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

Tag Archives: preemption

Best Practices and Latest Developments in Trade Secret Law

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Cybersecurity, Data Theft, Non-Compete Enforceability, Social Media, Trade Secrets

I recently presented on “Hot Topics In Trade Secret Law Across the Nation” at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California.

Here are seven key takeaways regarding best practices and latest developments from the event that you may find useful:

Understanding the Importance of Trade Secret Preemption

Simply put, trade secret preemption or supersession is the concept that the … Continue Reading

Conversion Claim for Theft of Confidential Information Not Preempted By Trade Secrets Act

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

Can Oregon employers bring conversion claims against employees who misappropriate confidential information without having their claims preempted by the state’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act? According to a recent Oregon federal district court opinion, the answer is “yes”; however, in several other states, the answer is “no”.

This result highlights the continued divergence of opinion across the nation concerning the viability … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Federal Court Affirms Broad Pleading Standard for Uniform Trade Secrets Act and Ability to Plead Preempted Claims in the Alternative

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

According to the allegations in a recently filed complaint, Defendant Implementation Management Assistance, Inc. (“IMA”) hired a long-time employee, Liana Hans, away from competitor Plaintiff Triage Consulting Group, Inc. (“Triage”). Hans allegedly had intimate knowledge of Triage’s proprietary systems and allegedly shared that knowledge with IMA, in derogation of her confidentiality agreement with Triage. IMA thereafter recruited another Triage employee, … Continue Reading

California Federal Court Dismisses Computer Fraud and State Unfair Competition Claims Alleged Against Ex-Employees Accused Of Stealing Computer Source Code

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Practice & Procedure

A designer and marketer of stereophonic technology for presenting 3-D imaging on a computer screen recently sued some ex-employees in a California federal court for allegedly violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), among other claims. At some point, the ex-employees allegedly downloaded their former employer’s confidential computer code and provided it to their new employer, a competitor.  … Continue Reading

Growing California Trade Secret Preemption Doctrine May Thwart Efforts To Combat Employee Data Theft

Posted in Data Theft, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

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

Company information that is sensitive, but may not rise to the level of a trade secret is protectable in California, isn’t it?

Not necessarily. Some recent California decisions have significantly limited an employer’s ability to pursue certain claims and remedies based upon the theft of mere confidential or proprietary information … Continue Reading

Recent California Supreme Court Decision Stokes Debate Over Scope of Trade Secret Preemption

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

Cases defining the scope of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act’s (“CUTSA”) preemptive effect have grown in recent years.  Preemption (or “supersession” as the California Supreme Court prefers), increasingly is used by litigants to seek dismissal of non-trade secret causes of action pleaded alongside trade secret claims and which allegedly fall within the scope of CUTSA.  This has been particularly … Continue Reading

2012 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, Data Theft, Espionage, Legislation, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

In Seyfarth’s first installment of its 2013 Trade Secrets Webinar series, Seyfarth attorneys Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan, and Joshua Salinas will review noteworthy cases and other legal developments from across the nation this past year in the areas of trade secrets and data theft, non-compete enforceability, computer fraud, and company owned social media accounts and social media policies, as well … Continue Reading

Wisconsin Federal Court Finds That Common Law Claims Are Preempted by the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Daniel Hargis

The case of Illumination Management Solutions, Inc. v. Ruud pending in the Eastern District of Wisconsin exemplifies the continuing lack of certainty on the scope of California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”) preemption when the claims potentially subject to preemption concern information that itself may not qualify as a trade secret but is nevertheless confidential or proprietary.… 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

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

Indiana Appellate Court Finds That Indiana Uniform Trade Secrets Act Preempts Common Law Misappropriation and Civil Conversion Claims In Mixed Martial Arts Broadcasting Dispute

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Ryan Malloy and Joshua Salinas

The Court of Appeals of Indiana recently reversed and remanded a 2008 suit brought by the North American Boxing Council (NABC) against HDNet LLC (HDNet), in which the NABC alleged that HDNet stole its idea for a mixed martial arts (MMA) broadcast series after the parties had discussed a broadcast arrangement that never materialized … Continue Reading

California Federal District Court Finds That Plaintiffs May Assert A Claim For Alleged Misleading Actions of Agent and Misuse of Confidential Information Not Rising To Level Of A Trade Secret In Youth Hostel Dispute

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan and Jeffrey Oh

In business, as in life, trust and communication are key to healthy and productive relationships. When these crucial elements are lost, as in the case of What 4 LLC v. Roman & Williams, Inc., 2012 WL 1815629 (N.D.Cal.), the fallout is often contentious and requires court intervention.

