(Adds Cargill statement)
By Tom Polansek
Oct 21 (Reuters) - A federal judge has denied Cargill Inc's attempt to block a former executive of its meat-packing unit from working for rival JBS SA to prevent the potential loss of trade secrets.
U.S. Judge Raymond Moore in Denver ruled on Monday that although Jason Kuan "did once have specific knowledge of Cargill's trade secrets, his knowledge now is generalized."
In August, privately-held Cargill sued Kuan, who led a meat unit in Canada, alleging that he copied hundreds of confidential company documents after he received a job offer from JBS in Colorado.
Cargill, one of the top U.S. meat producers, did not dispute that Kuan returned the documents, according to a court filing.
The company had asked Moore to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction forbidding Kuan from working for a competitor for one year.
"A temporary restraining order is still in effect to prevent Mr. Kuan from disclosing or using Cargill's confidential information and trade secrets, and Cargill will continue to advocate for protection of its confidential information and trade secrets," Cargill spokesman Mike Martin said.
A lawyer for Kuan could not immediately be reached for comment.
The case is Cargill Inc v. Jason Kuan, U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, No 14-cv-02325. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Marguerita Choy)