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

Tag Archives: data theft

Neglect of Cloud Computing Policies In Workplace Can Provide Perfect Storm for Trade Secret Theft

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Privacy, Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan, Jessica Mendelson, and Joshua Salinas

Prudent employers are often looking for areas in their business where valuable company data  may not be adequately protected.

Enter the growing prevalence of third party online data storage for professional and personal use in the workplace, coupled with the increasing accessibility provided by employers to access company data remotely.

While … Continue Reading

An Employee Is Stealing Company Documents…That Can’t Be Protected Activity, Right?

Posted in Data Theft, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

A supervisor discovers that an employee has recently downloaded thousands of pages of confidential Company billing and financial information, and e-mailed it to her personal e-mail address. Upon further investigation, the supervisor discovers that the employee has asked other employees to also send Company documents to her personal e-mail address. This hypothethical is a scenario faced by employers more often … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Federal Court Narrowly Construes Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Holds That Company Cannot Sue Former Employees For Downloading Proprietary Information Absent Showing of Fraud

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

By Erik Weibust and Ryan Malloy

You may recall that we previously reported on Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. v. Feldstein, et al., C.A. No. 13-40007, in which Judge Timothy S. Hillman of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts granted a preliminary injunction against three former employees of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) who allegedly stole trade secrets from the plaintiff, without … Continue Reading

Employee Data Theft and Corporate Hacking Studies Point to Need for Additional Federal Trade Secrets Legislation

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

By Robert Milligan and Jessica Mendelson

Today is the deadline for public comments requested by the Obama Adminstration on any proposed changes to federal law to combat trade secret theft. 

Some legal commentators have proposed several suggested changes to improve America’s trade secrets laws, including creating a federal civil cause of action for trade secrets misappropriation and clarifying that the … Continue Reading

Protecting Company Information When Employees Bail: California Alternatives to Employee Non-Compete Agreements

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

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

How does a California employer prevent its business from walking out the door along with a departing employee? In most jurisdictions, the employer could have the employees sign a non-compete agreement. Not in California.

One of the notorious employment laws that separates California from other states is its long-standing prohibition of Continue Reading

Arizona Federal Court Issues Significant Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Trade Secret Preemption Decision

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

According to a recent Arizona federal court decision, (a) an employee who had the right to access his employer’s confidential emails did not violate the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030, by downloading 300 such documents to his personal computer and sharing them with a recently terminated employee; (b) an employer may pursue either … Continue Reading

Cybersecurity Act of 2012 Dies Again in the Senate

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

By Misty Blair

You may recall that hopes were high this summer that the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 would become law, as various advocacy groups attempted to reach compromises on the most controversial portions of the bill, resulting in it being revised to address those groups’ concerns. Then, on August 2nd, the Senate voted 52-46 (largely along party lines) againstContinue Reading

Despite Allegations That Something Fishy Was Occurring, Kentucky Federal District Court Rules That Texas Corporate Defendant Was Not Subject To Personal Jurisdiction In Trade Secret Misappropriation Suit

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets


MPI, a Texas company, went to Kentucky and allegedly attempted to hire two Luvata employees, Foster and Meredith. Foster joined MPI soon thereafter. Over the course of the next few months while Meredith remained a Luvata employee, he and Foster allegedly spoke by phone repeatedly. In addition, prior to leaving Luvata for MPI, Meredith allegedly copied his employer’s computer … Continue Reading

Solicitor General Decides Not To File Petition For Review In United States v. Nosal: Circuit Split On Computer Fraud And Abuse Act Remains

Posted in Computer Fraud

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

The Solicitor General indicated yesterday that he will not file a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Nosal.

It was anticipated by some legal commentators that a Supreme Court decision in Nosal may resolve a deepening split between the Circuit Courts regarding the proper interpretation of the … 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 … Continue Reading

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Remains Viable Claim For Employers To Assert Against Employees Who Steal Company Data

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) remains a potent weapon for employers to use against disgruntled employees who steal company data. The Sixth Circuit in U.S. v. Batti, No. 09-2050, 2011 WL 111745 (6th Cir. 2011)recently upheld the criminal conviction of an employee who allegedly accessed, copied, and leaked confidential information that … Continue Reading