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

Tag Archives: legislation

Two New England States Pass Legislation Restricting Physician Non-Competes

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability

We’ve written a lot this summer about the Massachusetts legislature’s latest failed attempt at non-compete reform. Two other states in New England, however, are able to claim accomplishments in that regard. Specifically, Connecticut and Rhode Island each enacted statutes this summer imposing significant restrictions on the use of non-compete provisions in any agreement that establishes employment or any other form … Continue Reading

In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb: Following Much Fanfare, Massachusetts Noncompete Reform Again Fails

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability

In what has become a highly anticipated annual game of “Will They/Won’t They,” the Massachusetts legislature again failed to pass comprehensive noncompete reform legislation this year, despite much fanfare and high hopes from certain quarters. This should come as no surprise to our loyal readers, who have seen this happen virtually every year over the past decade, but it … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Governor Supports Noncompete Reform, But Not Abolition

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

According to The Boston Globe, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has publicly voiced his support for some restrictions on noncompete agreements, but he does not want to abolish them entirely. Specifically, Governor Baker supports the bill passed by the Massachusetts House of Representatives (discussed previously here), but not the far more restrictive bill passed by the Massachusetts Senate (discussed … Continue Reading

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Massachusetts Senate Reverses Course On Non-Compete Reform

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability

As we last reported, just a few weeks ago, the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously approved a non-compete bill that revised the original draft bill and addressed some of the business community’s concerns (such as the mandatory garden leave provision, prohibition on judicial reform of overbroad agreements, etc.). However, the Senate yesterday introduced a version that would dramatically curtail … Continue Reading

USPTO To Host Trade Secret Symposium

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host its first Trade Secret Symposium on Thursday, January 8, 2015, at USPTO Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The symposium will provide an opportunity for members of the public to hear from representatives of academia, government, legal practice and industry on important trade secret issues facing innovators today.

The panels … Continue Reading

Upcoming Webinar: 2013 National Year in Review — What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete and Computer Fraud Law

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Espionage, International, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Social Media, Trade Secrets

On Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Michael Wexler, Jim McNairy and Josh Salinas will present Seyfarth’s first installment of its 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar series. They will review noteworthy cases and other legal developments from across the nation this past year in the areas of trade secret and data theft, non-compete enforceability, computer fraud, and the … Continue Reading

Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act Now Applicable

Posted in Legislation, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

Texas recently adopted a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”).  The new act will be known as the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“TUTSA”).  New York and Massachusetts are now the only two states to not adopt some form or variation of the UTSA.         

The TUTSA takes effect during the Labor Day weekend on September 1, 2013.  However, … Continue Reading

Obama Administration Calls for Public Comments on Legislative Changes to Enhance Enforcement Against Trade Secret Theft and Economic Espionage

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

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

Last week, the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator published a Notice in the Federal Register soliciting public comments for an Administration legislative review related to economic espionage and trade secret theft.

The request specifically seeks written submissions from the public regarding “any recommendations for legislative changes that would enhance enforcement against, … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Governor Weighs In On Non-Compete Reform Debate

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability

At the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council on March 12, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick reportedly described arguments in favor of eliminating the state’s longstanding approval of non-compete clauses as “compelling,” while stopping short of endorsing those efforts. 

During a question-and-answer session at the conference, Branko Gerovac, chief strategy officer at search engine optimization startup Jungle Torch, reportedlyContinue Reading

California Style Non-Compete Legislation Introduced In Minnesota

Posted in Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability

New proposed legislation introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives would invalidate effectively all employee non-compete agreements if passed. 

On February 11, 2013, Democratic-Farmer-Labor party members Joe Atkins and Alice Hausman introduced H.F. No. 506.  The bill was read and referred to the Committee on Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries, a committee chaired by Rep. Sheldon Johnson (DFL-St. Paul).  The … Continue Reading

To Work or Not to Work – Maryland’s Senate Considers Changes To Non-Compete Law for Those on Unemployment

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

On January 9th, the Maryland Senate introduced a bill which if passed would invalidate employee “noncompetition covenants” for former workers who applied for and obtained unemployment benefits. Senate Bill 51 is sponsored by Senator Ronald N. Young, Democrat, who just began his third year in the Maryland Senate. If enacted, the bill will take effect on October 1, 2013, and … Continue Reading

2012 Year in Review On Significant Trade Secret, Non-Compete, and Computer Fraud Cases, Legislation, and Developments Now Available

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

We are pleased to announce the publication of the Trading Secrets Blog 2012 Year in Review.

