Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Amchem Prods., Inc. v. Costle

Citation: 10 ELR 20262
No. No. 76 Civ. 2913, 481 F. Supp. 195/(S.D.N.Y., 07/05/1979)

The court grants plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from disclosing trade secret research data submitted by pesticide manufacturers. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), plaintiffs are required to submit research data when applying for pesticide registrations. Plaintiffs argued that the data represent a substantial corporate investment in research, and they enjoy a market advantage that would be lost if their competitors had access to the information. Thus, they asserted, a 1978 amendment to FIFRA, which purportedly authorizes the disclosure of trade secrets for the use and benefit of competing manufacturers in applying for pesticide registrations, is a taking of property in violation of the Fifth Amendment. Defendants respond that the FIFRA amendment is an appropriate means to lessen public harm from commerce in pesticides and thus a proper exercise of the police power pursuant to the Commerce Clause. Furthermore, defendants argue that to the extent there has been a taking, there is an adequate legal remedy in the court of claims under the Tucker Act. Rejecting the adequacy of Tucker Act relief, the court notes that plaintiffs have made a strong showing that $10 of FIFRA constitutes a Fifth Amendment taking of trade secret research data. Finally, since there are sufficiently serious claims that the disclosure would cause plaintiffs grievous and irreparable injury to their commercial interests, the court preliminarily enjoins disclosure of the data pending a trial on the merits.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
John D. Conner, Kenneth W. Weinstein, Richard A. Flye, Christian Volz
Sellers, Conner & Cuneo
1625 K St. NW, Washington DC 20006
(202) 452-7500

Allan J. Berlowitz
Arthur, Dry & Kalish, P.C.
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10020
(212) 489-4510

Counsel for Defendants
Robert B. Fiske Jr., U.S. Attorney; Michael H. Dollinger, Ass't U.S. Attorney
One St. Andrews Plaza, New York NY 10007
(212) 791-0055