A pair of Louisville attorneys have been awarded an $80 million trade secret case in a five-week-long jury trial in a New Jersey federal court.

Thad Barnes and David Owsley, of Stites & Harbinson, successfully defended fragrance company Mane USA Inc. against allegations that the company conspired with perfumer James Krivda to misappropriate more than 600 trade secret formulas from Swiss fragrance giant Givaudan Fragrances Corp.

urlKrivda was a successful and respected perfumer at Givaudan who created perfumes such as Britney Spears Fantasy, Celine Dion Enchanting, Ralph Lauren Ralph Wild and many more, but Krivda left the company to join Mane in May of 2008.

Givaudan alleged that on the eve of Krivda’s exit, he printed and stole hundreds of formulas from Givaudan with the intent to use them at Mane. Givaudan, the largest flavor and fragrance company in the world with annual revenue in excess of $4 billion, had hired lawyers from four national law firms to prosecute the case aggressively, but Barnes and Owsley worked with two other attorneys to achieve a unanimous verdict on Feb. 6.

“The verdict was a complete vindication for Mr. Krivda and Mane, who had their reputations marred by Givaudan’s baseless accusations for years,” Stites & Harbison said in a press release. “There was never a shred of evidence of conspiracy or misappropriation.”


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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies.Email Kevin at [email protected]

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