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

Tag Archives: Facebook

NLRB Rules That “Liking” A Facebook Comment Is Protected Activity

Posted in Social Media

By Jeffrey A. Berman and Candice T. Zee

The National Labor Relation Board (“Board”) issued its latest decision on social media issues on August 22, 2014.  In Triple Play Sports Bar & Grille, 361 NLRB No. 31 (2014), the Board ruled that a Facebook discussion regarding an employer’s tax withholding calculations and an employee’s “like” of the discussion constituted concerted … Continue Reading

Trading Secrets is on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube, and LinkedIn

Posted in Social Media, Trade Secrets

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

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 Continue Reading

Tips For Protecting Trade Secrets In The Social Media Age

Posted in Social Media, Trade Secrets

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

Computer Fraud And Abuse Act Violated By Bundling Facebook And Other Social Networking Accounts Without Authorization

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Practice & Procedure, Privacy, Social Media

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

Fourth Circuit Holds That Facebook “Like” Is Protected by the First Amendment

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Social Media

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.”

In Bland v. RobertsContinue Reading

District Court of New Jersey Continues Growing National Trend Permitting Employers to View “Publicly” Available Social Media Posts

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Privacy, Social Media

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

New Jersey Federal Court Issues Sanctions For Deletion of Facebook Profile

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Social Media

By Jessica Mendelson and Grace Chuchla

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.

In Gatto v. United Air Lines, the plaintiff, Gatto was … Continue Reading

Federal Court Allows Service On Foreign Defendants Through Facebook

Posted in Legislation, Practice & Procedure, Social Media

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 the case of Federal Trade Commission v. PCCare247, Inc., the Federal Trade … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: Employee Privacy and Social Networking – Can Your Trade Secrets Survive?

Posted in Social Media, Trade Secrets

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

Federal Court Rules That Twitter Invites and Facebook Posts Do Not Constitute Impermissible Employee Solicitations

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Social Media, Trade Secrets

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. CahillContinue Reading

Massachusetts Court Rules That Facebook Posting of New Job Does Not Violate Non-Competition Covenant

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

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

What Employers Need to Know About California’s New Social Media Law

Posted in Data Theft, Legislation, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan, Jessica Mendelson, and Joshua Salinas

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

Proposed Social Media Legislation On California Governor’s Desk

Posted in Legislation, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

By Jessica Mendelson and Grace Chuchla

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

Facebook Fans For Piggy Paint Not A Business Expectancy, Michigan Federal Court Dismisses Tortious Interference Claims for Facebook Page Takedown

Posted in Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

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

Illinois Becomes Second State In Nation To Bar Employers From Obtaining Access To Employee Social Networking Pages

Posted in Computer Fraud, Legislation, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

By Ronald Kramer

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

Hey Lumbergh, You Don’t Own My Facebook Account: Maryland Passes Legislation To Protect Employee’s Social Media Accounts

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

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

Access To Social Media Accounts In The Hiring Process And Employer Ownership Of Trade Secrets Or Confidential Information Contained In Social Media Accounts: Legislation On Horizon?

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Trade Secrets

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

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

Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information In The Social Media Generation

Posted in Trade Secrets

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