Header graphic for print
Trading Secrets A Law Blog on Trade Secrets, Non-Competes, and Computer Fraud

Tag Archives: trade secret

Preliminary Injunction Issued By Nebraska Federal District Court To Level The Playing Field in Trade Secrets Dispute

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

A federal district court in Nebraska recently issued a significant preliminary injunction preventing trade secret misappropriation and unlawful competition in a contentious dispute between two freight companies.  West Plains, L.L.C. v. Retzlaff Grain Co., Case No. 8:13CV47 (D. Neb., Feb. 26, 2013).

A group of freight forwarders employed by CT Freight allegedly resigned en masse and went to work … Continue 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

April Fools’ Day Prank Leads To Trade Secrets Litigation

Posted in Trade Secrets

A recent federal decision from Connecticut confirms the notion that information knowingly posted on the Internet by its owner cannot constitute a protectable trade secret.  

On April 1, 2011, April Fools’ Day, a human relations consulting firm SharedXpertise allegedly disseminated by email and on its website a false statement that it had acquired its competitor LRP Publications. Kutik, a consultant for LRP, was offended. He … Continue Reading

Parties In High Profile Sports Agent Dispute In California Involving Trade Secret and Non-Compete Issues Throw Off The Gloves

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Trade Secrets

The case of Mintz v. Mark Bartelstein & Associates d/b/a Priority Sports & Entertainment, recently filed in the Central District of California, provides an interesting look at both non-compete and trade secret law, as seen through the world of a sports agent.

Aaron Mintz, a National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) certified player-agent, allegedly resigned from Priority Sports & Entertainment on … 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

Seyfarth Shaw’s Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete 2011 Year In Review Now Available

Posted in Computer Fraud, Trade Secrets

Dear Clients and Friends,

2011 was a successful year for our Trading Secrets blog. Launched in 2007, the blog has continued to grow in both readership and postings. Content from Trading Secrets has appeared on newsfeeds such as Lexology and iTechLaw, IP.com’s “Securing Innovation” Blog, and Kevin O’Keefe’s “Real Lawyers Have Blogs,” one of the leading sources of information and … Continue Reading

Click Wrap? Forget It: Federal Court Finds That Violation of Online Clickwrap Agreement Not Enough to Constitute Trade Secret Misappropriation Under California Law

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Scott Schaefers

On February 13, 2012, a federal judge in Los Angeles, California dismissed a remote-access software company’s claim that one of its customers violated the California Trade Secrets Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 3426.1 et seq., by downloading a trial version of plaintiff’s Mac-environment remote-access software and “reverse engineering” its own program. Aqua Connect, Inc. v. Code Rebel LLC, … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Federal Court Salvages Customer Lists as Basis for UTSA Claim, But Shreds Liquidated Damages Provision and Rejects Fiduciary Claim

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Rebecca Woods

In the most recent ruling in long-running litigation styled AMG National Trust Bank v. Ries, NO. 06-CV4337, 09-cv-3061 (E.D. Pa.) (decided Dec. 29, 2011), the Eastern District of Pennsylvania partially granted the defendant Stephen Ries’s motion for summary judgment, jettisoning the plaintiff’s breach of fiduciary duty claims and plaintiff’s request for liquidated damages, but permitting the case … Continue Reading

New Jersey Adopts Variation of Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan, David Monachino, and Jeffrey Oh

With Governor Chris Christie’s signature on January 9, 2012, New Jersey became the 47th state to adopt a form of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA). Previously governed by common law, trade secrets of persons or entities in New Jersey will now have statutory protection under the New Jersey Trade Secrets … Continue Reading

At Long Last, New Jersey Passes Trade Secrets Act

Posted in Trade Secrets

Legislation intended to help protect the trade secrets of New Jersey businesses has been signed into law by Gov. Christie. The New Jersey Trade Secrets Act (S-2456/A-921) establishes by law specific remedies available to businesses in the event that a trade secret – such as a formula, design, a prototype or invention – is misappropriated. New Jersey was one of … Continue Reading

Montana Supreme Court Holds That Employer May Not Enforce Non-Compete Agreement Where Employee Was Terminated Without Cause

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

By Paul Freehling

As a result of a recent ruling by the Montana Supreme Court in a case of first impression in that state, an employer there — as in several other states — ordinarily will not be permitted to enforce a non-compete provision in an employment agreement where the employer was solely responsible for ending the employment relationship. Significantly, … Continue Reading

Massachusetts Judge Finds Statutory Trade Secrets Misappropriation, Despite Contrary Jury Verdict in Parallel Common Law Action, and Awards Plaintiff Draconian Injunctive Relief and Millions of Dollars in Damages, Fees and Costs

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Paul Freehling

When the evidence of trade secret misappropriation and resulting substantial damages is compelling, defendants should expect to get hammered in court. A recent Massachusetts case is in point. There, despite a jury verdict for the defendants, the trial court entered judgment for the plaintiff which included a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from using the plaintiff’s manufacturing process trade … Continue Reading

Failure to Specifically Identify Trade Secrets in a Complaint Does Not Bar a Complaint in New Jersey Federal Court

