As the social media landscape continues to evolve rapidly, Trading Secrets is committed to keeping pace with this evolution in order to provide the most value for our readers. Regular blog contributors Erik Weibust and Dawn Mertineit, both attorneys in Seyfarth’s Trade Secrets Practice, serve as the Trading Secrets “social media directors” and will be actively monitoring the social … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
Social media clearly has numerous uses and benefits, as hundreds of millions of users worldwide can attest. From connecting with a long lost friend, to marketing a new product or service, to organizing a high school reunion or even an uprising in the Middle East, social media has become a ubiquitous part of our lives. But its rapid proliferation comes … Continue Reading
A California federal court recently issued a substantial monetary award in favor of Facebook and permanent injunction against a website that enabled its users to aggregate their data in social networking sites and messaging services.
Summary of the case. Power Ventures, Inc. (PVI) operates a website called power.com which integrates multiple social networking accounts. In late 2008, PVI began permitting … Continue Reading
Remember that Facebook photo of a friend’s vacation that you “liked” a couple of days ago? Well, congratulations, you’ve just exercised your constitutional right to free speech! This week, in an intensely followed case in the Fourth Circuit, the court held that “liking” something on Facebook is “a form of speech protected by the First Amendment.”
Following a growing recent national trend, Judge Martini of the District Court of New Jersey issued summary judgment to Defendants Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (“MONOC”) and two of its senior management employees on August 20, 2013, in a claim brought by a former nurse and EMT, Deborah Ehling, who accused MONOC of retaliation and other claims.
Ehling’s claims, in part, … Continue Reading
Litigants ought to think twice before deleting their Facebook profiles. Just this month, a New Jersey federal judge issued sanctions against a litigant in a personal injury case for deleting his Facebook profile after agreeing to grant defense counsel access to the profile.
Did you think Facebook was just for “likes” and “status” updates? Think again! A federal district court in New York recently tackled the issue of service of process via social media head on, permitting service via Facebook as a backup means of service for serving foreign defendants.
In Seyfarth’s third installment of its 2013 Trade Secrets Webinar series, on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at 12:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, Seyfarth attorneys Gary Glaser, Scott Schaefers, and Jessica Mendelson will address the relationship between trade secrets and social media. The Seyfarth panel will specifically address the following topics:… Continue Reading
What’s are “Trade Secrets” and Best Practices to Protect Against
On January 22, 2013, United States Magistrate Judge Steven Shreder of the Eastern District of Oklahoma issued a report and recommendation, following Plaintiff Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.’s motion for preliminary injunction against its former employee Todd Cahill, concerning whether certain social media communications constituted impermissible employee solicitations in violation of a restrictive covenant agreement. Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. v. Cahill… Continue Reading
A hair salon’s motion for entry of a preliminary injunction against a stylist was denied even though she had signed non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements with the salon, and immediately after leaving her prior employment she was employed by a nearby competitor, a fact noted on her Facebook page. Invidia LLC v Difonzo, Case No. MICV20123798H (Middlesex [Mass.] County … Continue Reading
On September 27, 2012, California Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills, AB 1844 and SB 1349, into law, making California the third state in the country – Maryland and Illinois are the others – to regulate employers’ ability to demand access to employees’ or prospective hires’ personal social media accounts. Appropriately enough, … Continue Reading
On September 12, 2012, California Assembly Bill 1844 was enrolled and presented to Governor Brown. This bill is the counterpart to the Social Media Privacy Act (SB 1349), which was approved by the California State Senate in August 2012. AB 1844 is the work of Assemblywoman Nora Campos (D-San Jose), and seeks to prohibit … Continue Reading
On August 9, 2012, a district court for the Western District of Michigan dismissed counterclaims of tortious interference with a business expectancy and conversion brought after the removal of a company’s Facebook page and the alleged loss of its more than 19,000 “fans.” (Lown Companies LLC v. Piggy Paint LLC, No. 11-cv–911 (W.D. Mich., Aug. 9, 2012)) . … Continue Reading
On August 1, 2012, Illinois became the second state in the nation to adopt a law prohibiting employers from seeking employee or prospective employee passwords to access their non-public portions of their social networking sites.
The Illinois’ law, an amendment to the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act that will become effective January 1, 2013, makes … Continue Reading
Recently the legality of requiring prospective hires to hand over social networking usernames and passwords received national attention when New York Sen. Charles Schumer and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate whether the practice violates federal laws. Although federal legislation has yet to be passed, state legislatures have begun to address the issue.
This … Continue Reading
On Monday March 26, 2012, Senators Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut) and Chuck Schumer (New York), called for federal agencies to determine whether requiring prospective hires to hand over social networking usernames and passwords violates federal law. Blumenthal and Schumer called on the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) to investigate whether such practices violate federal anti-discrimination laws and the United … Continue Reading
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
By Robert Milligan and Jeffrey Oh
Over the past decade, no avenue has had a bigger impact on society and the ways in which people interact than social media. Websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, which traffic in information shared on its servers, encourage users to publish every detail of their lives. For employers, the reality of social media’s pervasiveness (and benefits) presents … Continue Reading