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

Category Archives: Practice & Procedure

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Breakfast Briefing: Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets — Trade Secrets, IP and Your Employees

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Privacy, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

Significant recent developments in Illinois and other states, as well as Congress, have changed the landscape of trade secret and restrictive covenant enforcement and protection. Understanding the impact of these changes, and the tools now available to employers for trade secret and restrictive covenant enforcement and protection, will help a company safeguard its most valuable assets and maintain its competitive …

Randy Bruchmiller Discussing the Finer Points of the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

The Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act was signed into law in 2013 and applies to any misappropriation of trade secrets occurring on or after September 1, 2013.  Texas trial and appellate courts will be interpreting these new provisions of Texas law as new trade secrets cases work their way through the legal system.  Randy Bruchmiller weighs in on a couple …

Jury’s $920 Million Trade Secret Misappropriation Verdict Vacated

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

In a stunning per curiam ruling, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last week vacated a judgment of nearly $1 billion, and a 20-year non-compete injunction, entered by an Eastern District of Virginia judge in favor of the DuPont Company.  The appellate tribunal held that the lower court committed prejudicial error by granting DuPont’s pre-trial motion in limine to bar …

Recent Decision Affirms Significant Protections for Confidential Information in United Kingdom

Posted in International, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

By Ming Henderson and Razia Begum

With the increasing number of disputes and client queries regarding confidential information in the United Kingdom, the recent case of Personnel Hygiene Services Ltd & ors v. Rentokil Initial UK Ltd , EWCA Civ 29, 29 January 2014, serves as a useful reminder of the extensive protection of confidential information. 

The Court of Appeal, …

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,

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…

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

Top Five Trends in Georgia Restrictive Covenants Law Three Years After Constitutional Amendment

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

By Bob Stevens and Dan Hart.

Three years ago last week, Georgia voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that substantially altered Georgia’s public policy on restrictive covenants.

Prior to enactment of the amendment, Georgia’s public policy was actively hostile to restrictive covenants in employment agreements — so much so that a provision of the state constitution enshrined the state’s …

When does LinkedIn Activity Violate Non-Solicitation Agreements?

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

LinkedIn is the biggest professional networking site in the world.  It has more than 225 million users in more than 200 countries and territories.  Approximately 75 million users are in the United States.  Many of those users have signed non-solicitation agreements with their employers prohibiting them from soliciting the employers’ customers and workers.  Unfortunately, many of those non-solicitation agreements are …

13 Scary Years Ago Court Issued Death Sentences In Horrid Dispute Over Vampire Fangs.

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure

Once upon a midnight dreary, in the annus horribilis of 2000, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado issued its terrifying decision in what is the seminal artificial vampire fangs case entitled Nutting v. RAM Southwest, Inc., 106 F. Supp. 2d 1121 (D. Col. July 10, 2000).

 The plaintiff in this chilling tale, Mr. Nutting, was the …

Upcoming Webinar: My Company’s Confidential Information is Posted on the Internet! What Can I Do?

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

On Thursday, November 21, 2013, at 12:00 p.m. Central, Chicago Seyfarth attorneys  Paul Freehling, Scott Humphrey, and Jeffrey Swatzell will present the eleventh installment in our 2013 Trade Secrets webinar series. This webinar will involve a discussion about steps and responses companies can take when their confidential information and/or trade secrets appear, or are threatened to appear, on the internet.…

Federal Appellate Court Finds Motion To Enjoin Disclosure Of Confidential Information Should Not Be Denied Merely Because The Same Information Could Have Been Acquired Lawfully

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, reversing a trial court’s refusal to enter an order enjoining disclosure of confidential information, recently held that the lower court erred when it (a) ruled that the moving party must satisfy all six trade secret balancing test factors, (b) rejected a party’s request for an evidentiary hearing with respect to …

Illinois Supreme Court Won’t Take Up Non-Compete Case, Adequate Consideration Questions Remain

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure

Once a stalwart of adequate consideration in exchange for a restrictive covenant, new employment, remains in flux after the Fifield v. Premier case was not taken up by the Illinois Supreme Court recently. 

