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
On Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Central, in the final installment of our 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Michael Baniak, Joseph Lanser and Randy Bruchmiller will focus on considerations involving protecting trade secrets and intellectual property in business transactions, including, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other collaborative arrangements.
Summary of topics:How to properly address… Continue Reading
To accommodate our global audience, the fifth installment in the 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar Series will be available as an on-demand broadcast on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. Central. Please register to receive access to the broadcast.
Seyfarth attorneys Wan Li, Ming Henderson, Justine Turnbull and Daniel Hart will focus on non-compete and trade secret considerations from an … Continue Reading
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
Around the globe, dozens of countries are considering or enacting legal reforms to … Continue Reading
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.… Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
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. … Continue Reading
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… Continue Reading
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.
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 … Continue Reading
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… Continue Reading
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, … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
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
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
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 … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
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.
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 … Continue Reading
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 … 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