United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Stratasys, Inc. Plaintiff,
Christopher W. Krampitz, individually, and Nova Machina LLC, Defendants.
Gregory L. Peters, Esq. and Seaton, Peters & Revnew, PA,
counsel for plaintiff.
A. Umsted, Esq., J. Ashwin Madia, Esq. and Madia Law LLC,
counsel for defendants.
S. DOTY, JUDGE
matter is before the court upon the motion to dismiss by
defendants Christopher Krampitz and Nova Machina LLC. Based
on a review of the file, record, and proceedings herein, and
for the following reasons, the motion is granted in part.
trade secret and contract dispute arises from the
parties' employment relationship. Plaintiff Stratasys,
Inc. provides consulting services relating to 3D printing.
Am. Compl. ¶ 2. On July 26, 2016, after weeks of
discussions between the parties, Krampitz applied for the
principal consultant position with Stratasys. Id.
¶¶ 15-17. Stratasys immediately offered Krampitz
the position, but Krampitz declined. Id.
¶¶ 19, 21. After additional discussions, Stratasys
again offered Krampitz the position, and he
accepted. Id. ¶¶ 24-25, 27.
Krampitz agreed to a Restrictive Employment Agreement
(Agreement), among other agreements. Id. ¶ 27.
In relevant part, the Agreement identifies Stratasys's
confidential information and prohibits Krampitz from
communicating, divulging, or disclosing that information to
any person or organization absent authorization from
Stratasys. Id. ¶¶ 30-31. He is also
prohibited from using the information except as permitted by
Stratasys. Id. ¶ 31. The Agreement requires
Krampitz to return all confidential information to Stratasys
on his termination. Id. The Agreement further
prohibits Krampitz from competing with Stratasys during his
employment and for one year following his termination.
Id. ¶ 33. Stratasys's employee handbook
also addresses its “[c]onfidential, trade secret, or
proprietary information” and prohibits employees from
disclosing that information to third parties without the
company's consent. Id. ¶ 35.
alleges that during the parties' negotiations, Stratasys
formed a competing business, Nova Machina, and that while
employed with Stratasys, he used the company's
confidential information and resources for the benefit of
Nova Machina. Id. ¶¶ 20, 22,
43-44. Krampitz resigned from Stratasys on
October 23, 2017, effective November 3. Id. ¶
137. Stratasys alleges that he continued to use and disclose
its confidential information and trade secrets for Nova
Machina's benefit during that period. Id.
¶¶ 138-47. He sent confidential information to his
Nova Machina email account and downloaded files to a portable
USB, and continued to do so after he left Stratasys.
Id. ¶¶ 150, 153, 154, 161-63, 165, 172-73.
Stratasys thereafter suspended Krampitz's access to its
electronic files and information. Id. ¶ 174.
Stratasys then became aware of Krampitz's questionable
activities and his connection to Nova Machina, and discovered
that Nova Machina was closely modeled after Stratasys.
Id. ¶¶ 175-76. In other words, Krampitz
used Stratasys's confidential information and trade
secrets to build his own competing business.
November 10, 2017, Stratasys sent a cease and desist letter
to Krampitz detailing his misappropriation of its
confidential information and demanding that he return all
such information, refrain from using the information and
contacting its customers, and cease violating the non-compete
agreement. Id. ¶¶ 179-80. Krampitz refused
to do so, and this suit followed.
February 19, 2018, Stratasys filed a voluminous amended
complaint raising the following nine claims against Krampitz
and Nova Machina: (1) breach of contract; (2) unjust
enrichment; (3) breach of duty of loyalty; (4) violation of
the Minnesota Uniform Trade Secrets Act (MUTSA); (5)
conversion; (6) violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act
(DTSA); (7) unfair competition; (8) deceptive trade
practices; and (9) account stated. Krampitz and Nova Machina
now move to dismiss the MUTSA, DTSA, unfair competition, and
account stated claims.
Standard of Review
survive a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
“‘a complaint must contain sufficient factual
matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.'” Braden v. Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
[has pleaded] factual content that allows the court to draw
the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678
(citing Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544,
556 (2007)). Although a complaint need not contain detailed
factual allegations, it must raise a right to relief above
the speculative level. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.
“[L]abels and conclusions or a formulaic recitation of
the elements of a cause of action” are not sufficient
to state a claim. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678 (citation
and internal quotation marks omitted).
court does not consider matters outside the pleadings under
Rule 12(b)(6). Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(d). The court may, however,
consider matters of public record and materials that are
“necessarily embraced by the pleadings.”
Porous Media Corp. v. Pall Corp., 186 F.3d 1077,
1079 (8th Cir. 1999) (citation and internal quotation marks
omitted). Here, the court considers the parties'
Defense of ...