In a post-script to the SEC’s April 1 cease and desist order penalizing KBR, Inc. for a confidentiality statement that failed to carve out protected federal whistleblower complaints (our alert on it here), SEC Office of the Whistleblower Chief Sean McKessy today made additional comments that suggest public companies as well as private companies that … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
On March 29, 2012, the Seventh Circuit upheld summary judgment in favor of a defendant on plaintiff’s claims for trade secrets misappropriation and unjust enrichment, holding that plaintiff failed to take any measures, let alone reasonable measures, to protect its alleged trade secrets during joint marketing negotiations with defendant. Fail-Safe LLC v. A.O. Smith Corp., No. 11-1354 (7th Cir. Mar. … Continue Reading
By Jason Stiehl
Often one of the most confidential aspects of a business is its pricing mechanism and the quotes that it provides its customers. It is for this reason that the general rule governing trade secret law is that a company’s non-published pricing is a trade secret. See generally PepsiCo, Inc. v. Redmond, 54 F.3d 1262, 1270 (7th Cir. 1995). What … Continue Reading
We live in a world where global markets are falling all around us; where competition is keener than ever, and where a company’s confidential business information, or "trade secrets," may provide it with its only critical edge over competitors. As a result, it is more important than ever to protect such … Continue Reading
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
One of the nation’s large home builders recently filed suit against a former executive in federal court in Albuquerque, New Mexico for alleged misuse of the company’s trade secrets related to a highly confidential internal strategic plan.
Pulte Home Corporation filed suit against former executive Lynn Galindo, a former area vice president based out of Las Vegas, Nevada, in the … Continue Reading
A federal court in the Southern District of California recently burst the bubble on a plaintiff’s suit alleging that the defendant, the alleged creator of a novelty chewing gum product, had stolen the plaintiff’s idea for a NASCAR-themed bubble “chew” by granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.
The decision provides a reminder to companies that provide confidential and trade … Continue Reading
After granting summary judgment for plaintiff in late November 2007, Judge Susan Illston of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently awarded plaintiff $6.6 million in damages, the majority of which related to future lost profits due to breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets. Although the motion for summary judgment was uncontested, the court’s … Continue Reading
Trujillo v. Great Southern Equipment Sales, LLC, No. A08A0245, 2008 WL 269606 (Ga. Ct. App. Feb. 1, 2008).
Reviewing the “Confidentiality and Restrictive Covenant Agreement” signed by Sarah Alexandra Trujillo while employed by Great Southern Equipment Sales, LLC, the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed the part of the trial court’s judgment that enjoined Ms. Trujillo from competing with Great Southern … Continue Reading
National Elevator Cab & Door Corp. v. H & B, Inc., 2008 WL 207843 (E.D.N.Y.) No. 07 CV 1562
United States Magistrate Judge Levy recently denied a motion for reconsideration after he granted the plaintiff National Elevator Cab & Door Corp.’s motion for a preliminary injunction against defendant H & B, Inc. The litigation stems from the failed acquisition … Continue Reading
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
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
Innovative Technologies Corp. v. Kenton Trace Technologies LLC et al., case number 03-cv-3674
Innovative Technologies Corp. (ITC) has won nearly $23 million in a trade secret suit against three former employees who competed against ITC while still employed by the Ohio-based defense contractor. The state jury awarded $17 million in punitive damages, in addition to $5.7 million in compensatory damages. … Continue Reading
A recent ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware serves as a reminder that, in addition to civil liability, an ex-employee stealing his or her former employer’s trade secrets can face jail time and a fine. On November 6, 2007, former DuPont employee Gary Min was sentenced to 18 months in prison and two years of … Continue Reading
New lawsuit filed in Utah accuses a former research scientist employed by a nutritional supplement company of stealing trade secrets, customers, and employees when forming a rival vegan supplement company.
Systemic Formulas, Inc. claims that its former research director, Daeyoon Kim, is using Systemic’s trade secrets and proprietary information as the basis for its formula in the rival vegan supplement … Continue Reading
An Illinois Appellate Court recently affirmed a preliminary injunction granted to a medical products manufacturer against its former employee, enforcing 24-months’ non-competition and non-solicitation agreements. The non-competition agreement barred the defendant-employee from competing with the plaintiff with respect to all products and territory assigned to the defendant during his final 18 months of employment. The non-solicitation agreement prohibited the defendant … Continue Reading