Hair salon sues rival for alleged use of proprietary information
New Jersey entrepreneurs spend so much time and money getting their businesses up and running, so naturally they are upset when a competitor steals their clients and trade secrets. Many times, confidential information is leaked through former employees who move on to work for a rival company. This is allegedly the case for a hair salon in Pennsylvania, who is suing another salon for using its proprietary information to steal customers.
DFK Inc., also known as Now Hair Studio, is suing five former employees who now work for competitor. They all left DFK Inc. without notice and went to work for the other salon three days later. The defendants allegedly told their clients that they would honor their future appointments at the new salon.
DFK Inc. believes that the former employees must have gained accessed to the company's confidential information before they resigned. Proprietary information such as client lists, pricing data, scheduled appointments and clients' preferred hair styles are kept on a password-protected computer that only employees would have access to obtain.
The amount of compensation DFK Inc. is seeking is unknown, but the company is seeking compensatory damages as well as punitive damages for the former employees' misuse of trade secrets. The owner of the other salon denies any wrongdoing and claims that the defendants have the right to switch employers.
A company's proprietary information is the lifeblood of the business. It's important to have a protection plan in place to prevent unauthorized people from accessing confidential information. Even though passwords were used in this case, the employees had access to the passwords.
Source: The Times-Tribune, " Downtown Scranton hair salon sues rival," David Singleton, Dec. 27, 2013