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

Tag Archives: Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets: A New Framework

Posted in Cybersecurity, Trade Secrets

As a special feature of our blog –special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals –please enjoy this blog entry by Pamela Passman, President and CEO for the Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade (CREATe.org)

-Robert Milligan, Editor of Trading Secrets

By Pamela Passman

Around the globe, dozens of countries are considering or enacting legal reforms to …

Upcoming Webinar: My Company’s Confidential Information is Posted on the Internet! What Can I Do?

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

On Thursday, November 21, 2013, at 12:00 p.m. Central, Chicago Seyfarth attorneys  Paul Freehling, Scott Humphrey, and Jeffrey Swatzell will present the eleventh installment in our 2013 Trade Secrets webinar series. This webinar will involve a discussion about steps and responses companies can take when their confidential information and/or trade secrets appear, or are threatened to appear, on the internet.…

What’s for Lunch? Trade Secrets!

Posted in Trade Secrets

With the end of summer fast approaching, a new trade secret case filing caught our attention regarding one of the staples of the summer barbecue…the hot dog.

Who doesn’t love a good, old fashioned hot dog?  It just so happens that a pair of litigants agree with this sentiment!  In a case filed in Los Angeles this summer, Dog Haus …

Upcoming Complimentary Webinar: Trade Secret and Non-Compete Considerations in Asia

Posted in International, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

To accommodate our global audience, Seyfarth’s eighth installment in its 2013 Trade Secrets Webinar Series will be available as an on-demand broadcast this month! On Tuesday, August 27, 2013, Seyfarth attorneys Dominic Hodson, Wan Li, and Robert Milligan will discuss non-compete and trade secret issues in China, including best practices to protect trade secrets and confidential information in the country. …

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. Cahill

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

Chicago Breakfast Briefing: Protecting Your Most Valuable Assets – Trade Secrets, IP and Your Employees

Posted in Data Theft, Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure, Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets, Unfair Competition

Illinois and Federal laws have evolved significantly in recent years and as a result employers now have many tools available to protect themselves. Understanding these tools, as well as the impact of legal changes in this area, is necessary if a company intends on protecting its most valuable assets (i.e. trade secrets, IP and employees).

Please join us for an …

Video Interview: Discussing Zynga’s Suit Against a Former Employee for Alleged Trade Secrets Theft

Posted in Trade Secrets

Seyfarth Shaw’s Jason Stiehl had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding an ongoing trade secrets suit filed by social games developer Zynga against a key former employee who joined an upstart competitor. In the brief interview,  Jason explains the background of the case and the possible impact of this case on other litigation. Jason previously blogged

Speculative Fears Insufficient for Non-Compete Temporary Restraining Order Against Former Employee

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Restrictive Covenants

While treats are in abundance on Halloween, a Minnesota employer recently received a trick when a federal court denied its temporary restraining order application. A Minnesota federal court held that an ex-employer’s apprehension that a former employee violated or would violate a non-compete and confidentiality agreement was entirely speculative and, thus, did not warrant a TRO.  Sempris, LLC v. Watson,

Religious Organization’s Trade Secret Misappropriation Claim Against Anonymous Blogger Survives Anti-SLAPP Motion to Strike In California Federal Court

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan, Joshua Salinas, and Jeffrey Oh

Balancing the rights of businesses to protect their economic interests with the rights of individuals to freely express themselves can be a complicated act requiring nuanced application of the law; even more so when the business is of a religious nature. In a fascinating case out of California, Judge Lucy H. Koh …

“Prior Restraint” Doctrine May Preclude Enjoining A Newspaper From Publishing Misappropriated Trade Secrets

Posted in Trade Secrets

A reporter for a business publication somehow obtained information contained in a privately held company’s confidential interim financial statements. As the reporter was about to disseminate that information in an email alert to the publication’s subscribers, the company sued, described the financials as trade secrets belonging to the company, and obtained from a Louisiana state court judge a TRO enjoining …

Federal Judge In California Holds That Unauthorized Use Of Copyrighted Password-Protected Computer Diagnostic Software Can Be The Basis Of A Copyright Infringement Suit and Trade Secret Misappropriation Claim

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

Burroughs Payment Services manufactures document scanning equipment for banks and others. Embedded in the equipment are copyrighted computer programs, accessible only by entering a password, which provide the user with software to diagnose problems with the equipment. While servicing the equipment of a Burroughs customer, Symco Group allegedly accessed and used Burroughs’ software without that company’s authorization. 

