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The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion.

Easterbrook, Circuit Judge. Sunclipse makes andsells corrugated paper products. One line, whichit introduced in 1993, is coated with a graphite-based conductive film that protects electroniccomponents from electrostatic discharge.Sunclipse initially obtained its coating fromCentury Container Corporation under a licensethat provided, among other things: “SUNCLIPSEagrees not to manufacture, distribute or sell anycorrugated box or other container using graphiteliner board purchased from any source other thanCENTURY during the term of this license.” Whilethis license to use Century’s “Centurion”coatings was still in force, Sunclipse set out toformulate its own conductive coating, which itcalled “Corru-Shield” and began to use late in1994. Century filed suit, accusing Sunclipse notonly of breaking its promise but also ofmisappropriating Century’s trade secrets.According to Century’s complaint, themisappropriation took two forms. First, Sunclipsehired Robert Vermillion as the leader of itseffort to develop its own conductive coating.Vermillion, according to Century, had learnedsome of Century’s trade secrets in December 1993while seeking employment. Second, Sunclipse soldits “Corru-Shield” products to customers whoseidentities and requirements Century had revealedas part of the arrangement that gave Sunclipseaccess to the “Centurion” coating.

 
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