In a recent decision granting in part … Continue Reading

California Federal District Court Issues Decision On Reasonable Secrecy Measures, Trade Secret Identification, and Preemption

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

A recent California federal district court decision in FormFactor, Inc. v. Micro-Probe, Inc., Case No. C 10-3095 PJH highlights the importance of companies proactively taking measures to protect their trade secrets before litigation arises and specifically identifying trade secrets that have allegedly been misappropriated.

FormFactor, a company which designs, manufactures, sells and supports high-performance advanced wafer probe card assemblies, alleged … Continue Reading

New Hampshire Federal District Court Broadly Interprets Preemption Provision In State’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

In a recent decision, Wilcox Indus. Corp. v. Hansen, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63668 (D.N.H. May 7, 2012), a federal judge for the District of New Hampshire interpreted the New Hampshire Uniform Trade Secrets Act’s (the “NHUTSA”) preemption provision to preempt all non-contract claims based on unauthorized use of information even if the information at issue is not a trade … Continue Reading

No Cause of Action Under Georgia’s or Utah’s Trade Secrets Statutes for Misappropriation of Confidential and Proprietary Information Not Qualifying as Trade Secret

Posted in Trade Secrets

Thanks to a recent decision of the Georgia Supreme Court, the assignee of confidential and proprietary information has found itself in a Catch 22 dilemma, precluded from suing under the state’s trade secrets statute because the information did not qualify as trade secrets but prohibited by that statute from bringing related common law claims. Robbins v. Supermarket Equipment Sales, LLC, … Continue Reading

Utah Appellate Court Holds That “Confidential” Price List Is Not A Trade Secret But A Contract Bid Could Be, And Uniform Trade Secrets Act Preempts Common Law Claims Based On Misusing Confidential Information Not A “Trade Secret”

Posted in Trade Secrets

In a recent, lengthy decision involving allegations of deceitful acts and unfair competition, the Utah Court of Appeals largely affirmed the lower court’s grant of summary judgment to the defendants with respect to a complaint alleging misappropriation of proprietary data and related conduct. Particularly noteworthy, the appellate court held that the Utah Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) preempts many common … Continue Reading

Keep Your Pot of Gold Hidden, Ohio Court Rules Information Posted Online Not Trade Secret

Posted in Trade Secrets

St. Patrick’s Day calls to mind the traditional Irish folklore of leprechauns and their hidden pots of gold. These hidden pots of gold illustrate the fundamental and straightforward rule for protecting prized trade secret information – keep it secret. A recent Ohio District Court, the Honorable Judge Michael R. Barrett presiding, denied a Plaintiff’s motion for Temporary Restraining Order because … Continue Reading

Seyfarth Shaw’s Downtown Los Angeles Office Hosts State Bar “Hot Topics in California Trade Secret Law” Program

Posted in Trade Secrets

The Trade Secret Subcommittee of the Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of California will have a live program entitled “Hot Topics in California Trade Secret Law” on June 27, 2011 in Los Angeles, California and on June 29, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  Seyfarth Shaw’s Downtown Office will host the Los Angeles event. 

Robert Milligan will be speaking … Continue Reading

Claims of Intentional Interference, Breach of Duty of Loyalty, and Unfair Competition Survive Preemption by California Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Carolyn Sieve and summer associate Rina Wang

A California federal court has added to the body of decisional law on preemption under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Cal. Civ. Code §§ 3426, et seq. (“CUTSA”). In Aversan v. Jones, No. 2:09-cv-00132-MCE-KJM, 2009 WL 1810010 (E.D. Cal. June 24, 2009), the Court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claims for … Continue Reading