Burroughs promptly sued Symco in …

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, …

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 …

Upcoming Webinar – The New Risk: Employee Theft Of Trade Secrets And Confidential Information In The Name Of Protected Whistleblowing

Posted in Espionage, Trade Secrets

Can Employees Steal Trade Secrets & Confidential Information To Support Their Whistleblower Claims?

The answer: It depends who is adjudicating the case, as a sharp conflict recently has arisen on this issue between federal and state courts and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The DOL’s Administrative Review Board (ARB) recently suggested that such activities may indeed qualify as protected …

Mattel Appeals $310 Million Award in Bratz Case, Argues Trade Secret Counterclaim Was Untimely

Posted in Trade Secrets

Mattel recently appealed a $310 million award for its alleged misappropriation of MGA’s trade secrets and MGA’s attorney’s fees and costs in defense of Mattel’s copyright claim. In its opening brief, Mattel requests the Ninth Circuit to vacate or reverse the award on grounds that MGA’s trade secret counterclaim was untimely and barred by the statute of limitations. Mattel also …

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 …

Court Allows Employer’s Interference With Prospective Economic Advantage Claims To Survive In Lawsuit Claiming Employee’s Theft of Twitter Account

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Robert Milligan and Gary Glaser

A California federal district court denied a former employee’s motion to dismiss his former employer’s claims for tortious interference with prospective economic advantage and negligent inteference with prospective economic advantage Monday in a closely watched lawsuit concerning the interplay between social media, trade secrets, and employee mobility.

We previously wrote about this case from …

After Ohio Jury Finds Trade Secret Misappropriation But Awards Zero Damages, Trial Judge Enters Injunction Order But Sets Royalty Payment As Alternative

Posted in Trade Secrets

A manufacturer engaged an independent contractor to improve the efficiency of certain machinery.   After the task was completed, the contractor did the same for a competitor of the manufacturer.   The manufacturer, claiming that the improvements were its trade secrets, sued the competitor in an Ohio state court for misappropriation. The case went to trial before a jury which returned a verdict …

Employers May Have Sweat Equity In Their Executives LinkedIn Accounts, But Employees Score Win In War Over The Applicability Of The Federal Computer Fraud And Abuse Act In The Workplace

Posted in Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Trade Secrets

By Scott Schaefers

In the age of social media and networking, where employees undoubtedly use their company-issued computers to network with customers, vendors, colleagues, and friends, a legal question presents itself: can employers claim an interest in their employees’ LinkedIn accounts, or other social networking accounts, which the employees use in part to grow and maintain their relationships for the …

What Does It Take to Plead a Claim for Trade Secret Misappropriation Claim Under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act?

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

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 …

2011 Trade Secrets Webinar Series – Year in Review

Posted in Computer Fraud, Trade Secrets

Throughout 2011, Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s dedicated Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes practice group hosted a series of CLE webinars that addressed significant issues facing clients today in this important and ever changing area of law. The series consisted of six webinars: Trade Secrets in the Financial Services Industry, The Anatomy of a Trade Secret Audit, Georgia’s New Non-Compete Statute, Managing …

Social Media and Trade Secrets Collide: Whose Twitter Is It, Anyway?

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Gary Glaser

The United States District Court for the Northern District of California recently ruled that PhoneDog, an “interactive mobile news and reviews web resource,” could proceed with its lawsuit against Noah Kravitz, a former employee, who it claims unlawfully continued using PhoneDog’s Twitter account after he quit. PhoneDog v. Noah Kravitz, No. C11-03474 MEJ, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS …

“Internet Communications” Alone Insufficient To Invoke Florida Long-Arm Statute Against Lindsay Lohan In Trade Secrets Misappropriation Suit

Posted in Trade Secrets

White Wave International, Inc. filed an action in Florida against Lindsay Lohan, Lorit LLC, a company she has an indirect ownership interest in, and several other defendants arising out of a certain Confidentiality Agreement Between Firms (“CABF”) between White Wave and Lorit. It was alleged by White Wave that the CABF provided Lohan, Lorit and the other defendants with a time-limited opportunity …