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

Category Archives: Trade Secrets

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Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine Held Inapplicable To Failed Business Transaction

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

An Illinois appellate court recently rejected applying the inevitable disclosure doctrine in a trade secret misappropriation spat arising out of a failed business transaction.

After first securing an executed confidentiality agreement, Destiny, the developer of a proprietary healthcare wellness program called “Vitality,” shared details of it with Cigna, a healthcare insurer.  The insurer decided instead to create a wellness product … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: So You Want an Injunction in a Non-Compete or Trade Secret Case?

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

On Thursday, September 24 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Seyfarth attorneys Eric Barton, Justin K. Beyer and Robert C. Stevens will present the seventh installment in its series of 2015 Trade Secret Webinars. Presenters will focus on the issues confronting plaintiffs in preparing for and prosecuting trade secret cases and the various ins and outs of seeking both temporary restraining orders … Continue Reading

Latest Update on Federal Trade Secrets Legislation

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

With increased activity regarding proposed federal trade secrets legislation expected next month and for the remainder of the fall Congressional session, Seyfarth Shaw’s dedicated Trade Secrets/Non-Compete group has created a resource which summarizes the proposed legislation, outlines the arguments in favor of and against the legislation, and provides additional resources for our readers’ convenience. This page will be continuously updated … Continue Reading

Inside Views: The Intersection Of Trade Secret Law And Social Media Privacy Legislation

Posted in Social Media, Trade Secrets

Eric Barton authored the following article on August 20, 2015 in Intellectual Property Watch summarizing several recent cases addressing trade secret claims involving social media issues, as well as providing some suggested takeaways for employers based on the limited information presently available.

There is no question that social media privacy issues now permeate the workplace. In an attempt to provide … Continue Reading

Webinar Recap! State Specific Non-Compete Oddities Employers Should Be Aware Of

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

We are pleased to announce the webinar “State Specific Non-Compete Oddities Employers Should Be Aware Of ” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

In Seyfarth’s sixth installment, attorneys Michael Baniak and Paul Freehling discussed the significant statutory changes to several jurisdictions’ laws regarding trade secrets and restrictive covenants and pending legislation proposed in additional jurisdictions over … Continue Reading

Effective Carve-Outs to Seek Injunctive Relief from the Court in Arbitration Provisions

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

Christopher Pike: “That’s a technicality.”

Spock: “I am a [lawyer], sir. We embrace technicalities.”

Star Trek Into Darkness

Arbitration is no longer the final frontier. Instead, arbitration is often the first and only forum for resolving disputes. The business community has embraced arbitration as an alternative method of dispute resolution, but sophisticated parties still maintain a preference favoring court resolution … Continue Reading

Employer’s Action for Misappropriation of Trade Secrets Against Former In-House Counsel Who Engaged in Competitive Activities Not Subject to Anti-SLAPP Motion

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

There are indeed limits to the reach of the anti-SLAPP statute, particularly in the trade secret context.  In West Hills Research and Development, Inc. v. Terrence M. Wyles, a California appellate court ruled that engaging in activity to set up a competing business is not protected activity under the anti-SLAPP statute.

Summary of the Case

West Hills, a medical … Continue Reading

Recent Developments on Copyright Preemption of Trade Secret Claims in the Fifth Circuit

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

For the latest on the copyright preemption doctrine (codified at 17 U.S.C. § 301(a)) look no further than the Fifth Circuit, which, together with its district courts, issued a string of recent decisions regarding the preemption of trade secret claims involving software.  Most recently, the Fifth Circuit found that preemption extends to all fixed original works of authorship, even those … Continue Reading

Trading Secrets Readers: Cast Your Vote in the ABA’s 100 Best Legal Blogs Competition!

Posted in Trade Secrets

Voting is open for the American Bar Association’s annual 100 Best Legal Blogs competition. You helped us get named to the list in 2013, and we hope you will cast your vote today to help Seyfarth’s Trading Secrets blog get on the ABA’s list for 2015.

Trading Secrets is a resource for employers and legal professionals that provides timely legal … Continue Reading

Trade Secret Protection: What are Reasonable Steps?

