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Category Archives: Legislation

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Breaking News: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to Propose Legislation Eliminating Non-Compete Agreements in Certain Industries

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

By Dawn Mertineit and Erik Weibust

The Boston Globe reported this morning that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will propose legislation today that would eliminate non-compete agreements in technology, life sciences, and “other industries,” with his secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Greg Bialecki, stating that the administration “feel[s] like noncompetes are a barrier to innovation in Massachusetts.”  No word just …

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 …

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

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 …

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,

U.S. Counsels Cross-Border Consistency In Criminal Consequences For Trade Secret Theft

Posted in International, Legislation, Trade Secrets

What do the laws of the United States, Peru and Australia have in common when it comes to imposing similar riminal penalties for trade secret misappropriation?  Virtually nothing!

In the U.S., criminal penalties for misappropriating trade secrets range from 10 to 15 years.  In Peru, the maximum criminal sentence for stealing trade secrets is 2 years.  And in Australia, there …

Texas Changes Law To Strengthen The Ability Of Companies To Protect Their Information

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

Until recently, Texas common law governed misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuits in Texas. That changed when he 2013 Texas legislature adopted a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”). The new act is known as the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUTSA”). New York and Massachusetts are now the only two states to not adopt some form or variation …

California Legislature Passes Bill To Extend Social Media Privacy Laws To Public Employers

Posted in Legislation, Privacy, Social Media, Trade Secrets

Big Brother can’t ask for access to your “personal” social media accounts in the public hiring and employment setting except in certain narrow circumstances if Governor Jerry Brown signs a new social media privacy bill recently passed by the California legislature.

The California Senate passed a bill to extend California’s social media privacy law to public employers last week.

The …

Is Massachusetts Inching Closer to California? Governor Deval Patrick Issues Public Support for the “Outright Elimination” of Non-Compete Agreements

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

We attended a hearing today before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development regarding the pending non-compete legislation on which we have previously posted

Among others who testified about the issue was Governor Deval Patrick’s Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Gregory Bialecki. 

Mr. Bialecki finally acknowledged publicly what the Patrick Administration has been dancing around …

Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act Now Applicable

Posted in Legislation, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

Texas recently adopted a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”).  The new act will be known as the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUTSA”).  New York and Massachusetts are now the only two states to not adopt some form or variation of the UTSA.         

The TUTSA takes effect during the Labor Day weekend on September 1, 2013.  However, …

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 …

Georgia Court Rules That Non-Compete Does Not Bind Seller’s Agents

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability

Summary.  Marguerite and her two daughters were the members and managers of an LLC.  On behalf of the LLC, Marguerite negotiated and executed a contract to sell its assets to N&N Holdings.  The contract contained a covenant providing that “neither Seller nor its agents” would compete with, or solicit customers or employees of, the buyer during specified periods in a …

Massachusetts Non-Compete Legislative Update

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

On July 23, 2013, the Boston Bar Association hosted its 5th Annual Symposium on Employee Non-Compete Agreements, Trade Secrets, and Job Creation.  

Speakers at the well-attended event included Senator William N. Brownsberger and Representative Lori A. Ehrlich, co-sponsors of a compromise non-compete bill that is working its way through the state legislature, along with Jennifer Lawrence, General Counsel of …

Connecticut Governor Vetoes Noncompete Statute Passed By Legislature

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability

We previously reported on H.B. 6658, which was introduced earlier this year in the Connecticut House of Representatives. On the last day of the legislative session, the Connecticut legislature enacted a substantially watered-down version of the bill as Public Act No. 13-309, the full text of which can be found here. In yet another twist, however, last Friday Governor …

Connecticut Legislature Passes Non-Compete Legislation

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants

We previously reported on H.B. 6658, which was introduced earlier this year in the Connecticut House of Representatives.  The Connecticut Legislature passed the legislation on the last day of the legislative session.  The final text of the Act, which was enacted as Public Act No. 13-309 and will go into effect on October 1, 2013 assuming the Act is signed …

Representative Zoe Lofgren Introduces Bill to Create Private Civil Claim for Trade Secrets Theft Under the Economic Espionage Act

Posted in Espionage, Legislation, Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

Representative Zoe Lofgren (D- CA) has been very active in the technology and innovation legislation space of late. Last week, Representative Lofgren and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) formally introduced companion bills, nicknamed “Aaron’s Law,” in the House and Senate seeking to amend the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Almost unnoticed was the fact …

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 …

Federal Legislation Proposed To Combat Cyber-Espionage

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation

Cybersecurity has become a growing concern in the United States.  Legislation impacting this topic covers a variety of fields, including national security and defense, trade and international relations, intellectual property, and even privacy and civil liberties.  As technology is constantly changing, so too are the types of restrictions in place.

A group of prominent American Senators recently introduced the Deter

Video Interview: Discussing Social Media Password Laws with LXBN TV

Posted in Legislation, Practice & Procedure, Privacy, Social Media

Following up on my recent posts on lawmakers working to implement social media password laws in Oregon, Washington and Vermont, I had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN. In the brief interview, I explain that the laws are very similar to what we’ve seen elsewhere in the country and, like those, that there are loopholes employers …

Illinois Passes Social Media Legislation To Regulate Flash Mobs

Posted in Legislation, Social Media

Think flash mobs are innocent fun?  Well if you’re in Illinois, proceed with caution.  The Illinois legislature recently passed a bill which provides tougher punishments for people whose social media posts result in flash mobs.  The bill was recently signed into law by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

The new law is intended to reduce violent events in Chicago, particularly the …

Upcoming Complimentary Webinar: Trade Secret and Non-Compete Legislative Update

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

In Seyfarth’s sixth installment in its series of 2013 Trade Secret Webinars, on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. Central Time, Seyfarth attorneys Bob Stevens, Erik Weibust and Dan Hart will discuss the significant statutory changes to several jurisdictions’ laws regarding trade secrets and restrictive covenants and pending legislation proposed in additional jurisdictions over the past year.  As trade …

Washington State Passes Social Networking Privacy Legislation

Posted in Legislation, Practice & Procedure, Privacy, Social Media

On May 21, 2013, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Senate Bill 5211, which with certain exceptions prohibits mandatory employee disclosure of ‘personal’ social-networking account information and profiles. The revised bill passed the Washington house and senate unanimously, and will go into effect on July 28, 2013. Washington thus became the ninth state to pass such legislation, which …