Posted in Practice & Procedure

A growing number of courts across the country have required  plaintiffs to specify with particularity the trade secret that they are accusing a defendant of stealing, and that plaintiffs’ refusal to do so could result in dismissal of the claim.  See, e.g., Dura Global, Tech, Inc. v. Magna Donnelly Corp., 2008 WL 2064516 (E.D.Mich. May 14, 2008) (staying discovery until the plaintiffs … Continue Reading

Affidavits Not Enough to Obtain Injunctive Relief in Alleged Raiding Case

Posted in Practice & Procedure

By Marcus Mintz

In a recent case filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Mainline Information Systems, Inc. v. Fordham, No. 11-137, 2011 WL 2938435 (N.D. Fl. July 21, 2011), the plaintiff sought a preliminary injunction against an individual defendant for tortious interference with business relationships and for misappropriation of trade secrets. Plaintiff provides integrated … Continue Reading

California Federal Court Recently Invokes “Trade Secret” Exception to California’s Anti-Noncompete Statute To Effectively Blue Pencil Noncompete Agreement

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Scott Schaefers

            In a recent decision involving whether a former employer could obtain a temporary restraining order under its broad non-competition agreement with its former employees and former software development company, the federal court in Richmond Technologies, Inc. v. Aumtech Business Solutions, No. 11–CV–02460–LHK, 2011 WL 2607158 (N.D.Cal. July 1, 2011) granted plaintiff’s request and enjoined defendants from competing … Continue Reading

Trade Secrets 2011 Webinar Series: Upcoming July 21, 2011 Webinar -On Georgia’s Revised Restrictive Covenant Act

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

Starting this year, restrictive covenants in employment agreements and other business-related agreements in Georgia are subject to new rules governing who can enter into these agreements, how these agreements should be written, and how disputes will be handled by the courts.

What’s changed – for businesses, the bench and the bar? What’s remained the same? What can we do? What … Continue Reading

Protecting Trade Secrets In The Cloud

Posted in Trade Secrets

The explosion of cloud computing has provided companies with many technological benefits; but with those well recognized benefits, there are incumbent risks to valuable company data, including prized trade secrets. Companies utilizing cloud computing must employ effective measures to protect and secure their intellectual property. Sensible executives will seek advice from competent counsel to ensure that the cost savings and … Continue Reading

Wiener v. Wiener: A Wiener Controversy Of A Different (Trade Secrets) Sort

Posted in Trade Secrets

There is wiener controversy brewing, but this one does not involve Twitter™ or a Representative from New York. Rather, this dust up concerns a Chicago hot dog dynasty and allegations of misappropriated trade secrets, false advertising, unfair competition, and trademark infringement.

On June 21, 2011, District Court Judge Sharon Coleman denied Vienna Beef LTD’s motion for a temporary restraining order … Continue Reading

Award of Damages for Misappropriation Does Not Preclude Also Awarding Injunctive Relief

Posted in Trade Secrets

Clarifying the legal principle that an injunction will only be entered if there is no adequate remedy at law, the Ohio Court of Appeals held recently that an award of damages for past trade secret misappropriation is not inconsistent with, and does not preclude granting, injunctive relief to prevent future harm. Litigation Management, Inc. v. Bourgeois, 2011 Ohio 2794 (Ct. of … Continue Reading

Colorado Statute of Limitations For Misappropriation Of A Trade Secret Begins To Run Upon Knowledge That It, Or Even A Related Trade Secret, Has Been Misappropriated

Posted in Trade Secrets

Distinguishing between continuing misappropriation of one trade secret and separate misappropriations of related trade secrets can be a daunting task. The Supreme Court of Colorado recently held that, for statute of limitations purposes, the distinction may be inconsequential where misuse occurs on disparate occasions but the proprietary information was disclosed to the same person at substantially the same time, and in furtherance … Continue Reading

Electronic “Redactions” Not Always Effective: Greater Caution In Dealing With Sensitive Materials In Trade Secret Cases Necessary

Posted in Trade Secrets

The ABA Journal reports that a Princeton PhD candidate study has found electronic “redactions” included on PDF documents may not always be effective. Specifically, the study revealed that a computer program was able to scan 1.8 million Pacer filed documents, identify 2,000 documents that contained redactions (in the form of the ubiquitous “black boxes” obscuring the confidential information) and further … Continue Reading

Indiana Court Upholds A Covenant Not To Solicit Recent Customers, But Prohibitions Against Contact or Accepting Referrals With Such Customers Are Stricken

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

A recent Indiana Court of Appeals opinion, designated as non-precedential, discussed that state’s law concerning non-competition agreements. Most significant, the court upheld a commitment not to solicit the employer’s current or recent customers for two years even though the covenant contains no geographical limitation. However, provisions precluding any “contact with” such customers, and forbidding acceptance of “referrals of” them, were “blue penciled.” The … Continue Reading

Jury Must Decide Whether A Manufacturing Process That Is Disclosed In An Expired Patent And Is Not Concealed From Visitors To The Plant Constitutes A Trade Secret

Posted in Trade Secrets

            When a defendant, sued by a former employer for misappropriating a manufacturing process that allegedly constituted a trade secret, denies that the process is confidential and files a counterclaim alleging that the plaintiff is engaged in sham litigation in order to stifle competition, is it appropriate for the court to instruct the jury that the evidence shows plaintiff does … Continue Reading

New Article On Trade Secret Litigation In State Courts Released

Posted in Trade Secrets

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