Header graphic for print
Trading Secrets A Law Blog on Trade Secrets, Non-Competes, and Computer Fraud

Category Archives: Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Subscribe to Computer Fraud and Abuse Act RSS Feed

Federal Court Rejects Employer’s Trade Secret and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claims

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Trade Secrets

An ex-employee’s former employer sued him for alleged violations of the Kansas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (KUTSA) and the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).  The first claim was based on the company’s hunch that he had misappropriated trade secrets and thereby breached his non-disclosure agreement.  Two forensic experts were paid $38,000 to examine the computers and flash drives … Continue Reading

Recent Decision Highlights Important Pleading Requirements for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claims

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Trade Secrets

Ever since Iqbal and Twombly, it has become imperative that a complaint filed in federal court contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’”  Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 570 (2007)).  The Eastern District of Michigan recently … Continue Reading

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Not Violated Unless Plaintiff Shows Defendant Had Intent To Defraud

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

In a recent Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s conclusion that the plaintiff had produced no evidence refuting the defendant’s contention that it honestly believed it was engaging in lawful business practices rather than intentionally deceiving or defrauding the plaintiff.  Accordingly, entry of judgment for the defendant was appropriate.  Fidlar Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Poised to Address the “Without Authorization” Debate under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Again

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Background

Imagine if you could manage all of your social media platforms on one app.  Believe it or not, there was an app for that (or, at least a website), created by a company named Power Ventures (“Power”).  Back in 2008, Power instituted its “Power 100” campaign, which offered its users the chance to win $100 if they invited 100 … Continue Reading

Top 10 Developments/Headlines in Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete Law in 2015

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

Continuing our tradition of presenting annually our thoughts concerning the top 10 developments/headlines this past year in trade secret, computer fraud, and non-compete law, here—in no particular order—is our listing for 2015 and a few predictions for 2016.  Please join us for our first webinar of the New Year on January 29, 2016 discussing these developments/headlines.

1) Enactment of federal … Continue Reading

Webinar Recap! Social Media Privacy Legislation Update

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Privacy, Social Media, Trade Secrets

We are pleased to announce the webinar “Social Media Privacy Legislation Update” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

In Seyfarth’s eighth installment in its series of Trade Secrets Webinars, Seyfarth social media attorneys discussed their recently released Social Media Privacy Legislation Desktop Reference and addressed the relationship between trade secrets, social media, and privacy legislation.

As … Continue Reading

Nosal Update: Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Arguments on Password Sharing and Scope of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft

On October 20, 2015, a Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Chief Judge Sidney Thomas and Judges M. Margaret McKeown and Stephen Reinhardt heard oral argument from the U.S. Department of Justice and counsel for David Nosal on Nosal’s criminal conviction arising under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).   In 2013, Nosal was found to have violated the CFAA by … Continue Reading

Michigan Federal Court Rejects As Dicta Sixth Circuit’s Broad Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Interpretation

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Data Theft

While employee Lehman was employed by Experian and allegedly subject to various employment covenants, he incorporated Thorium, a competitor.  After Experian laid him off, he operated Thorium.  Experian sued Lehman and Thorium in a Michigan federal court, accusing them of wrongdoing including violations of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  Holding that the CFAA is intended to criminalize hacking … Continue Reading

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Trade Secret Disputes and Employment Risks Answered

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Espionage, International

In today’s post, we have answered some of the most frequent and significant questions that we are asked about trade secret disputes and employment risks.

 Could you provide a brief snapshot of current trends in trade secret disputes? Do companies need to be more aware of the potential risks in this area?

Milligan: Data theft of valuable company trade secrets … Continue Reading

California Federal Courts Reiterate: Unless Computer Hacked, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Permits Misuse Of Electronic Information

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Data Theft

In United States v. Nosal, 676 F.3d 854 (9th Cir. 2012) (en banc), the court held that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, prohibits unlawful access to a computer but not unauthorized use of computerized information.  Although that holding represents a minority position, two recent opinions — one in a Ninth Circuit criminal case and one … Continue Reading

Corporate Espionage: Not Your Typical Sports-“Gate”

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Espionage, Trade Secrets

Generally when one refers to “competitors” in the context of protecting trade secrets, it is in regard to business competitors, not competing sports teams.  And usually when the talking heads on sports radio and television are discussing legal issues, they relate to domestic violence or other crimes, concussions, illicit and performance enhancing drugs, or labor disputes (sometimes even … Continue Reading

CFAA and SCA Do Not Prohibit Creation Of A Fake Facebook Page

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Social Media, Trade Secrets

The defendants in a case pending in Chicago federal court were accused of contravening Facebook’s terms of use by accessing its computers in order to create a phony page and then using it to ridicule someone. In Bittman v. Fox, Case No. 14 C 8191 (N.D.Ill., June 1, 2015) (Holderman, J.), the court held that those allegations do not state … Continue Reading

