Seyfarth attorneys Kate Perrelli, Sierra Chinn-Liu, Anne Dunne, Joshua Salinas, and Paul Yovanic contributed to this year’s ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law, Trade Secrets and Interferences with Contracts Committee Annual Trade Secret Law Report.

The Annual Report, found here, covers the significant trade secrets cases from around the country that were decided in 2019 and 2020. The Report is a good resource for staying current in trade secrets developments and trends.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mountain
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific

Classifying workers properly to comply with wage-hour and fair employment laws is an important aspect that many businesses are already aware of, but misclassifying workers may have unintended effects to other legal interests, including non-competes and other restrictive covenants. In this third installment of our 2021 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, our team outlines the connections between wage and hour law and restrictive covenant law.

The panel will discuss:

  • State restrictive covenant laws that expressly or by inference incorporate federal or state wage and hour laws
  • State restrictive covenant laws that impose compensation thresholds for enforcement of non-compete agreements
  • Tips for drafting restrictive covenants in independent contractor agreements to avoid misclassification claims
  • Pros and cons of mandatory arbitration clauses in employment agreements in wage and hour and restrictive covenant litigation

REGISTER HERE

Speakers
Daniel Hart, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Kevin Young, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Cary Burke, Associate, Seyfarth Shaw LLP

If you have any questions, please contact Colleen Vest at cvest@seyfarth.com and reference this event.

This webinar is accredited for CLE in CA, IL, NJ, and NY. Credit will be applied for as requested for TX, GA, WA, NC, FL and VA.  The following jurisdictions accept reciprocal credit with these accredited states, and individuals can use the certificate they receive to gain CLE credit therein: AZ, CT, ME, NH.  The following jurisdictions do not require CLE, but attendees will receive general certificates of attendance: DC, MA, MD, MI, SD.  For all other jurisdictions, a general certificate of attendance and the necessary materials will be issued that can be used in other jurisdictions for self-application. To request CLE credit, fill out the recorded attendance form linked above and return it to CLE@seyfarth.com. If you have questions about jurisdictions, please email CLE@seyfarth.com. CLE credit for this recording expires on May 24, 2022.

As we have previously blogged about, in 2016 the Nevada Supreme Court refused to adopt the “blue pencil” doctrine and held that Nevada courts could not modify over-broad restrictive covenants. The following year, we alerted readers that the Nevada legislature amended Nevada Revised Statute 613, governing non-competition agreements. Among other things, the amendment granted courts the authority to “blue-pencil” non-competition agreements, overturning the Nevada Supreme Court’s 2016 decision in Golden Road Motor Inn, Inc. v. Islam. Continue Reading The Silver State Grips the Blue Pencil

On Friday, June 11, Seyfarth partner and co-chair of the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes practice group Robert Milligan is presenting the “Remote Trials and ADR” panel at The 2021 Sedona Conference on Remote Case Management of IP Proceedings, which is being held virtually June 10 and June 11. Other panels at the conference include:

  • Remote Conferences, Motions, Ex Parte Applications
  • Remote Depositions
  • Handling Evidence Remotely: Maintaining Protection of Confidential/Trade Secret Information and Building the Record for Trial and Appeal
  • The Future of IP Proceedings: How Should Remote Case Management by Incorporated Going Forward?
  • Judicial Roundtable

For more information and to register for the conference, see The Sedona Conference website.

The New York State Legislature is keeping busy with new employment legislation as the local and national economies continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On April 21, 2021, both houses of the Legislature announced passage of portions of the NY Hero Act, which requires extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the pandemic. The Legislature is also advancing two additional employment-related bills: one would ban “no-rehire” clauses in employment settlement agreements, and the other would prohibit “no-poach” agreements between franchisors and franchisees. Continue Reading New York State Enacts Worker Safety Legislation and Considers Other Employee-Friendly Bills

On Thursday, May 6 at 12 p.m. Eastern, Seyfarth partner Erik Weibust and NERA director Kristopher Boushie will be presenting “Trade Secret Identification and Damages,” a webinar in NERA Economic Consulting’s Developments in Trade Secret Litigation webinar series. This webinar will cover relevant state and federal trade secret statues, discovery issues, and available non-monetary and monetary remedies, including:

  • What constitutes a trade secret under relevant state and federal trade secret statutes;
  • The determination of actual damages, unjust enrichment, and reasonable royalty; and
  • The impact of aggregation and disaggregation of trade secret claims on damages.

For more information and to register, see the NERA website.

