Header graphic for print
Trading Secrets A Law Blog on Trade Secrets, Non-Competes, and Computer Fraud

Category Archives: Trade Secrets

Subscribe to Trade Secrets RSS Feed

U.S. Treasury Department Suggests That Non-Compete Reform is Necessary

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

The U.S. Department of Treasury recently released a study on the effect of non-compete agreements, taking a hard line with respect to their social and economic benefits and purported harms.  Specifically, while the authors of the study acknowledge that in some cases non-compete agreements can promote innovation, they ultimately conclude that the potential harm of misuse by employers outweighs those … Continue Reading

What Does the Passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act Mean for Your Business?

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

Congress passed federal trade secrets legislation today. On April 4, 2016, the Senate passed S. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”). Soon after, on April 20, 2016, the House Committee approved S. 1890 by voice vote. Today, the House passed the DTSA. President Obama has voiced his support for the DTSA, which indicatesthat he will sign … Continue Reading

House Vote Live Tweet Update

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

The House is set to vote on the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”) in a matter of hours. Per the House schedule today, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. Eastern for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. Eastern for legislative business. First votes are expected around 2:30-3:30 p.m. Eastern and last votes expected are expected around 4:45-5:45 p.m. … Continue Reading

Live Tweet of House Vote on the Defend Trade Secrets Act Tomorrow

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

On April 4, 2016, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed S. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”).  On April 20, 2016, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Senate’s amended version of the bill, which will now be voted on the House floor tomorrow, April 27. The President has indicated that he will sign the DTSA.

We will be … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: Restrictive Covenants and the NLRB: Can They Peacefully Coexist?

Posted in Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

Recent National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) law in the area of employee handbooks and policies brings new challenges for employers as to how they can best protect their trade secrets and enforce restrictive covenants in their employment agreements without running afoul of the National Labor Relations Act.

On Tuesday, May 10 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Seyfarth attorneys Gary Glaser, James … Continue Reading

House Judiciary Committee Passes Senate’s Version of the Defend Trade Secrets Act

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

On April 4, 2016, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed S. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”).  Soon after, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) released a statement in which he applauded the Senate’s passage of the bill, noting that “trade secrets are an increasingly important form of intellectual property that have become more vulnerable to theft … Continue Reading

California Court Gives Two Thumbs Down and Voids Non-Compete in Actor’s Agreement

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

Seyfarth Synopsis: Limitation on an actor’s ability to work in certain films struck down as an unlawful restraint of trade. 

California, mecca of the film and media production industries in the U.S., is notorious for outlawing non-compete agreements. It is one of the few states that generally prohibits the unlawful restraint of one’s profession or business, with limited exceptions. (See … Continue Reading

Breaking News: European Parliament Approves Trade Secrets Directive

Posted in International, Legislation, Trade Secrets

Earlier today (by a vote of 503 to 131 with 18 abstentions), the European Parliament approved the text of a proposed Directive for the protection of trade secrets in the European Union.  Once approved by the European Council (which is typically a formality), the Directive will be binding on all EU member states and will require member states to … Continue Reading

European Parliament Debates Proposed Trade Secrets Directive

Posted in International, Legislation, Trade Secrets

As we have previously reported in this blog, this week marks a milestone in ongoing attempts in the European Union to overhaul the existing regulatory framework for the protection of trade secrets.  Earlier today, members of the European Parliament debated the compromise text of the proposed Directive to protect trade secrets.  A full recording of the debate can be found … Continue Reading

Hidden Details: Thoughts on Trade Secrets From the UK

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

As a special feature of our blog—special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Jeremy Morton, an English solicitor who advises in the areas of intellectual property and data protection law. 

As reported recently by Seyfarth Shaw’s lawyers in this very blog, on 13 April the European Parliament will vote on the EU Commission’s … Continue Reading

Webinar Recap! New Year, New Progress: 2016 Update on Defend Trade Secrets Act & EU Directive

Posted in Trade Secrets

We are pleased to announce the webinar “New Year, New Progress: 2016 Update on Defend Trade Secrets Act & EU Directive” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

In Seyfarth’s third installment of its 2016 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys Robert Milligan, Justin Beyer and Daniel Hart, provided attendees with a thorough discussion of the fundamentals … Continue Reading

You Can’t Put Lipstick On This Pig: Beauty Company’s Non-Compete Deemed Unenforceable

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

On March 25, 2016, a Massachusetts Superior Court judge struck down skin care salon Elizabeth Grady Face First, Inc.’s (“Elizabeth Grady” or the “Company”) attempt to make its non-compete agreement seem prettier than it actually is.  In denying Elizabeth Grady’s motion for a preliminary injunction, the court stressed that employees’ conventional job knowledge and skills, without more, will not constitute … Continue Reading

U.S. Senate Passes Bill Creating A Civil Cause of Action in Federal Court for Trade Secret Misappropriation

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

The U.S. Senate passed on a unanimous 87-0 vote the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 late Monday.

