This court previously has held that “confidential business information is akin to trade secrets,” which consist of “any formula, process, pattern, device or compilation of information that is used in one’s business and which gives him an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not use it.” Heyer-Jordan & Assocs. v. Jordan, 801 S.W.2d 814, 821 (Tenn.App.1990) (quoting Hickory Specialties v. B & L Labs., Inc., 592 S.W.2d 583, 586-87 (Tenn.App.1979)). Information cannot constitute a trade secret and, thus, is not confidential if the subject matter is “of public knowledge or general knowledge in the industry” or if the matter consists of “ideas which are well known or easily ascertainable.” Id.
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, this court has held that the following types of information are not confidential:
(1) Remembered information as to a business’s prices;
(2) The specific needs and business habits of certain customers; and
(3) An employee’s personality and the relationships which he has established with certain customers. Data Processing Equip. Corp. v. Martin, 1987 WL 30155, at *6 (Tenn.App. Dec.30, 1987); Stangenberg v. Allied Distr. and Bldg. Serv. Co., 1986 WL 7618, at *7 (Tenn.App. July 9, 1986).
In the present case, Zilly admitted that he knew Venture Express’s customer rates and that he knew the rate he needed to beat to secure Calsonic’s business. Accordingly, the evidence at trial focused on whether Venture Express’s customer rates constituted confidential information. In Stangenberg v. Allied Distribution and Building Service Co., 1986 WL 7618 (Tenn.App. July 9, 1986), this court listed some factors to be considered in determining whether certain information constitutes a business’s trade secret:
(1) the extent to which the information is known outside of [the] business;
(2) the extent to which it is known by employees and others involved in [the] business;
(3) the extent of measures taken by [the business] to guard the secrecy of the information;
(4) the value of the information to [the business] and to [its] competitors;
(5) the amount of money or effort expended by [the business] in developing the information;
(6) the ease or difficulty with which the information could be properly acquired or duplicated by others.
Stangenberg, 1986 WL 7618, at *6 (quoting Restatement of Torts § 757 (1939)).
Venture Exp., Inc. v. Zilly 973 S.W.2d 602, 606 (Tenn.App.,1998)
The Tennessee Court of Appeals has considered it appropriate to extend the tort of unfair competition beyond the context of trademark infringement in certain circumstances. In B & L Corp. v. Thomas & Thorngren, Inc., 917 S.W.2d 674 (Tenn.Ct.App.1995), for instance, the court held that an action for unfair competition could be sustained for a breach of a fiduciary relationship by an employee who uses confidential information to the employer’s detriment. Id. at 681. In so doing, the court noted that “[u]nfair competition is a generic name for several related torts involving improper interference with business prospects.” Id. (citing Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts § 130 at 1013 (5th ed.1984)). Id. at 861-62.
Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts § 130 at 1013 (5th ed.1984), relied upon *216 heavily by the court in B & L I, states in pertinent part:
Quite apart from any improper motive, unfair competition, or for that matter other interferences with prospects, can be found when the defendant engages in any conduct that amounts to a recognized tort and when that tort deprives the plaintiff of customers or other prospects. Liability for such losses may be imposed from defamation, disparagement, intimidation or harassment of the plaintiff’s customers or employees, obstruction of the means of access to his place of business, threats of groundless suits, commercial bribery and inducing employees to commit sabotage.
B & L Corp. v. Thomas and Thorngren, Inc. 162 S.W.3d 189, 215 -216 (Tenn.Ct.App.,2004)