Archives: Unfair Competition

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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

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

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

CA Court Concludes Contract, Common Law Claims not Preempted by Trade Secrets Act

The Court of Appeal for California’s Fourth Appellate District recently confirmed that the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA), a broad statute intended to be the last word in trade secret misappropriation cases, does not preclude separate but related common law claims, so long as these claims are not based entirely on the trade secret … Continue Reading

North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Judgment for Competing in Breach of Employment Contract while Still Employed

The North Dakota Supreme Court upheld a judgment finding two employees of SolarBee, Inc., a North Dakota corporation that manufactures solar-powered water circulators, liable for a total of $621,800 in damages for breaching a non-compete agreement while still employed.  The Court’s decision in SolarBee, Inc. v. Walker, No. 2012015 (June 24, 2013), is a reminder … Continue Reading

Georgia Supreme Court Rejects Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine

The inevitable disclosure doctrine is a common law doctrine that has been used by some courts to prevent a former employee from working for a competitor, even in the absence of a non-compete, because the former employee’s new job duties would inevitably require him to rely upon, use or disclose his former employer’s trade secrets.  This … Continue Reading

Unfair Competition Claim Based on Copyright Infringement Preempted by Copyright Act

A federal court in California has held that a state law claim that a competitor engaged in unfair competition by creating infringing work after hiring former employees who stole proprietary information is preempted by the federal Copyright Act. Metabyte, Inc. v. NVidia Corp., et al., Case No. 12-0044 SC (N.D. Cal. April 22, 2013. Metabyte employed individuals to develop … Continue Reading

Plaintiff in Dispute over LinkedIn Account gets “Zero” Damages

Plaintiff pro se Linda Eagle, the former president of banking education company Edcomm, Inc. ended up empty handed even though she prevailed on the merits of her claims of invasion of privacy by misappropriation of identity in her federal lawsuit filed over the alleged hijacking of her LinkedIn account by her former employer following the termination of her employment. … Continue Reading

Another New York Federal Court Narrowly Construes the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

When an executive search firm bought the goodwill and other assets of a similar firm and learned that the individual sellers took client lists and diverted business in violation of their non-compete agreements, it terminated the sellers’ employment and sued them and other third-party defendants for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) as well … Continue Reading

North Dakota Non-Compete Law Shares History with California

North Dakota has one of the fastest-growing workforces in the country as the result of recent advances in extracting natural gas and oil.  As more employers seek to hire in or transfer employees to the Peace Garden State, many are surprised to discover that North Dakota law prohibits non-compete agreements. North Dakota Century Code Section … Continue Reading

Court Orders Monitoring to Ensure Employee does not Breach Non-Compete

A U.S. District Judge in Connecticut recently issued an injunction against a former employee of Amphenol Corp and his new employer, TE Connectivity, Ltd, despite the lack of any evidence of competition in breach of his non-compete agreement.  The decision in Amphenol v Paul, Civ. No. 3:12cv543 (D. Conn. Nov. 9, 2012),  involved a former business unit director of Amphenol who had been … Continue Reading

eBay Sued to Halt Enforcement of “No Hire” Agreement

 The U.S. Department of Justice has filed an antitrust lawsuit against eBay, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  The suit, filed on November 16, 2012, claims that eBay violated antitrust laws by entering into an agreement not to hire or recruit the employees of a competitor, Intuit, Inc. The … Continue Reading

Trade Secrets – Is Kevlar the New Coke?

Kevlar (R), a high-strength para-aramid fiber created by E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company and famously used in body armor for soldiers and police officers, is the subject of a recent criminal indictment by the U.S. Justice Department against Kolon Industries, Inc. and several of its executives. According to the October 18, 2012 press … Continue Reading
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