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

Category Archives: Unfair Competition

Subscribe to Unfair Competition RSS Feed

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

A New and Potentially Powerful Weapon Against Foreign Counterfeiters and Pirates

Posted in International, Unfair Competition

Counterfeiting and piracy is estimated to cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars every year.  According to the Business Software Alliance, if the U.S. could reduce piracy by 10 percent in two years, it would add $52 billion in GDP, $8 billion in tax revenue, and create more than 25,000 new jobs. California alone is losing an estimated …

California Court Tosses Idea Theft Suit Over LOST Television Show Out to Sea

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Michael Baniak and Puya Partow-Navid

Arthur Quiller-Couch formulated seven basic plots for a conflict.  Following his formula, every movie and television show can be narrowed down to one of seven basic plots.  Although the number of plots may be limited, there are inifinite ways to tell a story.  In a town like Hollywood, where everyone seems to have a …

Growing California Trade Secret Preemption Doctrine May Thwart Efforts To Combat Employee Data Theft

Posted in Data Theft, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Robert B. Milligan, Jessica Mendelson, and Daniel Joshua Salinas

Company information that is sensitive, but may not rise to the level of a trade secret is protectable in California, isn’t it?

Not necessarily. Some recent California decisions have significantly limited an employer’s ability to pursue certain claims and remedies based upon the theft of mere confidential or proprietary information …

California Federal Court Dismisses California Employee’s Challenge Of His Non-Compete Agreement Based Upon Enforceable Forum Selection Provision

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

By Robert Milligan and Grace Chuchla

California federal courts have again said it loud and clear — when analyzing whether or not the enforcement of a forum selection clause within a non-competition agreement is contrary to California public policy, the court will not consider the substantive effects of enforcing the clause.  In a recent case out of the Northern District, …

Fashion Company Launches Breach of Confidentiality/Unfair Competition Suit Against Former Employee

Posted in Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

Now that the Tory Burch lawsuit has settled, it looks like we’ve got ourselves another preppy clothing dispute on our hands!  Last week, J. Crew sued one of its former employees, a senior design director named Dwight Fenton, for allegedly stealing confidential information in New York state court.  Fenton had recently resigned from the company to take a position at …

Recent California Supreme Court Decision Stokes Debate Over Scope of Trade Secret Preemption

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

Cases defining the scope of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act’s (“CUTSA”) preemptive effect have grown in recent years.  Preemption (or “supersession” as the California Supreme Court prefers), increasingly is used by litigants to seek dismissal of non-trade secret causes of action pleaded alongside trade secret claims and which allegedly fall within the scope of CUTSA.  This has been particularly …

2012 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, Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

In Seyfarth’s first installment of its 2013 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan, and Joshua Salinas 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, and company owned social media accounts and social media policies, as well …

2012 Year in Review On Significant Trade Secret, Non-Compete, and Computer Fraud Cases, Legislation, and Developments Now Available

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

We are pleased to announce the publication of the Trading Secrets Blog 2012 Year in Review.

The 2012 Review is a compilation of our significant blog posts from 2012 and is categorized by specific topics: Trade Secrets; Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; Non-Competes and Restrictive Covenants; and Legislation.

As the specific blog entries, including our Top 10 Developments/Headlines in

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

Posted in Data Theft, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

Illinois and Federal laws have evolved significantly in recent years and as a result employers now have many tools available to protect themselves. Understanding these tools, as well as the impact of legal changes in this area, is necessary if a company intends on protecting its most valuable assets (i.e. trade secrets, IP and employees).

Please join us for an …

Top 10 Developments/Headlines in Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete Law in 2012

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

As part of our annual tradition, here is our list of the top 10 developments/headlines in trade secret, computer fraud, and non-compete law for 2012.

Last year we predicted that in 2012 we would see a significant increase in social media cases and this year did not disappoint.  In fact, we saw several disputes …

2012 Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud, and Non-Competes Webinar Series – Year in Review

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

Throughout 2012, 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 eight webinars:

1) Employee Privacy, Social Networking at Work, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Standoff;
2) Employee Theft …

NBA Sports Agent Slams Non-Compete and Trade Secret Claims and Scores 85K Jury Verdict Against Former Agency For Privacy Violation

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Robert Milligan and Jessica Mendelson

We have previously blogged on the colorful sports agent case of Mintz v. Mark Bartelstein & Associates d/b/a Priority Sports & Entertainment et al., Case No. 12-02554 SVW (SSX), (C.D. Cal.), where Aaron Mintz, a National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) certified player-agent, and his former employer, Priority Sports & Entertainment (“Priority Sports”), clashed in …

New York Federal Court Rejects Heightened Specificity Pleading Standard for Breach of Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Claim

Posted in Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Joshua Salinas and Jessica Mendelson

The secret is out, Tic Tacs and bubblegum have the most valuable and desirable real estate in the entire grocery store.