Fifield, decided in the summer of 2013 by the First District Appellate Court, held that in order for employment to be adequate consideration for a non-compete, employment …

Virginia Supreme Court Rules Enforceability of Non-Competes Cannot Be Determined in a Factual Vacuum

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure

A recent Supreme Court of Virginia decision will make it more difficult to challenge non-compete restrictions through early pleading challenges.

In Assurance Data, Inc. v. Malyevac, the Supreme Court of Virginia reversed the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, which sustained a demurrer, and, in doing so, determined the enforceability of certain restraints on competition contained in an employment agreement on …

Judgment on Willful And Malicious Trade Secret Claim Is Not Dischargeable In Bankruptcy

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

Bankruptcy is intended to provide a fresh start and discharge outstanding debt.  But some debt is not dischargeable in bankruptcy.  A Virginia bankruptcy court held last week that a judgment against the debtor for intentional trade secret misappropriation is not dischargeable.

Summary of the case.  La Bella Dona Skin Care, Inc. obtained a $207,000 judgment in a Virginia state court …

Federal Court Rules Trade Secret Misappropriation Sufficiently Alleged Based on Improper Acquisition, Even in Absence of Use or Disclosure

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia recently denied a motion to dismiss a counterclaim for violation of Virginia’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“VUTSA”), holding that the counterclaim sufficiently alleged trade secret misappropriation based on improper acquisition of a trade secret, even in the absence of allegations of use or disclosure.

Factual allegations:

Plaintiff Jacqueline …

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 …

How Do I Get a TRO Against a Former Employee If Arbitration in FINRA Is Mandatory?

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

By Nicholas De Baun

Occasionally, you may need emergency relief against a former employee who has absconded with a client list, your confidential information, and the clients themselves. If you are very unlucky, you may need to get a TRO against his new employer as well. If you, the former employee, and the new employer are all required to arbitrate …

Federal Appellate Court Lacks Jurisdiction To Hear Appeal of Expired Non-Compete Preliminary Injunction

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

The Eleventh Circuit recently dismissed an appeal of a preliminary injunction order on the grounds that the appeal was moot because the injunction had expired.

Summary of the case.  Leedom Management, a credit card processing company serving automobile dealers, sued a former employee and charged her with violating covenants not to (a) compete with Leedom, (b) solicit its clients, and …

Upcoming Webinar: Trade Secrets in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

On October 29, 2013, at 12:00 p.m. Central, Chicago Seyfarth attorneys Shashank Upadhye, Scott Schaefers, and Justin Beyer will present the tenth installment in our 2013 Trade Secrets webinar series, focusing on trade secrets in the pharmaceutical industry.

The topics they will cover include:…

Defining and understanding trade secrets in the pharmaceutical market, including the “hidden” trade secrets involved in

First Circuit Holds that Solicitation is Barred by Non-Compete Agreement Regardless of Who Initiates Contact

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

In Corporate Technologies, Inc. v. Harnett, et al., U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit recently upheld the issuance of a preliminary injunction barring a former employee (Harnett) from doing business with his former employer’s (CTI) customers, even if the customers initiated the contact. 

CTI had employed Harnett as an account executive/salesman for nearly a decade, and required that …

Fourth Circuit Holds That Facebook “Like” Is Protected by the First Amendment

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Social Media

Remember that Facebook photo of a friend’s vacation that you “liked” a couple of days ago?  Well, congratulations, you’ve just exercised your constitutional right to free speech!  This week, in an intensely followed case in the Fourth Circuit, the court held that “liking” something on Facebook is “a form of speech protected by the First Amendment.”

In Bland v. Roberts

District Court of New Jersey Continues Growing National Trend Permitting Employers to View “Publicly” Available Social Media Posts

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Privacy, Social Media

Following a growing recent national trend, Judge Martini of the District Court of New Jersey issued summary judgment to Defendants Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (“MONOC”) and two of its senior management employees on August 20, 2013, in a claim brought by a former nurse and EMT, Deborah Ehling, who accused MONOC of retaliation and other claims. 

Ehling’s claims, in part, …