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Raytheon: Appeals Court Reverses Decision on Trade Secret Theft Damages

By Victoria Stilwell Raytheon Co. (RTN) said it will continue to pursue claims against two companies for damages resulting from theft of trade secrets and misappropriation of intellectual property after the U.S. Court of Appeals favorably reversed an August 2009 decision by a federal district court in Texas. The court overturned the district court's decision regarding claims against Indigo Systems Corp. and Flir Systems Inc. (FLIR) relating to infrared camera technology. In 2009 Flir said Raytheon's claims were based on allegations that Indigo hired former Raytheon employees to obtain knowledge of the defense contractor's trade secrets about infrared camera technology, according to the Associated Press. The district court in its earlier ruling held that Raytheon should have suspected wrongdoing and brought the lawsuit earlier, thus barring the company's claims. The appeals court held that Raytheon claimed it "reasonably" relied on the two companies' assurances that safeguards were in place to protect Raytheon's trade secrets. The court of appeals has revived the case, saying the district court improperly resolved genuine issues of material fact against Raytheon and intruded on the province of a jury. The case has been returned to the district court for further proceedings. Shares of Raytheon slipped 1.1% to $54.29 in recent trade, while shares of Flir fell 1.8% to $20.32. Raytheon stock is up 24% in the past 12 months, while Flir is down 22% in the same time period. Write to Victoria Stilwell at Subscribe to WSJ:

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