The 2012 Review is a compilation of our significant blog posts from 2012 and is categorized by specific topics: Trade Secrets; Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; Non-Competes and Restrictive Covenants; and Legislation.

As the specific blog entries, including our Top 10 Developments/Headlines in Continue Reading

Employers Take Note: Michigan Adopts Social Media Privacy Legislation

Posted in Data Theft, Legislation

By Jessica Mendelson and Robert Milligan

The Michigan Legislature recently passed the Internet Privacy Protection Act (“IPPA”), otherwise known as House Bill 5523. On December 28, 2012, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed the IPPA, making Michigan the fourth state to enact a social media privacy law regulating employers. In explaining the reasoning behind the law, Governor Snyder stated, “Cyber security … Continue Reading

Big Brother Can’t Ask For Access To Your “Personal” Social Media Accounts Either….More Social Media Legislation Proposed In California

Posted in Data Theft, Legislation, Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan and Jessica Mendelson

Recently, we blogged about the passage of California Assembly Bill 1844 (“AB 1844”), which regulates employers’ ability to demand access to employees’ or prospective hires’ personal social media accounts. Assembly Bill 1844 was codified as section 980 of the California Labor Code. Recently, California State Assemblywoman Nora Campos has proposed an additional bill, AB 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

Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Legislative Update Webinar On September 20, 2012

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

Please join us for our sixth trade secrets webinar of the year entitled Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Legislative Update.

The webinar will be September 20, 2012 from noon to 1:00 p.m. central.

The past year has seen significant statutory changes to several jurisdictions’ laws regarding trade secrets and restrictive covenants and pending legislation proposed in additional jurisdictions. As trade secrets … Continue Reading

Update: New Online Anti-Piracy Initiatives in the U.S. and Europe

Posted in Espionage

Yesterday, Robert Milligan and I had the wonderful opportunity to present at the 2012 ITechlaw World Technology Law Conference in Washington, D.C. We discussed the new online anti-piracy legislation and developments in the U.S. and Europe. In particular, we covered the highly controversial and failed SOPA and PIPA legislation, the new proposed CISPA and OPEN legislation, and legislation from Ireland, … Continue Reading

Seyfarth Attorneys to Speak at 2012 ITechLaw World Technology Law Conference & Annual Meeting on New Online Anti-Piracy Initiatives in the U.S. and Europe

Posted in Espionage

Late last Thursday, April 26, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Cyber Intelligence Security Protection Act (CISPA). CISPA is a cybersecurity bill that allows the government and U.S. companies to share confidential and classified information regarding potential cyber attacks. The purpose of the bill is to strengthen U.S. infrastructure and protect it from hackers who steal valuable information, … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Legislature Considers New Social Media Bill

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

By Ryan Malloy and Erik Weibust

The Massachusetts legislature recently joined the growing wave of states nationwide that are considering bills, which, if enacted, would forbid employers from requesting social media user names and passwords from employees or prospective employees. The issue of privacy with regards to social media accounts has garnered significant attention across the country during recent months, … 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

Idaho and New Hampshire Propose Significant Trade Secret and Non-Compete Legislation

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

Recently, state legislatures in both Idaho and New Hampshire have proposed significant legislation relating to trade secret and non-compete agreements. Each of these bills has the potential to significantly impact employers and their hiring processes.


In the Idaho state senate, a bill was recently introduced to amend the Idaho Trade Secrets Act. The proposed bill clarifies that trade secret … Continue Reading

Department of Justice Takes Pro-Employer Stance On Amendments To Computer Fraud And Abuse Act: Employers Should Continue To Be Able To Hold Employees Liable For Violations Of Computer Usage Policies Under The Act

Posted in Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

By Robert Milligan and Joshua Salinas

In connection with proposed Congressional amendments to the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), on November 15, 2011, Department of Justice Deputy Chief Richard W. Downing (Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section) emphasized the importance of an expansive CFAA before the House Committee on the Judiciary and came out against attempts by critics of … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Legislature Hears Testimony on Non-Compete Bill

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

By Kate PerrelliErik Weibust, and Ryan Malloy

On September 15, 2011, the Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development heard testimony on House Bill 2293. The bill, originally introduced in 2009 as House Bill 1799, and as previously blogged on here, here, and here, aims to codify Massachusetts common law pertaining to non-compete agreements … Continue Reading