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

Category Archives: Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

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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

Nosal Update: Nosal Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft

On January 8th, after years of litigation and numerous delays, Executive Recruiter David Nosal was sentenced to one year and a day in federal prison for his April 25, 2013 conviction on three counts under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), two counts under the Economic Espionage Act (“EEA”), and one count of conspiracy to violate the CFAA and … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: The Stakes Just Got Higher – Criminal Prosecution of Trade Secret Misappropriation

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

On Tuesday, December 11, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Seyfarth attorneys Michael D. Wexler, Molly M. Joyce and Justin K. Beyer will present the twelfth and final installment in our 2013 Trade Secrets webinar series, focusing on criminal liability for trade secret misappropriation.

The topics they will cover include… Continue Reading

Trade secret misappropriation: what it is and how does it happen

Computer Fraud And Abuse Act Violated By Bundling Facebook And Other Social Networking Accounts Without Authorization

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Practice & Procedure, Privacy, Social Media

A California federal court recently issued a substantial monetary award in favor of Facebook and permanent injunction against a website that enabled its users to aggregate their data in social networking sites and messaging services.

Summary of the case.  Power Ventures, Inc. (PVI) operates a website called power.com which integrates multiple social networking accounts.  In late 2008, PVI began permitting … Continue Reading

Nosal Update: Court Denies Motion for Acquittal and New Trial in Marathon CFAA and Trade Secret Misappropriation Criminal Case – Part III

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

In Parts I and II of this post, we looked at the Court’s ruling on Nosal’s motion for acquittal and new trial following his conviction of three CFAA counts, two EEA counts and one count of conspiracy. In this final part, we look at what may lie ahead for Nosal and lessons employers may learn from this case.

What’s Next … Continue Reading

Nosal Update: Court Denies Motion for Acquittal and New Trial in Marathon CFAA and Trade Secret Misappropriation Criminal Case – Part II

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

In Part I of this post, we reviewed the Court’s ruling on Nosal’s conviction on the CFAA counts. Here in Part II, we turn to the Court’s ruling on the EEA counts, and the exclusion of evidence regarding Nosal’s non-compete provision.

B.    Nosal’s Conviction on the EEA Counts:

Nosal was convicted of two counts under the EEA for downloading, copying … Continue Reading

Nosal Update: Court Denies Motion for Acquittal and New Trial in Marathon CFAA and Trade Secret Misappropriation Criminal Case – Part I

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft

On April 25, 2013, a federal jury convicted Executive Recruiter David Nosal on three counts under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), two counts under the Economic Espionage Act (“EEA”), and one count of conspiracy to violate the CFAA and EEA, for Nosal’s conduct leaving his former employer and establishing a competing business in 2004 and 2005.

The conviction … Continue Reading

Best Practices and Latest Developments in Trade Secret Law

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

I recently presented on “Hot Topics In Trade Secret Law Across the Nation” at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California.

Here are seven key takeaways regarding best practices and latest developments from the event that you may find useful:

Understanding the Importance of Trade Secret Preemption

Simply put, trade secret preemption or supersession is the concept that the … Continue Reading

Significant Amendments Proposed to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Limit Its Use to Traditional Hacking Scenarios

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

By Robert Milligan and Grace Chuchla

Earlier this year, we blogged on federal legislative efforts to amend the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) following the death of computer activist Aaron Swartz.  These efforts were spearheaded by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who released her discussion draft of proposed amendments to the CFAA on January 15, 2013 on Reddit.  Lofgren’s January … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Federal Court Narrowly Construes Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Holds That Company Cannot Sue Former Employees For Downloading Proprietary Information Absent Showing of Fraud

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Practice & Procedure

By Erik Weibust and Ryan Malloy

You may recall that we previously reported on Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. v. Feldstein, et al., C.A. No. 13-40007, in which Judge Timothy S. Hillman of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts granted a preliminary injunction against three former employees of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) who allegedly stole trade secrets from the plaintiff, without … Continue Reading

Minnesota Federal Court Dismisses Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim Based on Departing Employee’s Downloading of Customer List

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft

By Erik von Zeipel

On June 3, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota granted in part and denied in part a motion for summary judgment filed by defendant former employees in a dispute arising out of the sale of a business to the plaintiff former employer, and the seller’s subsequent starting of a competing business which … Continue Reading

Recent Alleged Cyberattack By Ex-Employee Demonstrates Importance of Employer Diligence On Protecting Network Passwords

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

By Robert Milligan and Grace Chuchla

A recently unsealed criminal complaint out of the Eastern District of New York raises allegations that paint a frightening picture for employers of the havoc that disgruntled ex-employees can wreak on company computer networks.

The prosecution alleges that a former employee of an unnamed company that manufactures high-voltage power supplies in Suffolk County, New … Continue Reading

No Damages? Illinois Federal Court Tosses Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim Alleging Hacking of Law Firm Network

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

An Illinois federal court recently found in the favor of the defendant on a plaintiff’s Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim because the plaintiff allegedly failed to satisfy the statute’s $5,000 damages threshold.

The plaintiff, a computer consulting servicing company which spent time restoring its client’s computer network (a Chicago law firm) after it was allegedly hacked by the plaintiff’s … Continue Reading

Seyfarth Attorneys Lead Trade Secrets and Cybersecurity Program

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

California partners Robert Milligan and Jim McNairy will be presenting at a day long Bridgeport Trade Secret and Cybersecurity Program in Los Angeles on May 17th.

Trade secret litigation and employee mobility cases are the hottest areas of intellectual property and employment litigation. More and more senior level executives and employees are leaving one company to start or join a … Continue Reading