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150591 - Innovation Ventures, LLC v Liquid Mfg., LLC

Innovation Ventures, LLC, d/b/a Living Essentials,
John J. Bursch
(Appeal from Ct of Appeals)
(Oakland – McMillen, P.)
Liquid Manufacturing, LLC, K & L Development of Michigan, LLC, LXR Biotech, LLC, Eternal Energy, LLC, Andrew Krause, and Peter Paisley,
Thomas P. Bruetsch


Plaintiff Innovation Ventures produces and sells 5-hour Energy drink.  Innovation Ventures has sued defendant Liquid Manufacturing, which formerly bottled its product, and defendant K&L, which acted as an independent contractor for it, as well as their president and owner.  Liquid Manufacturing and K&L formed Eternal Energy LLC and LXR Biotech, LLC to produce and sell a product called Eternal Energy, a competitor to 5-hour Energy.  Innovation Ventures argues that Liquid Manufacturing and K&L, and the other defendants, breached non-competition and confidentiality provisions in the parties’ contracts, misappropriated trade secrets, and engaged in other tortious conduct.  The trial court dismissed all of Innovation Ventures’ claims, concluding that the non-compete and confidentiality provisions were unenforceable.  The Court of Appeals affirmed in an unpublished opinion. The Supreme Court will consider whether the parties’ nondisclosure agreements are void due to failure of consideration, and whether the non-compete provisions are enforceable.