Amended March 11, 2016.
FROM THE WHITE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. CV-12-233. HONORABLE
TOM HUGHES, JUDGE.
Jiles, LLP, by: Daniel C. Brock, and Edwards & Freeman, P.A.,
by: Rodney A. Edwards, pro hac vice, for appellant.
Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C., by: John Keeling
Baker and Clayborne S. Stone, for appellee.
MICHAEL KINARD, Judge.
this trade-secrets case, appellant Gibraltar Lubricating
Services, Inc. (GLS), appeals from a summary judgment in
favor of appellee Pinnacle Resources, Inc. (Pinnacle).
Because genuine issues of material fact remain to be decided,
we reverse and remand for further proceedings.
standard of review is well established. Summary judgment
should be granted only when it is clear that there are no
genuine issues of material fact to be litigated, and the
moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Akers v. Butler, 2015 Ark.App. 650, 476 S.W.3d 183.
On appeal, we view the evidence in the light most favorable
to the party against whom the motion was filed, resolving all
doubts and inferences against the moving party. Id.
With this standard in mind, we turn to the evidence presented
by the parties in their affidavits and other documents filed
in connection with the summary-judgment motion.
provides lubricants to industrial customers who use large
compressors. The lubricants contain a blend of oils and
additives that inhibit rust and corrosion and reduce the
foaming generated by compressor churning. GLS hires outside
contractors to blend its lubricants based on precise
formulas at issue in this case were developed more than
thirty-five years ago by a man named Glen Majors, owner of
C.E.S. Associates, Inc. In 1991, Mr. Majors formed GLS with
James and Linda Bass and purchased C.E.S.'s assets,
including its formulas and blending instructions, for
$38,500. In 1993, Mr. and Mrs. Bass bought out Majors and
became the sole owners of GLS. They operated from an office
in Beebe, Arkansas, with one employee, Veronica Craven. The
company produced the same lubricants using the same trusted
blenders as in the past. Mr. Bass kept the formulas locked in
a cabinet or safe, to which Mrs. Bass and Ms. Craven had
2008, Pinnacle, a custom blending company, contacted Mr. Bass
with hopes of becoming a blender for GLS. During a meeting at
the Beebe office, Bass explained to Pinnacle's salesman,
John Bethel, that he was nervous about disclosing the
lubricant formulas. Bethel assured Bass that Pinnacle would
maintain the formulas' secrecy.
Mr. Bass provided Pinnacle with documents containing a
particular lubricant formula. One of the documents bore a
stamp prohibiting copying or duplicating of its contents.
Bass also sent Bethel an email, asking him to " please
keep a tight grip on the formulas," to which Bethel
replied, " ...