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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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Appellate Court Holds That Non-Compete Agreement Assigned Pursuant to Bankruptcy Court Order is Enforceable by Assignee

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

Courts are divided on the enforceability by an assignee of a non-compete covenant relating to personal services where the covenant does not state whether it is assignable and the employee does not consent to the assignment.

Status of the case.  A non-compete agreement signed by an employee of TSG, Inc., purported to be effective for two years after his termination … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: 2014 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 Trade Secrets

On Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan and Daniel Hart will present the first installment of the 2015 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 secrets and data theft, non-compete enforceability, computer fraud, as well as … Continue Reading

Federal Circuit Reverses Lower Court’s Ruling That Plaintiff’s Trade Secret Misappropriation And Conspiracy Claims Were Untimely And Unprovable

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

The Federal Circuit recently held that the dismissal of a trade secrets complaint for failure to state a justiciable claim was not warranted merely because the misconduct allegedly involved a number of wrongdoers and began many years before the complaint was filed.

Overview of the case. ABB alleged that, during a several decade period, some of its former employees engaged … Continue Reading

Top 10 Developments/Headlines in Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete Law in 2014

Posted in Computer Fraud, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

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 2014. Please join us for our complimentary webinar on January 27, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. e.s.t., where we will discuss them in greater detail. As with all of our other webinars (including the … Continue Reading

Seyfarth Attorneys Present At 2014 American Intellectual Property Association Trade Secret Summit

Posted in Trade Secrets

On December 4th and 5th, nearly 100 trade secret, non-compete, and economic espionage practitioners convened at the Intel Global Headquarters in Santa Clara, California for the annual American Intellectual Property Law Association Trade Secret Law Summit.  Two Seyfarth attorneys, Erik Weibust and Daniel Hart, presented a paper co-authored with Andrew Masak and Robyn Marsh, titled “Lawyer Mobility and Trade Secrets … Continue Reading

2014 Trade Secrets Webinar Series Year in Review

Posted in Computer Fraud, Cybersecurity, Data Theft, International, Non-Compete Enforceability, Social Media, Trade Secrets

Throughout 2014, 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 10 webinars:… Continue Reading

2013 National Year in Review: What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete,

Arizona Supreme Court Holds that UTSA Does Not Preempt Common Law Claims for Misuse of Confidential Information That Is Not a Trade Secret

Posted in Trade Secrets

The nineteenth century English jurist Lord Ellenborough once observed that “it is difficult to struggle with the common law.”  Kerr v. Willan, 171 Eng. Rep 570 (K.B. 1817).  Nearly two centuries later, struggling with the common law is still a formidable task – especially in cases involving claims of trade secrets misappropriation under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”).… Continue Reading

USPTO To Host Trade Secret Symposium

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host its first Trade Secret Symposium on Thursday, January 8, 2015, at USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The symposium will provide an opportunity for members of the public to hear from representatives of academia, government, legal practice and industry on important trade secret issues facing innovators today.

The panels … Continue Reading

Webinar Recap! Protecting Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property in Business Transactions

Posted in Trade Secrets

We are pleased to announce the webinar “Protecting Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property in Business Transactions” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

In Seyfarth’s ninth installment of its 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys focused on considerations involving protecting trade secrets and intellectual property in business transactions, including, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other … Continue Reading

Court Thwarts Employer’s Effort To Block Vested Profit-Sharing Plan Participant from Obtaining Employment with a Competitor

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

Other than to protect good will or trade secrets, a non-compete provision intended to prevent a former employee from acquiring an interest in, or becoming an officer or director of, a competitor of the ex-employer may not be enforceable.

Summary of the case:  A stand-alone agreement executed by employee-participants vested in their employer’s profit-sharing plan contained an unusual non-compete provision.  … Continue Reading

California Court Extends Protections To “Silent Whistleblowers”

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

Employers, although contractually free to terminate the employment of at-will employees for any reason, at any time, cannot dismiss an employee in violation of public policy. A prime California public policy is that employers cannot retaliate against whistleblowers—individuals who have reported suspected unlawful employer conduct. In January 2014, the Legislature expanded the general whistleblowing statute, Labor Code section 1102.5, to … Continue Reading

Has the Patent Fee Shifting Analysis of Octane Fitness Influenced Fee Shifting in Trade Secret Cases?

Posted in Trade Secrets

In TNS Media Research, LLC v. TiVo Research & Analytics, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155914 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 4, 2014), the Southern District of New York applied the Supreme Court’s recent Octane Fitness decision in awarding attorney fees to patent defendant Kantar.  Octane Fitness v. ICON Health & Fitness 134 S. Ct. 1749 (2014); http://www.seyfarth.com/publications/OMM050114-IP

The district court also … Continue Reading

Seyfarth Team Co-Edits and Co-Authors Prominent New Trade Secret Protection and Litigation in California Treatise

Posted in Trade Secrets

A Seyfarth team just finished co-editing and co-authoring a prominent new California trade secret treatise that is now available for purchase.

