Archives: Trade Secrets

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Virginia Uniform Trade Secrets Act Prohibits Improper Acquisition of Trade Secrets, Regardless of Subsequent Use

Misappropriation of trade secrets claims can sometimes be difficult to sustain. While evidence of the taking of a trade secret may be available, evidence of its subsequent use may not.  In Integrated Global Services, Inc. v. Michael Mayo, Case No. 3:17cv563, by decision issued on September 13, 2017, the federal court for the Eastern District of … Continue Reading

Federal Court Warns Companies – If You Don’t Protect Your Trade Secrets, Neither Will We

In 2016 Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act, creating a federal cause of action for the theft of trade secrets. For a plaintiff attempting to prove that the information at issue is a trade secret, there is a tendency to focus only on the information itself, rather than the manner in which the plaintiff … Continue Reading

State and Federal Trade Secrets Claims Upheld By Northern District of Illinois

A May 11, 2017 decision by Judge Chang, in the Northern District of Illinois, found misappropriation alleged under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and the Illinois Trade Secrets Act (ITSA), in a case where the employee downloaded files while still employed.  Denying the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss a Third Amended Complaint, the Court examined … Continue Reading

Texas Pre-Suit Discovery – Obligations Under Unusual Procedure Clarified

Although most employers are very familiar with the usual discovery process of litigation, they may not be as familiar with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure’s Rule 202, which concerns pre-suit depositions. Rule 202 can be used, for example, by an employer who wants to learn more about a former employee’s activities before commencing a … Continue Reading

White House Continues Attack on Non-Compete Agreements

The assault on non-compete agreements has continued in a significant way, as outlined in our web article, White House Continues Attack on Non-Compete Agreements.  The latest White House document, coupled with prior reports from the White House and Treasury Department, as well as actions initiated by the Attorney General of New York and the Attorney … Continue Reading

Accessing Database Violates Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Economic Espionage Act – Ninth Circuit Affirms Criminal Conviction of Former Employee

The Ninth Circuit recently filed its latest installment in the saga involving David Nosal and his former employer, Korn/Ferry International, an executive search firm. Korn/Ferry maintains a proprietary database of executive candidates for its paying customers.  Nosal, a former Korn/Ferry executive, set up a competing business.  Allegedly desiring the information in Korn/Ferry’s database for his … Continue Reading

Defend Trade Secrets Act Set to Become Law

For the first time, there will be a federal private right of action for misappropriation of trade secrets. The Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), passed by both houses of Congress, is headed to President Barack Obama for his signature and his office has stated it “strongly supports” the legislation. The DTSA will become effective upon … Continue Reading

Utah Enacts New Laws Addressing Post-Employment Restrictions and Unauthorized Computer Use

Conrad S. Kee from our Salt Lake City office and Cliff Atlas, co-chair of the firm’s non-compete practice group have written on the firm’s website about two new important laws in Utah, the Post-Employment Restrictions Act and the Computer Abuse and Data Recovery Act.… Continue Reading

Use Of Personal Cloud-Based Document Accounts Requires New Strategies By Employers

Whether Google Docs, Dropbox, or some other file sharing system, employees, especially millennials and other digital natives, are increasingly likely to set up personal cloud-based document sharing and storage accounts for work purposes, usually with well-meaning intentions, such as convenience and flexibility. Sometimes this is done with explicit company approval, sometimes it is done with … Continue Reading

Congress Tries Again – The Defend Trade Secrets Act

Jackson Lewis attorneys Peter R. Bulmer, A. Robert Fischer, Michael S. Kantor, and David E. Renner have prepared a detailed update on the firm’s website on the status of a bill in Congress which would create a federal trade secrets law, known as the Defend Trade Secrets Act.  Stay tuned for further developments!    … Continue Reading

Insider Threat: Employee Mobility and Trade Secrets

Cliff Atlas, a principal with Jackson Lewis, will be participating in a webinar on January 20, 2016 on the topic of “Insider Threat: Employee Mobility and Trade Secrets” on the IP Chat Channel sponsored by the Intellectual Property Owners Association.  www.ipo.org/IPChatChannel. The webinar is open to all. The registration fee is $130, with academic and government discounts available. … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Affirms Rejection of Texas Choice-of-Law as to Oklahoma-Based Employees for Non-Compete Provisions, But Allows Texas Law to Apply to Non-Solicitation Provisions

