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

Tag Archives: Virginia

Don’t Tweet On Me! Montana and Virginia Become Latest States to Pass Social Media Privacy Legislation

Posted in Legislation, Social Media

By Adam Vergne and Chuck Walters

Following a national trend, Montana and Virginia have become the nineteenth and twentieth states to enact laws restricting employer access to the social media accounts of applicants and employees.[1]

Virginia’s law, which takes effect on July 1, 2015, prohibits requesting (or requiring) the disclosure of usernames and/or passwords to an individual’s social media … Continue Reading

Hiring Employees with Non-Compete Agreements: Tread Lightly

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

Excited about the prospect of a talented new hire and think that her non-compete doesn’t affect you? Think again. Under Virginia law, a future employer, who is aware of a prospective employee’s non-compete agreement, risks legal liability for tortious interference of contract and, through that, business conspiracy.

In DePuy Synthes Sales, Inc. v. Jones,  2014 WL 1165852 (E.D. Va. Mar. … Continue Reading

Virginia Supreme Court Rules Enforceability of Non-Competes Cannot Be Determined in a Factual Vacuum

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability, Practice & Procedure

A recent Supreme Court of Virginia decision will make it more difficult to challenge non-compete restrictions through early pleading challenges.

In Assurance Data, Inc. v. Malyevac, the Supreme Court of Virginia reversed the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, which sustained a demurrer, and, in doing so, determined the enforceability of certain restraints on competition contained in an employment agreement on … Continue Reading

Federal Court Rules Trade Secret Misappropriation Sufficiently Alleged Based on Improper Acquisition, Even in Absence of Use or Disclosure

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia recently denied a motion to dismiss a counterclaim for violation of Virginia’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“VUTSA”), holding that the counterclaim sufficiently alleged trade secret misappropriation based on improper acquisition of a trade secret, even in the absence of allegations of use or disclosure.

Factual allegations:

Plaintiff Jacqueline … Continue Reading

Virginia Federal Court Dismisses Trade Secrets Misappropriation Claim Based on Power Brokering and Tax Expertise

Posted in Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets

On May 30, 2013, a federal judge in Virginia dismissed a tax consultant’s trade secrets misappropriation claim against its telecomm customers, ruling that the consultant’s alleged relationships with tax authorities, tax-law ‘accounting system,’ and its ability to negotiate property tax discounts do not constitute statutory trade secrets.  Cablecom Tax Services, Inc. v. Shenandoah Telecomms. Co. et al., No. 5:12-cv-69-MFU-JGW (W.D. Continue Reading

Virginia Federal Court Finds For Employer on Fidicuary Duty Claim Against Former Employee

Posted in Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Computer Fraud, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Practice & Procedure

By Michael Baniak

A Virginia federal court district court recently issued a significant decision awarding lost profits to an aggrieved employer for breach of fiduciary duty by a former employee. The Court found that the ex-employee was not able to deduct his services for the company as an expense against the damages award. Further, the Court found that the employer’s … Continue Reading

Extraordinary 20-Year Global Injunction For “Bulletproof” Trade Secrets Theft

Posted in Legislation, Trade Secrets

We previously blogged in our 2011 year end review about a noteworthy trade secret misappropriation case where DuPont Co. successfully obtained a jury verdict of approximately $920 million in damages against rival Kolon Industries Inc. DuPont sued Kolon for the alleged theft of trade secrets regarding a proprietary fiber used to make “bulletproof” police and riot gear.

Yesterday, U.S. District … Continue Reading

Virginia Supreme Court Muddies Damages Valuation of Lost Goodwill In Trade Secret Matter

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

The Virginia Supreme Court has complicated the valuation of lost goodwill damages in trade secrets matters in its June 7, 2012 decision in 21st Century Systems, Inc. v. Perot Systems Government Services, Inc., No. 110114. 

The matter arose from the departure of several employees from Perot Systems Government Services, Inc. (“Perot”), who subsequently joined a competitor company. Perot filed suit with … Continue Reading

Another Federal Court Holds That A Compilation Of Non-Trade Secret Data Can Be A Trade Secret; Court Also Holds That An Unambiguous Written Contract With A Provision Precluding Unwritten Amendments Nonetheless Can Be Modified By Conduct

Posted in Practice & Procedure, Trade Secrets

A collaboration between Beacon Wireless Solutions and Garmin International, to integrate Beacon’s Global Positioning System fleet management vehicle tracking program into Garmin’s personal navigation devices, went awry. Allegedly without Beacon’s knowledge or consent, in order to boost Garmin’s sales, Garmin allegedly published to Beacon’s competitors Beacon’s confidential integration application specifications. Beacon sued, alleging trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. A few days ago, … Continue Reading

Virginia Supreme Court Issues Important Trade Secret Decision and Raises Bar for Proving Damages

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Rebecca Woods

In its latest opinion dealing with trade secret issues, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the Virginia Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Va. Code §§ 59.1-336 through 343 ("VUTSA") protects trade secrets even if they are used by an entity that is not demonstrably "in competition with" the plaintiff. Collelo v. Geographic Services, Inc., No. 101411, 101421. The … Continue Reading

Virginia Bill Proposes to Ban Most Non-Competes

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

By Rebecca Woods

Although Virginia is already generally hostile to non-competition agreements, enforcing only those that are very limited in function, geographic scope, and duration, a bill has been proposed in the 2012 session of the Virginia General Assembly that would severely restrict the enforceability of non-compete agreements. House Bill 1187 proposes to add to the Code of Virginia a … Continue Reading

Virginia Employers Should Update Their Non-Compete Agreements In Light of New Virginia Supreme Court Ruling

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

As previously reported on this blog, the Virginia Supreme Court recently issued an important new non-compete decision which impacts the enforceability of non-compete agreements in Virginia and serves as a reminder that employers may want to review their agreements with employees and update them as appropriate. Here is a Seyfarth One Minute Memo on this important new case.… Continue Reading

Virginia Supreme Court Clarifies Obligations Of Employer Seeking To Enforce Non-Compete

Posted in Non-Compete Enforceability

By Marcus Mintz

Earlier this month, the Virginia Supreme Court issued an opinion in which it clarified the burdens an employer must meet to enforce a non-compete against a former employee. Specifically, that the employer must demonstrate that the non-compete is no broader than necessary to protect the employer’s “legitimate business interests” and does not “unduly burden” the ex-employee’s right to … Continue Reading