One Sixty Over Ninety, LLC v. Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia

Court: Superior Court of Athens-Clarke County
Case Number: SU-17-CV-1023-N
Decision Date: April 09, 2018
Case Type: Open Records
The Superior Court of Athens-Clarke County held that the trade secrets provision of the Georgia Open Records Act did not prevent a successful suit against the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia merely because there was no trade secrets affidavit, as required by the Open Records Act. One Sixty Over Ninety, LLC, was one of two companies which bid for a project with the Board. After submitting written bid materials the two companies were asked to give in-person presentations to the Board, which were videotaped. After the Board chose One Sixty's competitor, the Board sent a copy of the videotaped presentation to the competitor, without the submission of an open records request.

One Sixty claimed such an action violated the Georgia Trade Secrets Act and that there was an implied waiver of sovereign immunity under the Georgia Tort Claims Act. Among other defenses, the Board argued that One Sixty never submitted an affidavit claiming their materials were trade secrets, as was required by the Georgia Open Records Act to claim protections from open records laws, and thus, there was no reason for the Board to believe the video of the presentation was a trade secret. The court disagreed and held that such a reading would frustrate the purpose of protecting trade secrets.