In a detailed, 26-page published decision in the matter of Cardoni v Prosperity Bank, No. 14-20682 (5th Cir. Oct. 29, 2015) the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals took a deep look at choice of law provisions in restrictive covenants. The Appellate Court started out by noting that in addition to their well-known disagreements over boundaries and … Continue Reading

Recent Cases Recognize Limits to Employees’ Attempts at Self-Help to Support Retaliation Claims

Two recent cases from opposite coasts confirm that employees do not have an unfettered right to steal their employer’s documents notwithstanding the documents’ potential relevance to a whistleblower retaliation claim. In West Hills Research and Development Inc. v. Wyles, Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Case No. B255768 (July 17, 2015), when West Hills terminated Wyles, … Continue Reading

Cases are easier to start than they are to finish: California Court awards $180,000 in sanctions for meritless trade secret misappropriation lawsuit brought in bad faith

The California Court of Appeal has upheld an award of monetary sanctions against a company that brought a lawsuit against its competitor that the court found was meritless and intended to stifle competition. Cypress Semiconductor Corp. v. Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., H038555 (Apr. 28, 2015). Cypress sued Maxim for trade secret misappropriation, alleging Maxim was attempting … Continue Reading

Company Pays For Taking Short Cuts to Start New Business

A New Jersey state court judge has allowed a $10 million jury verdict to stand in favor of biotech firm GenScript USA in its trade secret and employee piracy claims against competitor, Genewiz, Inc. In October 2014, the jury had entered a multi-million dollar verdict in GenScript’s favor following a six-week trial. The jury found … Continue Reading

Nike Lawsuit Against Former Designers Will Test Company Security Initiative

Athletic shoe manufacturer Nike filed suit on December 8, 2014 in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Oregon against three of its former designers alleging that the designers misappropriated Nike’s trade secrets and conspired with Adidas to start a new, competing business venture. The three former designers, Denis Dekovic, Marc Dolce and Mark Miner, all resigned … Continue Reading

Half-Billion Dollar Arbitration Award in Trade Secrets Case Affirmed by Minnesota Supreme Court in Trade Secrets Dispute

The Minnesota Supreme Court has affirmed an arbitrator’s eye-popping award of $525 million plus prejudgment interest totaling $96 million and post-award interest in a trade secrets dust up between Seagate Technology, LLC and Western Digital Corporation, et al. Seagate Technology, LLC v. Western Digital Corporation, et al and Sining Mao, No. A12-1994 (Minn. October 8, … Continue Reading

California Court Considers Customer Lists, LinkedIn Contacts, in Trade Secrets Case

A federal district court for the Central District of California has issued a detailed decision regarding customer lists and LinkedIn contacts in ruling on cross-motions for summary judgment in the trade secrets dispute captioned Cellular Accessories For Less, Inc. v. Trinitas, LLC,  No. CV 12-06736 DDP, including a surprising ruling that LinkedIn contacts might be … Continue Reading

Claims in Pennsylvania Lawsuit Alleging En Masse Defection of Employees as “Sabotage” Survive Dismissal

A U.S. District Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has allowed several claims to proceed to trial following a motion for summary judgment by defendants in Ozburn-Hessey Logistics, LLC v. 721 Logistics, LLC, et al, No. 12-0864 (April 4, 2014). The allegations in the case go beyond the typical defection of an employee or two to … Continue Reading

Courts Reigning in What It Means to be a “Hacker” Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Jackson Lewis e-discovery guru Ralph Losey has posted an article about the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) on his e-discovery blog ediscoverylawtoday. Losey posits that more courts may be turning to the minority application of the CFAA as applying only to acts of unauthorized access, as opposed to unauthorized use. As he states in part: … Continue Reading

Criminal Prosecution for Employee Theft of Employer’s Documents May Proceed, New Jersey Court Rules

Our colleague Jason C. Gavejian has written about an interesting case in New Jersey involving the criminal prosecution of an employee who took highly confidential documents from her employer to support her employment discrimination suit.  The decision distinguishes a 2010 New Jersey Supreme Court ruling in which the court held that an employee who copied employer records for use in … Continue Reading
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