Court of Appeal affirms preliminary injunction requiring former independent contractor insurance agent to return confidential information to GMSR’s client

Farmers Insurance Exchange et al. v. Song (2012) 2012 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 1363 (California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Three) [unpublished]. The Court of Appeal affirmed a preliminary injunction in favor of GMSR’s insurer client against its former sales agent. The agent’s agreement with the insurer provided that “all manuals, lists and records of any kind (including information pertaining to policyholders and expirations)” were the principal’s confidential property, that the materials were not to be used or divulged, and should be returned to the insurer upon termination of the agency. After the agent was terminated, he asserted that the contract provision was an invalid covenant not to compete that violated Business and Professions Code 16600, and refused to return the materials. The insurer obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting further use of its materials and requiring the agent to return them. The Court of Appeal affirmed, finding that the confidential policyholder information at issue was likely to be found a trade secret under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and therefore supported injunctive relief.