 

Seyfarth is a sponsor of the 2021 Sedona Conference on Developing Guidelines for Trade Secret Issues, taking place on June 21-22, 2021, and is taking place virtually. The conference will present for public dialogue for the first time the consensus, non-partisan publications from the Sedona Working Group 12 on Trade Secrets, including:

  • WG12 Commentary on the Proper Identification of Asserted Trade Secrets in Misappropriation Lawsuits
  • WG12 Commentary on The Employee Life Cycle Relating to Trade Secrets
  • WG12 Commentary on Equitable Remedies in Trade Secret Litigation
  • WG12 Commentary on Monetary Remedies in Trade Secret Litigation
  • WG12 Commentary on Protecting Trade Secrets in Litigation About Them
  • WG12 Commentary on Governance and Management of Information Security and Trade Secrets
  • WG12 Commentary on Trade Secret Issues Across International Borders: Extraterritorial Reach
  • WG10/12 Joint Commentary on Cross-Border Discovery in Patent Litigation and Trade Secret Litigation

The conference will also include a panel discussing additional current/future trends in trade secret law and litigation and a Judicial Roundtable.

Robert Milligan, Seyfarth partner and co-chair of the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes group, is speaking on a panel about the employee life cycle. Erik Weibust, Seyfarth partner, is speaking on the “Tailoring Remedies to the Misappropriation: Equitable Relief, Damages, or Both” panel. Robert Milligan is also on the Trade Secret Steering Committee.

Find more information and register on The Sedona Conference website at https://thesedonaconference.org/tsc2021tradesecrets

In Seyfarth’s second installment in its 2021 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Richard Lutkus, Bob Stevens, and Matthew Simmons outlined best practices and steps companies can take to continue to protect intellectual capital, including policies, protections, security concerns, and agreements needed to protect information in a remote environment.

As a conclusion to this webinar, we compiled a summary of takeaways:

Technical takeaways to avoid your trade secrets and IP ending up leaked on the dark web:

  • Train your employees to be suspicious of emails and test them against phishing attacks
  • Get proper malware detection software for servers and endpoints.
  • Turn logging on and retain logs as long as practical so you can have something to investigate if an issue occurs.
  • Keep ANY critical IP/trade secrets encrypted at rest on your file servers!

Pre-termination checklist:

  • Update employee policies and procedures regarding confidential information, BYOD policy, obligation of employee to update location, notice of resignation period, non-use of personal and cloud accounts, return of company property and compliance with return obligation, company asset/hard copy tracking, and training on new policies.
  • Update restrictive covenants and provide sufficient consideration for the updated covenants at the time the employee executes the new restrictive covenant.
  • Complete a company versus personal property assessment.
  • Complete pre-termination forensic searches.

Remote employee resignation checklist:

  • Notify IT and ensure system access is disabled as soon as possible.
  • Ensure all devices (phones, computers, drives, etc.) are returned and postpone reissuance for as long as fiscally able.
  • Conduct exit interview and remind resigning employee of restrictive covenant obligations.
  • Preserve and monitor email account and phone.

Visit our Trade Secrets Webinar Series page to view recordings of all our webinars.

The Illinois Trade Secrets Act (“ITSA”), which is consistent with both other states that have adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, allows the recovery of attorneys’ fees for a party who has been forced to defend against a trade secret claim made in bad faith. See 765 ILCS 1065/5. This fee shifting provision provides an important mechanism to obtain relief for defendants who are forced to incur significant legal fees fighting baseless claims. Continue Reading Failure to Tune in to Requirements to Meet Trade Secret Status Under Illinois Trade Secrets Act Results in Award of Attorneys’ Fees Against Radio Advertising Time Business

After a months-long delay due to an outbreak of COVID-19 during the first trial, a federal jury in Texas awarded a $152 million verdict—including $120 million in punitive damages—in a trade secret misappropriation case between rival software development companies.

Case Summary

In 2019, software company ResMan LLC (“Resman”) sued its former customer Karya Property Management LLC (“Karya”), alleging that Karya provided its third party software consultant, co-defendant Expedien, with unauthorized access to Resman’s trade secrets in order to help it develop a competing product. Resman’s proprietary software is used to manage apartment buildings throughout the United States. In the breach-of-contract lawsuit, Resman alleged Karya gave Expedien access to its trade secrets so that it could develop its own rival property management software. Continue Reading Texas Federal Jury Awards $152 Million in Trade Secret Misappropriation Case Interrupted by COVID-19