Los Angeles trade secrets partner Robert Milligan co-edited and co-authored a chapter in the recently released Third Edition of Trade Secret Protection and Litigation in California, a treatise published by the Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of … Continue Reading

Proposed New Rules on Trade Secrets in Europe – the European Commission Proposal on the Protection of Know-How

Posted in International, Trade Secrets

As a special feature of our blog –special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals –please enjoy this blog entry by Bartosz Sujecki, an attorney from Bavelaar Advocaten in the Netherlands, on the European Commission’s proposed Directive to provide harmonized trade secret protections in Europe.

-Robert Milligan, Editor of Trading Secrets

By Bartosz Sujecki

The protection of trade secrets … Continue Reading

French Court Rules That A Confidentiality Clause Does Not Require Any Financial Compensation to Be Lawful

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

As many readers will know, non-compete clauses in employment contracts are only valid in France if, among other conditions, an employee receives a financial consideration of 40 to 60% salary depending on the sector and the role for the duration of the restriction. But do confidentiality clauses need to be subject to the same treatment?

The recently published decision of … Continue Reading

Seyfarth Attorneys to Present Paper on Trade Secrets and Lawyer Mobility at AIPLA Trade Secret Summit

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

At some point in his or her legal education, every law student discovers one of the more strikingly unique rules about the profession that he or she aspires to enter.  Unlike laws governing physicians, accountants, engineers, and virtually all other professions, rules governing the practice of law impose a nearly absolute prohibition on lawyer non-compete agreements.  At the same time, … Continue Reading

Don’t Come to a Trade Secret Fight with a Patent Law Defense

Posted in Trade Secrets

In what is at heart a trade secret misappropriation case, some Patent Law periodically materializes, like the smile of the Cheshire Cat.

This concept was evidenced by a recent case out of Texas.  Bianco, M.D. v. Globus Medical, Inc., 2:12 CV 147 (E.D. TX 10/27/14).

Dr. Bianco had an idea for a continuously adjustable spinal implant, which would fit between … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: Protecting Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property in Business Transactions

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

On Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Central, in the final installment of our 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Michael Baniak, Joseph Lanser and Randy Bruchmiller will focus on considerations involving protecting trade secrets and intellectual property in business transactions, including, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other collaborative arrangements.

Summary of topics:… Continue Reading

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Seyfarth Attorneys Facilitate Discussion On Cybersecurity and Protecting Valuable Trade Secrets at the 39th Annual Intellectual Property Institute Conference

Posted in Cybersecurity, Practice & Procedure, Privacy, Trade Secrets

Seyfarth Intellectual Property, Trade Secret and Privacy attorneys are participating in the 39th Annual Intellectual Property Institute Conference in Garden Grove, California this week.

The IP Institute brings together preeminent speakers from leading companies and law firms to share tips “from the trenches.” The Institute covers a great array of topics affecting our clients, such as trademarks, copyrights, licensing, litigation, … Continue Reading

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

Posted in 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 eighth installment of its 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys focused on recent legal developments in California trade secret and non-compete law and how it is … Continue Reading

Non-Compete And Non-Solicitation Covenants Contained In Bovine Artificial Insemination Employment Agreements Held Unenforceable

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

Several ex-employees now may compete with their former employer, and may solicit its employees and customers, after a federal judge in the Eastern District of Washington held that the restrictive provisions in their employment agreements are unenforceable. 

The agreements, drafted by the former employer, contained a choice-of-law provision which the former employer tried unsuccessfully to invalidate.  The court also held … Continue Reading

Please Join Us for an In-Person Seyfarth Shaw Briefing: Trade Secret Protection Best Practices

Posted in Data Theft, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

Who Should Attend:  In-house counsel, IT professionals, HR professionals, Privacy professionals, corporate executives, risk managers, and directors.

When & Where: This program will be held at three different locations.

November 13th at Seyfarth Shaw’s San Francisco Office (lunch and registration will begin at 11:30 a.m., program will begin at noon and go until 1:30 p.m.).

November 18th at Seyfarth Shaw’s … Continue Reading

Customer Non-Solicitation Covenant Runs From Date Employment With Asset Seller Terminated, Not From Later Date Employment With Asset Purchaser Ended

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

An employee executed an employment agreement which included a two-year covenant not to solicit the employer’s customers.  When the employer sold the company’s assets, the sale included that agreement.  The employee then went to work for the assets purchaser but subsequently resigned.  The Texas Appellate Court held that the two-year period began to run on the date the assets seller … Continue Reading

“Bridgegate” Triggers Proposed Expansion of New Jersey Whistleblower Protections

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

By Ada W. Dolph, Robert T. Syzba and Jade Wallace

In an effort to preempt another “Bridgegate” scandal, New Jersey State Senator Loretta Weinberg has sponsored a bill to extend whistleblower protection to employees who disclose incidents of wasted public funds, governmental abuse, or gross mismanagement. On October 9, 2014, the New Jersey Senate’s Labor Committee approved Bill S-768, which, … Continue Reading