A Utah federal judge recently held that a jury’s compensatory damages award of $2.92 million for misappropriating trade secrets was supported by the evidence and was not excessive. Because the jury found by clear and convincing evidence that the misappropriation was willful and malicious, the court added $1.46 in exemplary damages. The total verdict: $4.38 million. Storagecraft Technology Corp. v. … Continue Reading
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
By Robert Milligan and Jessica Mendelson
With the NBA basketball season almost upon us, a high profile legal battle between an aspiring NBA sports agent and his former agency continues to heat up in Los Angeles federal court. The case involves some interesting non-compete, trade secret, and privacy issues.
During the past week, federal courts around the country have seen a handful of high profile pleas, convictions and sentencing in cases in which defendants are accused of stealing their former employer’s trade secrets.
On May 7, 2012, Yuan Li, a former research scientist with Sanofi Aventis, who had pled guilty to one count of violating 18 U.S.C. § 1832 … Continue Reading
By Robert Milligan and Jeffrey Oh
In its order denying defendants’ motion to dismiss in SBM Site Services, LLC v. Garrett, et al., Case No. 10-cv-00385, a Colorado federal court identified a circuit split over the interpretation of “unauthorized access” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and then found a former employer had stated a CFAA claim against a … Continue Reading
On February 6, 2012, a federal court in Oakland, California denied the popular Facebook application “Farmville” operator’s (Zynga, Inc.) motion to dismiss several claims brought by the inventor of “myFarm” (SocialApps, LLC, or “SA”)) for alleged theft of the source code, game images, and “concepts and features” used in the myFarm app. The court allowed SocialApps to proceed … Continue Reading
In Eastman Chemical Company, v. Alphapet Inc., et al., Civ. Action No. 09-971-LPS-CJB 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127757 (Dist. DE) (November 4, 2011) (unpublished) Plaintiff Eastman Chemical Company ("Eastman" or "Plaintiff’) filed an amended complaint alleging patent infringement, breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation. Plaintiff alleged that former Eastman employees at the direction of one or more of the … Continue Reading
An article published yesterday in the Gonzaga Law Review presents an interesting analysis of trade secret litigation in state courts. Authors David S. Alming, Darin W. Snyder, Michael Sapoznikow, Whitney E. McCollum, and Jill Weader published the follow-up article to their article last year concerning trade secret litigation in federal courts. According to the new article, they analyzed 2,077 state … Continue Reading