Trade Secret and Anti-trust Claims

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L-3 Communications v. Lockheed Martin Corporation

Aerospace giants L-3 Communications Integrated Systems, and Lockheed Martin squared off in courts in Texas and Georgia over trade secret and anti-trust claims involving the military P-3 sub-chaser program.  Lockheed Martin alleged that L-3 misappropriated its technical information and data in its modification and refurbishment of nine P-3 antisubmarine warfare airplanes for the Republic of Korea.  It sought damages in excess of $320 million.  At the same time L-3 filed an anti-trust suit in federal court in Dallas, Texas for Lockheeds alleged anit-competitive business conduct in the pursuit of foreign military refurbishment contracts in competition with L-3.   Lockheed ‘s case went to trial first and In May 2009, a federal jury in Atlanta found in favor of Lockheed and awarded $37 million; the company then sought $17 million in fees.  But in early 2010, U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell set aside the verdict and ordered a new trial, based on information Rose Walker found when going through documents Lockheed withheld in the Atlanta trial, but produced in the Texas case.  The documents showed that Lockheed planned to allow a third company to use its trade secrets, eliminating Lockheed’s trade secret protection claims.  Following the grant of a new trial in favor of L-3 for the misconduct of Lockheed, both cases was resolved in settlement.