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Trading Secrets A Law Blog on Trade Secrets, Non-Competes, and Computer Fraud

Monthly Archives: December 2012

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Top 10 Developments/Headlines in Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete Law in 2012

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

As part of our annual tradition, here is our list of the top 10 developments/headlines in trade secret, computer fraud, and non-compete law for 2012.

Last year we predicted that in 2012 we would see a significant increase in social media cases and this year did not disappoint.  In fact, we saw several disputes … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Trade Secrets Clarification Act and House of Representatives Considers Enhancing Economic Espionage Act Penalties

Posted in Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Trade Secrets

On December 28, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Trade Secrets Clarification Act to ensure that the Economic Espionage Act will cover trade secret violations for products or services used or “intended for use” in interstate commerce or foreign commerce.

The Senate passed the legislation in November and the House of Representatives approved the legislation earlier this month.… Continue Reading

Tidings of Data Theft and Coal: California Federal Court Holds That Trade Secret Misappropriation Statute Preempts Claim For Misappropriation Of Confidential Non-Trade Secret Data

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Paul Freehling and Jim McNairy

There was only coal delivered for California employers in a recent California federal decision in which the Court refused to permit a plaintiff to proceed on a tort theory for the theft of confidential information.

In a well-researched and articulate opinion, the federal court for the Northern District of California recently dismissed, as … Continue Reading

2012 Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud, and Non-Competes Webinar Series – Year in Review

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

Throughout 2012, Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s dedicated Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group hosted a series of CLE webinars that addressed significant issues facing clients today in this important and ever changing area of law. The series consisted of eight webinars:

1) Employee Privacy, Social Networking at Work, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Standoff; 2) Employee Theft … Continue Reading

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act

Posted in Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan and Jessica Mendelson

The United States House of Representatives approved the Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act today under a suspension of the House Rules, a process intended to expeditiously resolve non-contentious measures. The Act broadens federal law to ensure it addresses the theft of trade secrets related to a product or service used or intended to … Continue Reading

Wisconsin Federal Court Finds That Common Law Claims Are Preempted by the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Daniel Hargis

The case of Illumination Management Solutions, Inc. v. Ruud pending in the Eastern District of Wisconsin exemplifies the continuing lack of certainty on the scope of California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”) preemption when the claims potentially subject to preemption concern information that itself may not qualify as a trade secret but is nevertheless confidential or proprietary.… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Argument in Rival Toy Makers’ Trade Secrets Dispute

Posted in Trade Secrets

Two rival toy makers engrossed in an eight-year battle over the Bratz doll line have once again taken their fight to the Ninth Circuit. This week, a Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, Judge Kim Wardlaw, and Judge Stephen Trott, heard oral argument concerning an award of more than $310 million in damages and attorneys’ fees against … Continue Reading

Big Brother Can’t Ask For Access To Your “Personal” Social Media Accounts Either….More Social Media Legislation Proposed In California

Posted in Data Theft, Legislation, Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan and Jessica Mendelson

Recently, we blogged about the passage of California Assembly Bill 1844 (“AB 1844”), which regulates employers’ ability to demand access to employees’ or prospective hires’ personal social media accounts. Assembly Bill 1844 was codified as section 980 of the California Labor Code. Recently, California State Assemblywoman Nora Campos has proposed an additional bill, AB Continue Reading

$4.38 Million Verdict In Utah Federal Court For Malicious Trade Secrets Misappropriation

Posted in Data Theft, Trade Secrets

A Utah federal judge recently held that a jury’s compensatory damages award of $2.92 million for misappropriating trade secrets was supported by the evidence and was not excessive. Because the jury found by clear and convincing evidence that the misappropriation was willful and malicious, the court added $1.46 in exemplary damages. The total verdict: $4.38 million. Storagecraft Technology Corp. v. … Continue Reading

NBA Sports Agent Slams Non-Compete and Trade Secret Claims and Scores 85K Jury Verdict Against Former Agency For Privacy Violation

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Robert Milligan and Jessica Mendelson

We have previously blogged on the colorful sports agent case of Mintz v. Mark Bartelstein & Associates d/b/a Priority Sports & Entertainment et al., Case No. 12-02554 SVW (SSX), (C.D. Cal.), where Aaron Mintz, a National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) certified player-agent, and his former employer, Priority Sports & Entertainment (“Priority Sports”), clashed in … Continue Reading

2012 California Year in Review Webinar: What You Need to Know About the Recent Developments in Trade Secret, Non-Compete, and Computer Fraud Law

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

On Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. pacific/12:00 p.m. central, Jim McNairy, Jessica Mendelson and Joshua Salinas will present the “2012 California Year in Review,” the final segment in this year’s Trade Secret Webinar Series. 

You can register for this complimentary webinar here.

In Seyfarth’s final installment of its 2012 Trade Secret Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys will review … Continue Reading

Former PhoneDog Employee Off the Hook in Closely Watched Trade Secrets Spat

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Jessica Mendelson and Joshua Salinas

We previously blogged about the case of PhoneDog v. Kravitz, a Northern District of California case that called into question the ownership of Twitter followers on an employee’s professional account following the employee’s departure from the company. After over a year and a half of litigation, the parties have finally reached a settlement … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court Rejects Heightened Specificity Pleading Standard for Breach of Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Claim

Posted in Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Joshua Salinas and Jessica Mendelson

The secret is out, Tic Tacs and bubblegum have the most valuable and desirable real estate in the entire grocery store.

On September 27, 2012, a district court for the Eastern District of New York granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss in a commercial dispute arising out of the … Continue Reading

United States Senate Unanimously Approves the Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act

Posted in Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Trade Secrets

Last week, the United States Senate unanimously approved the Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act (“the TTSCA”). The TTSCA, which was co-authored by Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Senator Herbert Kohl of Wisconsin, was introduced as S.3462 in order to strengthen the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (“the EEA”). To achieve this goal, the TTSCA broadens federal law to … Continue Reading