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

Tag Archives: Computer fraud

Significant Amendments Proposed to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Limit Its Use to Traditional Hacking Scenarios

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Legislation

By Robert Milligan and Grace Chuchla

Earlier this year, we blogged on federal legislative efforts to amend the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) following the death of computer activist Aaron Swartz.  These efforts were spearheaded by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who released her discussion draft of proposed amendments to the CFAA on January 15, 2013 on Reddit.  Lofgren’s January … Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing Aaron Swartz and Potential Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Changes with LXBN TV

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Legislation

Following up on my post discussing the matter, I spoke with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding how legislative changes may soon be coming to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act following the tragic death of entrepreneur and internet activist Aaron Swartz. In the interview, I explain that athough the incident does not present an example of prosecutorial overreach in my … Continue Reading

Another Michigan Federal Court Adopts Narrow Interpretation of Civil Liability Under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Practice & Procedure

A U.S. District Court in Michigan recently granted partial summary judgment in favor of two individuals who were sued by their former employer, Dana Ltd., for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. §1030 et seq. 

The individuals admitted that, prior to their departure from Dana but after accepting employment with a competitor, they accessed and copied numerous … Continue Reading

California Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment For Facebook On Its CAN-SPAM Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, And Penal Code Section 502 Claims Against Social Media Aggregator

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

By Robert Milligan and Jeffrey Oh

For the past three years, social media platform Facebook has pursued legal action against social media aggregator Power Ventures (“Power”) over what it has viewed as a blatant violation of state and federal law. Filed by Facebook in December 2008,  the suit alleges violations by Power of the CAN-SPAM Act in addition to the … Continue Reading

Seyfarth Shaw’s Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete 2011 Year In Review Now Available

Posted in Computer Fraud, Trade Secrets

Dear Clients and Friends,

2011 was a successful year for our Trading Secrets blog. Launched in 2007, the blog has continued to grow in both readership and postings. Content from Trading Secrets has appeared on newsfeeds such as Lexology and iTechLaw, IP.com’s “Securing Innovation” Blog, and Kevin O’Keefe’s “Real Lawyers Have Blogs,” one of the leading sources of information and … Continue Reading

Waiting On Nosal…Combating Data Theft Under The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act In The Ninth Circuit

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

By Robert Milligan and Jeffrey Oh

A recent California federal court decision has permitted an employer to pursue a former employee for alleged violations of the employer’s computer usage policies under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), while an en banc Ninth Circuit panel considers the validity of such claims. The Ninth Circuit’s decision in the United States v. Continue Reading

2011 Trade Secrets Webinar Series – Year in Review

Posted in Computer Fraud, Trade Secrets

Throughout 2011, 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 six webinars: Trade Secrets in the Financial Services Industry, The Anatomy of a Trade Secret Audit, Georgia’s New Non-Compete Statute, Managing … Continue Reading

Department of Justice Takes Pro-Employer Stance On Amendments To Computer Fraud And Abuse Act: Employers Should Continue To Be Able To Hold Employees Liable For Violations Of Computer Usage Policies Under The Act

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

In connection with proposed Congressional amendments to the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), on November 15, 2011, Department of Justice Deputy Chief Richard W. Downing (Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section) emphasized the importance of an expansive CFAA before the House Committee on the Judiciary and came out against attempts by critics of … Continue Reading

Ex-Employee Violated Duty of Loyalty, Breached Non-Compete, and Committed Computer Fraud Act Violation, but New Employer Not Liable for Misappropriation of Non-Trade Secret “Confidential Information”

Posted in Computer Fraud, Trade Secrets

A dental products supply company, DHPI, won partial summary judgment from a Wisconsin federal court against its ex-employee, Ringo, for competing with DHPI both while still an employee and soon after resigning. The most interesting issues in the opinion, however, concern application of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to Ringo’s copying of DHPI’s computer hard drive, and DHPI’s unsuccessful claim … Continue Reading

District Court Holds That Computer Forensic Investigation Costs Satisfy “Loss” Requirement of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

A Colorado federal district court recently held that the computer forensic investigator costs of investigating Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) violations constitute “loss” under the statute. (AssociationVoice, Inc. v. AtHomeNet,Inc.,No. 10-cv-00109-CMA-MEH, 2011 WL 63508 (D.Colo 2011)).  The court echoed the growing trend in circuit and district courts, which permit civil claims under the … Continue Reading

Recent Headlines Underscore Need for Protective Measures

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

A company’s trade secrets may be some of its most important assets.  Recent headlines underscore their importance, and vulnerability: … Continue Reading

Recently, an employee was arrested at the airport and over 1,000 company proprietary documents containing trade secrets were seized that the employee was attempting to transport with her to her new job.

 A national retailer recently was hit with a $21.5 million

He Said He Said, Not Enough to Prove Computer Fraud and Trade Secret Misappropriation

Posted in Computer Fraud, Trade Secrets

By Scott Krol, New York

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently upheld summary judgment holding that a former employee did not violate the Virginia Computer Crimes Act (“VCCA”) when the former company could not prove that they were unaware of employees’ use of company funds. Further, the employee did not violate the Virginia Uniform Trade … Continue Reading

Arizona District Court Issues Decision Limiting Applicability Of Computer Fraud And Abuse Act Claims

Posted in Computer Fraud

A district court in Arizona recently issued a published decision limiting the use of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) by employers who have been the victim of electronic data theft by their former employees. In Shamrock Foods v. Gast, — F.Supp.2d —-, 2008 WL 450556 (D.Ariz.), the district court held that a departing employee’s transmittal of confidential information … Continue Reading

Coldwell Banker Sues Former Executives Who Form Competing Brokerage, Take Staff, Clients, and Trade Secrets

Posted in Computer Fraud, Restrictive Covenants

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage v. D’Ambrosia, No. 08-CV-00166, Complaint (D. Md. Jan. 18, 2008)

On January 18, 2008, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage filed a federal lawsuit in Maryland against three former key employees and newly-formed competitor Car-Tay, Inc., an affiliate of GMAC Real Estate. The complaint alleges that the former employees, two of whom had been high-level executives, conspired to … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Rules that Injunction is Insufficiently Specific in not Defining the “Trade Secrets and Confidential Information Covered

Posted in Computer Fraud, Trade Secrets

In Patriot Homes, Inc. v. Forest River Housing, Inc., No. 06-3012, 2008 WL 90081 (7th Cir. Jan. 10, 2008), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit vacated an injunction entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, ruling that it was insufficiently specific and therefore was not in compliance with Rule 65(d) of the … Continue Reading

Georgia Court of Appeals Affirms Criminal Conviction for Trade Secrets Theft For Taking and Using a Client List

Posted in Computer Fraud, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

The taking and using of customer lists is no longer just a matter for civil proceedings and injunctive relief. On Monday, November 26, 2007, the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed a jury’s criminal conviction of an individual who took and used her former employer’s master client list to solicit customers, who used company computers to plan her new business venture, … Continue Reading