As a special feature of our blog—special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Jonathan Karchmer, a senior managing consultant at iDiscovery Solutions with experience in managing projects dealing with computer forensic examination and experience advising counsel regarding intellectual property and trade secret theft. 

It was a matter of hours. A simple thing really. Was an email sent at 10:00 a.m. or at 2:00 p.m.? An entire case hung in the balance; if the email was sent at 10:00 a.m., the custodian had prior knowledge, if at 2:00 p.m., then not. Unfortunately, the email had been extracted and produced on multiple occasions during the litigation, each showing a different time. iDS was called in to do two things: First, determine the correct time the email was sent, and second, explain to the court how the time could have been incorrectly reported so often without nefarious intent. Continue Reading How to Catch Trade Secret Thieves Who Try to Cover Their Tracks: A Forensic Perspective

Robert B. Milligan, Seyfarth Partner and Co-Chair of the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group, will be a speaker for the “Injunctive Relief” panel at the Sedona Conference on Developing Best Practices for Trade Secret Issues on December 8 at 8:30 a.m., in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The panel will discuss:

  • The uses of equitable solutions in trade secret disputes
  • How parties and courts can craft case-specific remedies
  • How to ensure that, while offering the virtue of flexibility, equity is not whim

The Sedona Conference is an assembly of thought leaders in the areas of antitrust laws, complex litigation, and intellectual property rights; and it brings together the brightest minds with the goal of creating practical solutions and recommendations on tipping point issues.

For more information about the Sedona Conference, click here.

As a special feature of our blog—special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Daniel Garrie, senior partner and co-founder of Law & Forensics. 

This post originally appeared on the Legal Executive Institute blog. 

The dirty secret of trade secret disputes is that even if you win, it can be difficult to get back to where you started. It’s like closing the stable door after the horses have run off with trade secret disputes. A court or arbitration panel may not have trouble reaching findings of fact and conclusions of law, but the secrets are still out there. And ensuring that the trade secret information is entirely removed from the offending company’s systems is a lot harder than rounding up wild horses. Continue Reading The Neutral Corner: Using Forensic Neutrals in Trade Secret Disputes

shutterstock_594829253As a special feature of our blog—special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Supreet Singh, a senior consultant at iDiscovery Solutions, Inc. 

It’s hard to believe the first smartphone was released over 20 years ago. At that time, few thought it would become such an integral part of our lives. Additionally, this year marks the 10th anniversary of the iPhone and its introduction altered the world of digital forensics. Smartphones contain a wealth of personal and sensitive information like passwords, security or access codes, account numbers, electronic communications, and much more. But they are more than mere containers of data. Between the operating system, installed applications, and service providers, there’s a wealth of information that can provide dramatic insight into conversations, activities, habits, preferences, and movements of the phone’s user.

There are essentially three places where smartphone related data can be found: on the phone itself, with mobile app providers (e.g. Facebook, Snapchat, or Yelp), and with the service provider (e.g. AT&T or Verizon). Data from all three sources can be very useful in civil lawsuits, criminal cases, or internal investigations, depending on the needs of the case. Continue Reading The Smartphone: A Treasure Trove of Evidence in Trade Secret Cases

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) states very clearly that an injunction issued pursuant thereto may not “prevent a person from entering into an employment relationship,” and that any conditions placed on a former employee’s employment in an injunction must be based on “evidence of threatened misappropriation and not merely on the information the person knows.” (Emphasis added). This language appears to bar injunctive relief under the DTSA based on the “inevitable disclosure doctrine,” which in some states permits a court to enjoin a former employee from working for a competitor—even in the absence of a signed non-compete agreement—if it can be established that the employee would “inevitably” (even if inadvertently) use his or her former employer’s trade secrets on behalf of a new employer. As a result, when the statute was first enacted, many commentators assumed that claims based on the inevitable disclosure doctrine would quickly be shot down. In practice, however, that does not appear to be the case. At the very least, some recent federal court decisions have sown confusion around this issue.

