A lawsuit against Universal Orlando claiming the theft of trade secrets regarding the development of Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen has passed its first major hurdle, as a judge has ruled against Universal’s motion to dismiss.
Filed in August of 2016, the lawsuit alleges that Universal Orlando stole the idea for the popular CityWalk restaurant from Ohio resident Adam Limle. Limle claims the origin of the establishment involved inspiration from his daughter and numerous meetings with Universal executives before Universal used his ideas without his inclusion. The suit seeks $40 million.
In May of 2017, Universal gave an official response, not denying any meeting with Limle but stating that he was attempting to claim a vague idea and “a mixture of known ingredients” as trade secrets.
Orange County Circuit Judge Donald A. Myers appeared to disagree with Universal’s view on the matter, as he rejected their motion to dismiss. “For purposes of a motion to dismiss, the Court finds that Plaintiff has, at least minimally, sufficiently alleged a trade secret,” Myers wrote. According to the judge, whether or not any trade secrets were actually provided or stolen has yet to be determined, as that issue “involves questions of fact.”
Although just a first step in the case, Limle’s attorney, David S. Oliver of GrayRobinson, expressed confidence after the ruling. “Universal moves like a giant, formidable ship simply sinking smaller vessels in its path. This time, it has hit a land mine,” Oliver said.
Source: The Orlando Sentinel