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

As a special feature of our blog –special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals –please enjoy this blog entry by Pamela Passman, President and CEO for the Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade (CREATe.org)

-Robert Milligan, Editor of Trading Secrets

By Pamela Passman

Regional and national laws are increasingly focusing on the specific steps that companies … Continue Reading

U.S. Congress To Again Consider Private Right of Action for Trade Secret Misappropriation

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

On July 29, 2015, with bipartisan support, congressional leaders in both the House and Senate, including Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Representative Doug Collins (R-GA), introduced a bill to create a federal private right of action for the misappropriation of trade secrets.  The proposed legislation, titled the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015” (“DTSA”), follows a failed attempt … Continue Reading

Robert B. Milligan to Speak at 2015 ABA Annual Meeting on Trade Secret and Non-Compete Developments

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

Join Seyfarth Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Co-Chair Robert B. Milligan at the 2015 ABA-IPL Annual Meeting in Chicago on July 30, 2015.  Robert will join expert panelists to discuss significant statutory changes to several jurisdictions’ laws regarding restrictive covenants and pending legislation proposed in additional jurisdictions over the past year, as well as the ongoing effort to federalize trade secret … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: State Specific Non-Compete Oddities Employers Should Be Aware Of

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

On Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Kate Perrelli, Eddy Salcedo and Dawn Mertineit will present the sixth installment in our 2015 Trade Secrets Webinar Series. They 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 secrets and … Continue Reading

Sales Of $8,000 Stemming From Trade Secret Misappropriation Results In Liability For $1.3 Million

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

At a time when an ex-employee’s newly created company was subject to an injunction prohibiting misappropriation of his former employer’s supposed trade secret, the new company allegedly used that confidential information on a few occasions in the course of providing services.  The former employer sued.  Although the trial court found no violation of the injunction, that ruling was reversed on … Continue Reading

50 State Non-Compete and Trade Secret Desktop Reference

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

Seyfarth Offers 2015-2016 Edition of 50 State Desktop Reference: What Employers Need To Know About Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Law

There is no denying that there exists a variety of statutes and case law across the country when it comes to non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, as well as the protection of proprietary information. All too often, what is enforceable in … Continue Reading

State Bar of California Webinar on “Hot Topics in Trade Secret Law”

Posted in Trade Secrets

Webinar: Hot Topics in Trade Secret Law Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. PT

Presented by the Trade Secrets Interest Group of The Intellectual Property Law Section of The State Bar of California

Robert B. Milligan, partner of Seyfarth’s Litigation department and co-chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes practice group, is a panelist … Continue Reading

Hawaii Bans Non-Compete and Non-Solicit Agreements with Technology Workers

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

Hawaii joined the small list of states that prohibit certain non-compete agreements with employees.

On June 26, 2015, Hawaii’s governor David Ige signed Act 158 which voids any “noncompete clause or a nonsolicit clause in any employment contract relating to an employee of a technology business.”

The Act defines “technology business” as one that “derives the majority of its gross … Continue Reading

Webinar Recap! How and Why California is Different When it Comes to Trade Secrets and Non-Competes

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

We are pleased to announce the webinar “How and Why California is Different When it Comes to Trade Secrets and Non-Competes ” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

In Seyfarth’s fifth installment of its 2015 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys focused on recent legal developments in California trade secret and non-compete law and how it … 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

How a Trade Secret Could Have Saved a Running Royalty From a Nearly Invincible Law

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

In Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, LLC, just handed down June 22, 2015, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the 50 year old holding  of  Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U. S. 29 (1964), that patent royalties cannot extend beyond the expiration of the patent. So why is this case being discussed in a blog directed to trade secrets? Because the Court also … Continue Reading

New Jersey Supreme Court Confirms Aspiring Whistleblowers Can’t Help Themselves to Confidential Documents

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

By Robert T. Szyba and Jade Wallace

In a pivotal decision with broad implications for aspiring New Jersey whistleblowers, yesterday the New Jersey Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Division’s finding that no qualified privilege exists to protect an employee from criminal prosecution for taking confidential documents from her employer under the guise of gathering evidence for an employment lawsuit.

In … Continue Reading

Unsecured Networks More Susceptible to Data Theft

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Trade Secrets

Over the past few years, users have become increasingly aware of the inherent dangers of connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Unfortunately, existing security vulnerabilities in the underlying network hardware may still open a user’s computer to security issues.

Recently, Wired reported that security firm Cylance discovered a vulnerability in a specific brand of network routers deployed throughout many hotel chains … 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

Non-Compete That Grants An Employer The Right To Seek Injunctive Relief No Guarantee That Injunction Will Issue

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

A trial court declined to enter a preliminary injunction in a non-compete covenant case despite a provision in the covenant giving the employer the “right to seek injunctive relief in addition to any other remedy available to it.” The decision was affirmed on appeal.

Summary of the case. A 20% owner of a pest control service company (referred to by … Continue Reading