On September 27, 2012, a district court for the Eastern District of New York granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss in a commercial dispute arising out of the …

California Federal Court Finds Arbitration Agreement’s Exclusion of Injunctive Relief for Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition Claims Is Not Unconscionable

Posted in Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Joshua Salinas and Grace Chuchla

The fight over an employer’s attempt to enforce arbitration agreements in the face of wage and hour class action claims is a common one in the world of labor and employment law. In fact, this is the very question that a federal district court for the Eastern District of California recently considered in Steele,

Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Trade Secret Misappropriation Alleged In “Preppy Clothing Dispute” Involving Fashion Designer Tory Burch

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

A high profile trade secret dispute among the board members of one of the fashion world’s most well-known companies has the American fashion elite taking sides. Last month, Christopher Burch filed a breach-of-contract and tortious interference complaint against his ex-wife, fashion mogul Tory Burch, in Delaware Chancery Court. In response, Tory filed counterclaims in early November, in which she accused …

Illinois Supreme Court Affirms Liability Against Former Employer For Unlawful Investigation Methods Used By Private Investigators In Non-Competition Investigation Into Activities By Ex-Sales Agent

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

By Marcus Mintz

Recognizing the trend across Illinois appellate courts in recent years, the Illinois Supreme Court joined the “vast majority of other jurisdictions” in recognizing the tort of intrusion upon seclusion – a claim against one who intentionally intrudes upon another’s privacy if such intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person. In Lawlor v. North American Corporation

Mobile Game Rivals Clash In California Trade Secret and Unfair Competition Suit

Posted in Data Theft, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

The litigation between Kixeye and Zynga, two rivals in the mobile gaming market, has heated up over the past week.

Last month, we wrote about the alleged removal of dozens of files and emails by former Zynga app-maker, Alan Patmore. Last Thursday, apparently based upon information learned in discovery, Zynga upped the stakes, naming Kixeye in the First Amended Complaint

Royalties Awarded for Theft of Skycam Trade Secrets

Posted in Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Joshua Salinas and Jessica Mendelson

Think that patents, trademarks, and copyrights are the only intellectual property where reasonable royalties are available? Think again! On September 27, 2012, a district court for the Northern District of Oklahoma found “exceptional circumstances” existed to award a royalty injunction for the misappropriation of trade secrets.  Skycam, LLC v. Bennett, No. 09-CV-294-GKF-FHM, 2012 WL

Sports Agent Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Dispute Heats Up in California

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By Robert Milligan and Jessica Mendelson

With the NBA basketball season almost upon us, a high profile legal battle between an aspiring NBA sports agent and his former agency continues to heat up in Los Angeles federal court. The case involves some interesting non-compete, trade secret, and privacy issues.

In April 2012, we first alerted you to the colorful case …

Complimentary Breakfast Briefing Offered In Orange County and Los Angeles On Trade Secret Protection Best Practices In the Hiring and Departure of Employees

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

Please join Seyfarth Shaw on October 25, 2012 in Costa Mesa, California and on November 1, 2012 at our downtown office in Los Angeles, California for an informative breakfast briefing on best practices when dealing with newly hired or departing employees and the incumbent trade secret and information protection issues.

In today’s highly mobile and competitive world, employees frequently move …

The Trade Secret Is In the Swirl Cupcake: Bakery Sues To Protect Its Signature Icing Topping

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

By James Yu

Apparently it’s not just the sweet, delicious taste of Magnolia Bakery cupcakes that had people lining up in droves for a box or three since it opened its first store in Greenwich Village, New York over 15 years ago.

According to a Complaint filed on September 20, 2012 by Magnolia, entitled Magnolia Intellectual Property, LLC v. Buba …

“Click Fraud” Allegations Found Insufficient Under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, But Personal Jurisdiction Found Where Defendant Company’s Website Deliberately Targeted Consumers Within the Forum State

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Unfair Competition

By Joshua Salinas and Jessica Mendelson

A federal district court for the Northern District of California recently held in a “competitor click fraud” case that a mere assertion of a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim without sufficient factual details regarding any inside or outside “hacking” is insufficient to establish subject matter jurisdiction over the action. (…

Summary of the 2012 IP and the Internet Conference Presented by the State Bar of California

Posted in Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

On September 14, 2012, the State Bar of California Intellectual Property Section presented its 2012 IP and the Internet Conference. The conference featured high level experts from companies such as Twitter, Yahoo!, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Salseforce.com, True Religion Brand Jeans, and Autodesk, who covered emerging issues and hot topics in intellectual property and Internet law. Below are a few highlights …