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

Category Archives: Data Theft

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When Is The Possession of International Trade Secrets A Mistake Or Economic Espionage: Contrasting U.S. v. Yeh with U.S. v. Liew

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Espionage, Trade Secrets

The judgments rendered in two recent 2014 federal criminal cases reveal the inherent complexity in prosecuting international trade secret misappropriation claims.

In U.S. v. Liew, Judge White of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California sentenced defendant Walter Liew to 15 years in prison for misappropriating trade secrets from chemical giant DuPont and selling them to … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: Protecting Confidential Information and Client Relationships in the Financial Services Industry

Posted in Data Theft, Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

On Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Seyfarth attorneys Scott Humphrey, Jason Stiehl and Rebecca Woods will present the sixth installment in its series of 2014 Trade Secret Webinars. They will focus on trade secret and client relationship considerations in the banking and finance industry, with a particular focus on a firm’s relationship with its FINRA members.  Topics … Continue Reading

Preliminary Injunction Entered After Texas Federal Court Concludes That Ex-Employee “Inevitably” Will Disclose His Former Employer’s Trade Secrets

Posted in Data Theft, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

An employee entered into non-compete and confidentiality agreements with his employer.  Following his resignation from that company, he went to work for a competitor.  His job functions and territory with both employers were similar.  In a suit for violation of the non-compete and confidentiality agreements, a Texas federal court held recently that — absent an injunction — disclosure to his … Continue Reading

Time to Party Like It’s 1999… Again: Information Technology Returns to Center Stage

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft

By Matthew Hafter

With the Securities and Exchange Commission’s attention again returning to cybersecurity issues, many registrants are recalling the Commission’s intense focus on “Year 2000” issues over a decade ago.

Commissioner Luis Aguilar, in remarks at the SEC’s cybersecurity roundtable held on March 26, 2014, made a special point of discussing the SEC’s growing concerns about cybersecurity and observed … Continue Reading

Webinar Recap! Barbarians at the Gate: Class Action Avoidance and Mitigation for Data Breach

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Trade Secrets

We are pleased to let you know that the webinar “Barbarians at the Gate: Class Action Avoidance and Mitigation for Data Breach” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

In Seyfarth’s third installment of its 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys took a closer look at avoidance and mitigation techniques for data breaches, including where the … Continue Reading

Upcoming Client Webinar: Bring Your Own Device Policies

Posted in Data Theft, Practice & Procedure, Privacy

On Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Laura Maechtlen and Michele Haydel Gehrke will present the webinar Bring Your Own Device Policies.  As employees have widely adopted personal mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, there has been a parallel trend of employers allowing (or requiring) their employees to use their own personal mobile devices at work.  This … Continue Reading

Big Changes May Be Ahead for the Nation’s Trade Secret Laws

Posted in Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

A significant new bill was recently introduced in Congress seeking to add a federal civil cause of action for trade secret theft. 

On Tuesday, April 29, 2014, in a bipartisan effort, Senators Christopher Coons (D-Del) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced the bill.

Senators Coons and Hatch’s bill, … 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

Covert Cellular: Enough Protection for Trade Secrets?

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Espionage, International, Trade Secrets

With the ever-increasing need to maintain communications with customers and your employees, mobile phones have become a requirement for business people. Spanish telecommunications company Geeksphone is targeting the business market with Blackphone, the first mobile phone that encrypts data transmissions. No one would argue against the value of increased wireless data security, but do CIA-style cellular phones really provide enough … Continue Reading

California Attorney General Provides Some Guidance on Cybersecurity

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Privacy

Cross-Posted from The Global Privacy Watch

With all the high-profile cybersecurity breaches that seem to be in the news lately, there is a plethora of “guidance” on cybersecurity. The Attorney General of California has decided to add to this library of guidance with her “Cybersecurity in the Golden State” offering. Cybersecurity is a pretty mature knowledge domain, … Continue Reading

Big Data and IP Business Strategy

Posted in Computer Fraud, Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Privacy, Social Media

As a special feature of our blog –special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals –please enjoy this blog entry about the big data and IP business strategy by technology lawyer and IP strategist Joren De Wachter. Joren serves as a Co Chair with me on the ITechLaw Intellectual Property Law Committee and has an excellent blog of his … 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

“But I’m a Whistleblower!”: Is an Employee Who Takes Confidential Documents Invincible?

Posted in Data Theft, Trade Secrets

By Christopher Robertson

Hypothetical, based upon a real fact pattern: Employee believes she has witnessed improper activities at her employer and begins preparing a qui tam whistleblower complaint alleging False Claims Act violations to file under seal. During the course of preparing the complaint, employee removes highly confidential electronic and original documents from her workplace, copying entire folders of sensitive … 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

Two Former Eli Lilly Scientists Accused of Stealing $55 Million in Trade Secrets on Behalf of Chinese Pharmaceutical Company In Southern District of Indiana Indictment

Posted in Data Theft, Espionage, International, Trade Secrets

In a year in which the United States has brought and prosecuted a series of high-profile criminal cases under the Economic Espionage Act (“EEA”), another one was recently added to the roll call in the Southern District of Indiana, this time against two former high-level scientists with pharmaceutical giant, Eli Lilly. 

On August 14, 2013, a grand jury in the … Continue Reading

Obama Administration Releases Draft Voluntary Cybersecurity Framework for U.S. Business

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Privacy

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released its draft of a voluntary cybersecurity framework last Tuesday that provides a means to better evaluate cyber risk, and prepare better defenses against ever-increasing online attacks. 

NIST’s “Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework”, to be finalized in February 2014 after a period for public comment, originated with Executive Order … Continue Reading

Neglect of Cloud Computing Policies In Workplace Can Provide Perfect Storm for Trade Secret Theft

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Privacy, Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan, Jessica Mendelson, and Joshua Salinas

Prudent employers are often looking for areas in their business where valuable company data  may not be adequately protected.

Enter the growing prevalence of third party online data storage for professional and personal use in the workplace, coupled with the increasing accessibility provided by employers to access company data remotely. … Continue Reading

AMSC/Sinovel Industrial Espionage Thriller Takes a Procedural Detour, Threatening U.S. Criminal Prosecution

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Espionage, International, Trade Secrets

In a story that Hollywood would love to script, the U.S. Government charged Sinovel and its executives with soliciting the then-head of the Automation Engineering Department of AMSC’s Austrian subsidiary, AMSC Windtec GmbH, to steal AMSC’s source code in order that Sinovel might bypass a commercial relationship with AMSC and utilize AMSC’s trade secrets without paying for ongoing software licenses.  … 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

U.S. Senators Propose Legislation To Strengthen Federal Criminal Trade Secret Laws

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, International, Legislation, Trade Secrets

Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) recently proposed a draft discussion bill to amend the federal Economic Espionage Act and enhance criminal trade secret protections.  

The amendments would expand the Economic Espionage Act to expressly cover trade secret misappropriation sponsored by foreign governments and theft taken at their request, provide victims with additional procedures to protect their trade … Continue Reading