Epic Games, maker of the ultra-popular online video game “Fortnite” is suing a former employee for breach of his non-disclosure agreement. The former employee had access to the inner workings of the Fortnite design team. He signed a non-disclosure agreement with Epic, in which he agreed to keep confidential all information learned in his employment with Epic. He went by the online name of “@invisiblelama9.” Apparently, the sneaky llama went on a gamer website after he quit working for Epic and released confidential information about Epic’s newest version of Fortnite that had not been released to the public at the time. Fortnite has been a HUGE success for Epic, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars for the company so the secrets to new game could be quite valuable.
Fortnite Chapter 2 is now widely available, but at the time it had not yet been put on the market. The leaker told other gamers about the new features of the game, which new customers were eagerly looking forward to, apparently seeking to cash in on his secrets. Epic considered the not yet released content to be a trade secret, in addition to confidential, triggering further remedies for the company. Epic did not take kindly to having its cash cow attacked. The company filed suit to enforce the terms of the non-disclosure agreement the former employee had signed and sued him for disclosing the company’s trade secrets. Epic requested an injunction prohibiting any release of the information as well as monetary damages for breach of the non-disclosure agreement.
Florida Law on Non-Disclosure Agreements
Under Florida law, a non-disclosure agreement is treated as a type of restrictive covenant under Florida Statutes § 542.335. The same rules of interpretation that the court is required to follow when interpreting non-compete agreements and non-solicitation agreements also apply to non-disclosure agreements. Section 542.335 gives the court the power to re-write or “blue pencil” the parties’ agreement if necessary. It can also enter temporary and permanent injunctions to enforce restrictive covenants and award monetary damages. The agreement has to be in writing and reasonably designed to enforce a legitimate business interest.
In this case, the court will have to examine the written agreement and the affidavits in support that demonstrate the type of information that was disclosed, when it was disclosed and who disclosed it. Assuming Epic proves up its case a Florida court would have little choice but to grant the injunction and then set a trial to determine damages and any further relief. Section 542.335 is a business-friendly statute.
Contact an Experienced Orlando Non-Disclosure Attorney
Call the Spence Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your breach of non-disclosure agreement case.