The bill will create a civil cause of action in federal court for trade secret misappropriation and provide remedies that are not available in state court trade secret actions.

Like patents, trademarks, and copyrights, trade secret owners may seek redress for intellectual … Continue Reading

Leave No E-mail Unturned in Trade Secret and Non-Compete Cases

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

A recent verdict in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia is an excellent reminder of the importance of conducting thorough discovery in unfair competition cases.  Earlier this year, after a four day trial, a Georgia jury awarded telecom company Cost Management Group (“CMG”) $282,001 in damages, $300,000 in attorneys’ fees, and $200,000 in punitive damages, finding that CMG’s former … Continue Reading

Senate Judiciary Committee Issues Report in Support of Defend Trade Secrets Act

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently released Senate Report 114-220 regarding the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”). A background on and recent developments of the DTSA are discussed more fully on our blog.

The Judiciary’s most recent report, authored by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), recommended that the recently amended version of S. 1890 pass.

The Report was separated into … Continue Reading

Extensive Training Of Ex-Employee By Former Employer Not Enough For Injunction Against Competition

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

Although an employer spent many hours assisting an employee to obtain a real estate appraiser’s license, the Tennessee Court of Appeals held recently that the employee’s restrictive covenants were unenforceable.  Davis v. Johnstone Group, Inc., No. W2015-01884-COA-R3-CV (Mar. 9, 2016).

Summary of the case.  The ex-employee, Davis, had no prior real estate appraisal experience in 1998 when he started … Continue Reading

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

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

On Thursday, April 14 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Seyfarth attorneys, Scott Humphrey, Marcus Mintz and Kristine Argentine will present the fourth installment of the 2016 Trade Secrets Webinar series. This program 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.

The Seyfarth … Continue Reading

Ex-Employee Hit With Six-Figure Judgment For Violating His Non-Competition Agreement By Helping His Son Compete

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

A long-running non-compete clause dispute has reached the Louisiana Court of Appeal three times.  Last month, the court affirmed a $600,000 judgment, plus attorneys’ fees and costs, against an ex-employee who assisted his son’s start-up company compete with his father’s former employer.  Pattridge v. Starks, No. 50,351-CA (Louisiana Court of Appeal, Feb. 24, 2016) (Endurall III).

Summary of the … Continue Reading

Webinar Recap! Data Security & Trade Secret Protection for Lawyers

Posted in Data Theft, Trade Secrets

We are pleased to announce the webinar “Data Security & Trade Secret Protection for Lawyers” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

In the second installment, Seyfarth attorneys, Richard D. Lutkus and James S. Yu, was joined by Joseph Martinez, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Forensics at Innovative Discovery. This program covered considerations that … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Legislature Takes Up Noncompete Reform . . . Again

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

Another year, another attempt at noncompete reform in Massachusetts.  According to the Boston Globe, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced that lawmakers would unveil a bill limiting the use of noncompete agreements in the Commonwealth.  As we have previously reported, legislators have been attempting to enact noncompete reforms in Massachusetts for years (since at least 2008), to … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: New Year, New Progress: 2016 Update on Defend Trade Secrets Act & EU Directive on Trade Secrets

Posted in Trade Secrets

There’s no doubt that protection of trade secrets is a major concern for most businesses operating in today’s global economy. To address the threat to the trade secrets of US businesses, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Christopher Coons (D-DE) introduced the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016” (“DTSA”) in the United States Senate, while Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced a … Continue Reading

Federal Court Rejects Employer’s Trade Secret and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claims

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Trade Secrets

An ex-employee’s former employer sued him for alleged violations of the Kansas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (KUTSA) and the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).  The first claim was based on the company’s hunch that he had misappropriated trade secrets and thereby breached his non-disclosure agreement.  Two forensic experts were paid $38,000 to examine the computers and flash drives … Continue Reading

Seyfarth Shaw Attorney To Moderate Upcoming ABA Webinar on Trade Secret Protection Best Practices

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

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 moderator on an upcoming webinar presented by The American Bar Association’s IP Law section. The webinar, titled “Trade Secret Protection Best Practices: Hiring Competitors’ Employees and Protecting the Company When Competitors Hire Yours”, will take place on … Continue Reading

Recent Decision Highlights Important Pleading Requirements for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claims

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

Ever since Iqbal and Twombly, it has become imperative that a complaint filed in federal court contains “sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’”  Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 554, 570 (2007)).  The Eastern District of Michigan recently … Continue Reading