A government contractor learned the hard way that bid documents containing trade secrets are not protected from disclosure in Massachusetts. On September 21, 2018, a Massachusetts U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) doesn’t bar requests under the public records law for bid proposals containing a contractor’s trade secrets. Continue Reading No Protection Under The DTSA for Bid Documents Containing Trade Secrets

When negotiations for acquisition and licensing fell through between Swarmify and Cloudflare in 2017, Swarmify brought several claims against Cloudflare, including state and federal claims for misappropriation of trade secrets.

Swarmify, a startup developing video streaming technology, first entered into negotiations with Internet content-delivery giant Cloudflare in 2016. After a second round of acquisition talks in June of 2017 failed to produce an agreement, Swarmify returned to the development of its technology. Three months later, Cloudflare posted two blog articles on its website detailing the introduction of its new video streaming solution to the market. These two blog posts are the main basis for Swarmify’s claims against Cloudflare. Continue Reading California Federal Court Awards Fees From Trade Secret Plaintiff For Continuing To Litigate After Misappropriation Claim Was Rendered “Objectively Specious”

As a special feature of our blog—guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Donal O’Connell, Managing Director of Chawton Innovation Services Ltd.

Introduction

An IP Holding Company exists to hold intellectual property on behalf of one or more other companies but does not necessarily manufacture products or supply services based upon the IP held. Continue Reading IP Holding Companies: Trade Secrets & Trade Secret Asset Management

On Wednesday, November 28, 2018, at 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Eastern, Seyfarth Partner and Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Compete Practice Group Co-Chair Robert Milligan is presenting a Strafford live webinar. The “Drafting Enforceable Non-compete and Non-Solicitation Agreements: Compliance with New State Statutes and Case Law” webinar panel will discuss recent legislative and case law trends regarding non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, offer best practices for structuring permissible contracts, and explain how to determine whether existing agreements are lawful.

The webinar will focus on the following topics:

  • What are the recent legislative changes affecting restrictive covenants?
  • What are the recent case law decisions affecting non-compete and non-solicitation agreements?
  • How can employers structure restrictive covenants to comply with new laws and decisions?
  • How can employment counsel analyze existing agreements for compliance?

For more information and to register for the webinar, click here.

D. Joshua Salinas was recently named 2018-2019 Vice Chair of the Trade Secrets and Interferences with Contracts Committee for the American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law (ABA-IPL). The ABA-IPL was formed to advance the development of intellectual property laws, and their fair and just administration. The Section serves as the ABA voice—within the profession, before policymakers and with the public. Joshua will help lead this forum for rich perspectives and balanced insight on the full spectrum of intellectual property law.

The ABA is one of the world’s largest voluntary professional organizations, with nearly 400,000 members and more than 3,500 entities.  It is committed to serving their members, improving the legal profession, eliminating bias and enhancing diversity, and advancing the rule of law throughout the United States and around the world. View the ABA-IPL website here for more details.

A Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Judges A. Wallace Tashima, Johnnie B. Rawlinson, and Paul J. Watford recently heard oral argument in Anheuser-Busch Companies v. Clark, 17-15591, concerning the denial of a former employer’s anti-SLAPP motion in a trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract case. This is the second time the case has made its way up to the Ninth Circuit. We previously reported on this case in March 2017. The panel has not yet issued its decision but the Ninth Circuit’s decision could have far reaching implications for trade secret and data theft cases involving purported whistleblowing activities. Continue Reading Hold My Beer: Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Argument in Trade Secret/Anti-SLAPP Row for a Second Time

Please join us for a one-hour CLE webinar on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern / 12:00 p.m. Central / 10:00 a.m. Pacific.

Trade secret misappropriation is increasingly gaining the attention of law enforcement authorities. This reality creates different dynamics and risks depending on whether a company is being accused of wrongdoing or is the victim of such conduct. On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. Central, Seyfarth Shaw attorneys Jesse Coleman, Andrew Boutros, and John Schleppenbach will present the “Criminal Trade Secret Theft Update” webinar, the seventh installment in Seyfarth’s 2018 Trade Secrets Webinar Series.

The webinar will focus on criminal liability for trade secret theft, including:

  • Key statutes: Economic Espionage Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the Defend Trade Secrets Act
  • Key elements for criminal prosecution
  • Factors that prosecutors consider when deciding whether and what to prosecute
  • How to work with federal prosecutors and their law enforcement partners
  • Civil RICO under the Defend Trade Secrets Act
  • Best practices for avoiding misappropriation and what to do when you suspect misappropriation has occurred

On Thursday, October 4, 2018, at 8:30-9:30 a.m. Pacific Time, Seyfarth Shaw attorney D. Joshua Salinas will be presenting on “The Use of the Blockchain Model to Develop and Protect Trade Secrets.” The presentation is part of the 2018 ABA IP West Conference, which runs from October 3-4, 2018, at the Renaissance Newport Beach Hotel in Newport Beach, California.

The presentation will focus on the following topics:

  • An introduction to blockchain technology
  • The promises and advantages of using blockchain technology to protect trade secrets
  • The limitations and inherent risks in using blockchain technology to protect trade secrets
  • Takeaways from the recent Cryptokitties case

For more information or to register for the 2018 ABA IP West Conference, click here.

Readers of our blog will recall that this summer, the Massachusetts legislature passed a non-compete reform bill after nearly a decade of fruitless attempts.  The new law goes into effect today, meaning that any agreements signed today or in the future will need to comply with the new law.

As a brief recap, the key provisions of the new bill are as follows: Continue Reading Today’s the Day: Massachusetts’ New Non-Compete Law Goes into Effect

In Seyfarth’s sixth installment in its 2018 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Daniel Hart, Marjorie Culver, Alex Meier, and Paul Yovanic Jr. focused on how to identify the greatest threats to trade secrets, tips and best practices for protecting trade secrets abroad, and enforcement mechanisms and remedies.

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

  • You don’t want to be in a position where you’re relying exclusively on trade secrets law to protect proprietary information. When possible, execute a confidentiality agreement. This will not only protect a wider range of information, but also often helps with securing pre-discovery injunctive relief.
  • In order to adequately protect trade secrets abroad, companies should inform employees of the important nature of secret information, take steps to secure secret information and limit access only to necessary employees, and avoid liability without culpability by revising employment agreements and informing new hires of the prohibited conduct.
  • Restrictive covenants abroad are easier to enforce when agreements are narrowly tailored for duration, geographic scope, and nature and when penalties are reasonable.
  • For international misappropriation, consider whether you want to pursue relief in the foreign jurisdiction or in the United States. The Defend Trade Secrets Act and, in some instances, Section 337 actions before the International Trade Commission rules offer powerful alternatives to proceedings in other jurisdictions.