may need to be augmented for the jury to make any factual
findings that are required in order to calculate the amount of prejudgment interest.
VF-4401–VF-4499. Reserved for Future Use
VF-4400 TRADE SECRETS
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