Satisfying the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s Jurisdictional Requirements Can Be Complicated

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Data Theft

The parties in a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case moved for partial summary judgment. Among the issues were whether the plaintiff had incurred the requisite $5,000 in qualifying losses, and whether the complaint was time-barred. The motions were denied, but the court had to do a lot of explaining. Quantlab Technologies Ltd. v. Godlevsky, Case No. 4:09-CV-4039 (S.D.Tex., … Continue Reading

Seyfarth Shaw is Pleased to Announce the Publication of the Trading Secrets 2014 Year in Review!

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

The 2014 Year in Review is a compilation of our significant blog posts from throughout last year and is categorized by specific topics such as: Trade Secrets Legislation; Trade Secrets; Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; Non-Compete & Restrictive Covenants; Legislation; International; and Social Media and Privacy. As demonstrated by specific blog entries, including our Top 10 Developments/Headlines and Trade Secrets, … Continue Reading

Tips for Avoiding Liability for Trade Secret Misappropriation Concerning the Hiring and Departure of Employees

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Social Media, Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

As companies face increasing competitive and financial pressures, management is understandably consumed with running the day-to-day operations of the business and working to achieve business objectives and maximize the bottom line. As a result, it is not uncommon for companies to find themselves in situations where important assets are overlooked or taken for granted. … Continue Reading

Louisiana District Court Extends Pro-Employer Interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s “Authorized Access” Provisions to Impose Civil Liability on Former Employee

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

A worker’s authorized access of an employer’s computer system during the course of his employment, in which he acquired information that he later misused, gives rise to civil liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFFA), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana held April 3 (Associated Pump & Supply Co., LLC v. Dupre).… Continue Reading

Third Circuit Signals Pro-Defendant Interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s “Authorized Access” Provisions

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Espionage

On April 11th, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the conviction and 41-month prison sentence of a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) defendant, holding that he was tried and convicted in an improper venue.  U.S. v. Auernheimer, No. 13-1816 (3rd Cir. Apr. 11, 2014).  Though we usually do not post on procedural issues like these, we certainly post … Continue Reading

Webinar Recap! National Year in Review of Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete, and Computer Fraud Law

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Non-Compete Enforceability, Social Media, Trade Secrets

By Michael Wexler, James McNairy and Joshua Salinas

We are pleased to let you know that the webinar “2013 National Year in Review: What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete and Computer Fraud Law” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

In Seyfarth’s first installment of its 2014 Trade Secrets … Continue Reading

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claims in the First Circuit – Will the Narrow Approach Prevail?

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

The scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1030, remains unsettled in the First Circuit after two decisions issued just weeks apart adopted differing approaches to the treatment of such claims.

The CFAA prohibits the intentional access of a computer without authorization or exceeding a party’s authorization to obtain information from a protected computer.  As … Continue Reading

Courts Disagree on Meaning of “Interruption of Service” When Determining Loss Under the Computer Fraud And Abuse Act

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

District courts are divided as to whether there is a private right of action under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) for persons whose computer service is not interrupted but who nevertheless incur costs (a) responding to a CFAA offense, (b) conducting a damage assessment, or (c) restoring computerized data or programs as they were prior to the offense. … Continue Reading

Trading Secrets – 2013 Year in Review

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, International, Legislation, Social Media, Trade Secrets

Seyfarth Shaw is pleased to announce the publication of the Trading Secrets 2013 Year in Review. The 2013 Review is a compilation of our significant blog posts from 2013 and is categorized by specific topics such as: Trade Secrets; Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; Non-Competes and Restrictive Covenants; Legislation; International and Social Media. As the specific blog entries, including … Continue Reading

Top 10 Developments/Headlines in Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete Law in 2013

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

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

As part of our annual tradition, we are pleased to present our discussion of the top 10 developments/headlines in trade secret, computer fraud, and non-compete law for 2013. Please join us for our complimentary webinar on March 6, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. P.S.T., where we will discuss them in greater detail. As with all Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: 2013 National Year in Review — What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete and Computer Fraud Law

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Espionage, International, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Social Media, Trade Secrets

On Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Michael Wexler, Jim McNairy and Josh Salinas will present Seyfarth’s first installment of its 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar series. They will review noteworthy cases and other legal developments from across the nation this past year in the areas of trade secret and data theft, non-compete enforceability, computer fraud, and the interplay … Continue Reading

2013 Trade Secrets Webinar Series – Year in Review

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

Throughout 2013, 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 twelve webinars:

1. 2012 National Year in Review: What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Continue Reading