We recently wrote about a federal court’s ruling in the Northern District of Illinois that applied the inevitable disclosure doctrine to a DTSA claim. Despite its non-precedential value, this ruling was significant because it interpreted a federal law to allow the application of a doctrine that has been expressly rejected in several states, including California, Maryland, and Virginia, and, again, appears to be barred by the plain language of the DTSA. That case can perhaps be explained by the fact that it was decided on a motion to dismiss, not a motion for injunctive relief, and thus the DTSA’s apparent prohibition on basing an injunction on inevitable disclosure was not necessarily implicated. The same cannot be said about a decision that was issued just three weeks later by the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in which the Court applied the inevitable disclosure doctrine in the context of a temporary restraining order. The case is Fres-co Systems USA, Inc. v. Hawkins, 2017 WL 2376568 (3rd Cir. June 1, 2017). Continue Reading The Third Circuit Addresses the Defend Trade Secrets Act and Appears to Have Applied the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine

Robert B. Milligan, Seyfarth Partner and Co-Chair of the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group, will be a speaker for the “Effective Use of Non-Compete Agreements by International Employers” webinar presented by Practicing Law Institute (“PLI”) on August 10, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

Multi-national employers often find that the appropriate use of non-compete agreements provides a business advantage in the marketplace. Companies often struggle however in implementing a consistent strategy and approach, particularly with the challenges presented by a mobile workforce and continual changes in applicable law. Please join us for an informative presentation by two leading employment lawyers who specialize in formulating non-compete strategies for multi-national employers.

Robert B. Milligan of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and Yvonne Gallagher of Harbottle & Lewis LLP will cover the following topics:

  • Creating and maintaining a comprehensive non-compete strategy
  • Solutions for addressing the continual changes in applicable law through choice of law, forum, and arbitration provisions
  • Discussion of applicable law in key forums and recent developments in United States and Europe
  • Integrating non-compete strategy with trade secret and confidential information protections

For more information or to register for the event, click here.

shutterstock_314177504Uber’s ongoing battle with Waymo in the Northern District of California federal court over technology used in self-driving cars provided another significant decision concerning the broad scope of trade secret preemption under California state law.

Waymo accused Levandowski (a former employee) of taking more than 14,000 company files before leaving Waymo and starting his own self-driving truck company (which Uber bought for $680 million). Waymo asserted several claims against Uber for misappropriation of trade secrets under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) and the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”). In addition to the trade secret claims, Waymo asserted four claims for patent infringement and one claim for violation of section 17200 of California’s Business and Professions Code. Continue Reading California Federal Court Finds CUTSA Preemption on Unfair Competition Claim in Uber Row

On June 3, 2017, Governor Sandoval signed Assembly Bill 276 into law, amending Nevada Revised Statute 613, which governs non-competition agreements. Notably, the law adds requirements to the enforceability and validity of non-competition agreements, and importantly, now allows courts to “blue-pencil” non-competition agreements, overturning Nevada Supreme Court’s recent decision in Golden Road Motor Inn, Inc. v. Islam.

First, the new law establishes that a non-competition agreement is void and unenforceable unless the agreement satisfies four requirements. The agreement must: (1) be supported by valuable consideration; (2) not impose a restraint greater than what is required to protect the employer; (3) not impose an undue hardship on the employee; and (4) impose restrictions that are appropriate in relation to the valuable consideration supporting the agreement. Continue Reading Nevada Enacts New Non-Compete Law

Robert B. Milligan, Seyfarth Partner and Co-Chair of the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group, will be a panelist for the “Growing Importance of Trade Secrets in Protecting Emerging Technology” webinar presented by ITechLaw’s Intellectual Property Committee on July 11, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern.

With the growth of artificial intelligence and self-driving technology, we are see are a growing reliance by companies on trade secret protection. Robert Milligan will provide for an informative discussion regarding this important topic. Specifically, he will cover:

  • Increasing reliance on trade secrets to protect cutting edge technologies
  • Waymo v. Uber: lessons learned
  • How the new U.S. federal trade secret law helps trade secret owners

For more information or to register for the event, click here or contact Mr. Milligan at rmilligan@seyfarth.com

shutterstock_437170435As a special feature of our blog—special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Charlie Platt, a director at iDiscovery Solutions and a Certified Ethical Hacker. He advises clients on data analytics, digital forensics, and cybersecurity.

These days cybersecurity seems to be all about technology. Pen testing, firewalls, port scanning, SIEM, zero-day, IPS, AES256, SHA, DMZ, NIDS, TLS, SS7 – I’ll stop. I could go on, but you get the idea. And I have a vested interest in keeping your attention.

Acronyms and geek-speak abound, and we are ever on the lookout for the next latest and greatest technical solution to secure our digital assets. Unfortunately, that perfect technical solution doesn’t exist and never will. How can I be so sure? Because no matter how well built, or how well thought out our technical solution may be, humans are involved. When humans are involved, they will be the weakest link, and we can’t (yet) re-engineer humans with a technical solution. Continue Reading Technically Speaking, Cybersecurity Isn’t About Speaking Technically