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Jury Goes With Eldorado Stone in Trade Secret Claim


SAN MARCOS, Calif. - The jury in the Eldorado Stone, LLC vs. Renaissance Stone Inc. awarded more than $17 million to Eldorado Stone. After a two and a half week trial in United States Federal Court, the jury agreed with Eldorado that Renaissance Stone Inc., former Eldorado employee Alfonso Alvarez, Renaissance President Joseph Smith and Robert Hager had misappropriated Eldorado’s trade secrets, infringed on Eldorado Stone trademarks, infringed on Eldorado Stone’s copyrights, and interfered in the economic relationships between Eldorado and its customers. The jury also awarded $3.85 million in punitive damages and attorney’s fees to Eldorado.

“This is a bittersweet victory for Eldorado Stone,” says Mike Lewis, President of Eldorado Stone. “The time and effort to prosecute this case has been a huge distraction. However, the clear decision by the jury underscores the value of our trade secrets and proprietary information. This intellectual property has taken years and even decades to develop and is worthy of protection.”

Lewis continues, “The men and women at Eldorado Stone have worked tirelessly over the years to help Eldorado become the leading, innovative stone manufacturer in this industry. We have never hesitated to, nor will we ever hesitate, to aggressively protect the intellectual property that represents the hard work of many individuals that have become the underpinnings of our business.”

Eldorado, represented by Callie Bjurstrom and Andrea Kimball of Luce, Forward, Hamilton, and Scripps was successful in obtaining a favorable decision on each of the claims against Renaissance. Ms. Bjurstrom of Luce Forward states, “This is an important decision in a relatively new industry that until now had no real operating guidelines regarding intellectual property.” Ms. Kimball adds, “After nearly three years of hard fought litigation, it is gratifying that the jury sent such a clear message that unfair competition through the use of another’s intellectual property will not be tolerated. We look forward to the Court’s entry of judgment on the verdict which we believe will withstand any post-trial motions or appeal.”

Lewis adds, “This is a great day for Eldorado Stone, our competitors, and the industry. We now have clear law that there is very significant value to the trade secrets and intellectual property of the ethical companies in our industry.”


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