As a special feature of our blog—guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Jeremy Morton, Partner at Harbottle & Lewis LLP, London, UK.

The UK government has finally launched a consultation on its proposed “Trade Secrets (Enforcement, etc) Regulations 2018,” in advance of the June 9, 2018, deadline to implement the EU Trade Secrets Directive of 2016. Responses to the consultation are due by March 16. Continue Reading UK Reveals Its Future Approach to Trade Secrets

For the third year in a row, the Washington state legislature failed to pass non-compete legislation, declining to take action on two separate bills that would have severely restricted employers’ ability to enforce former employees’ non-competition agreements. Continue Reading Washington State’s Legislature Rains on Non-Compete Critics’ Parade Yet Again

Friends of our blog recently published a first-of-its-kind survey about how in-house counsel view various issues in trade secret law. Approximately 80 in-house counsel completed the 20-question survey, and the results were interesting. More than 75% of respondents said the risks to their company’s trade secrets have increased over the past 10 years, with 50% saying the risks have increased significantly. For another example, respondents described their company’s current and former employees as those most likely to try to steal that company’s trade secrets.

The survey methodology and its complete results were published in Law360. Here is the link. The primary authors were David Almeling and Darin Snyder.

Our blog posted a story on the survey in June 2017. We thank any of our readers who completed the survey and thereby contributed to the results.

To develop consensus and non-partisan principles for best practices in managing trade secret litigation and well-vetted recommendations for consideration in protecting trade secrets, recognizing that every organization, both large and small, has and uses trade secrets; that trade secret disputes frequently intersect with other important public policies such as employee mobility and international trade; and that trade secret disputes are litigated in both state and federal courts.

Robert Milligan, Seyfarth Partner and Co-Chair of the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud, and Non-Competes Practice Group, is an inaugural member of the WG12 Steering Committee, which consists of experts in the trade secret issues. Continue Reading Robert Milligan on the Inaugural Steering Committee of the Sedona Conference’s New Working Group 12 on Trade Secrets

Continuing our annual tradition, we present the top developments/headlines for 2017/2018 in trade secret, computer fraud, and non-compete law.

1. Notable Defend Trade Secrets Act Developments

Just two years after its enactment, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) continues to be one of the most significant and closely followed developments in trade secret law. The statute provides for a federal civil cause of action for trade secret theft, protections for whistleblowers, and new remedies (e.g., ex parte seizure of property), that were not previously available under state trade secret laws. Continue Reading Top Developments/Headlines in Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete Law in 2017/2018

This post originally appeared on the Workplace Class Action blog

Seyfarth Synopsis: On February 1, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina entered an order granting in part, and denying in part, the plaintiff’s motion for class certification in a no-hire antitrust case entitled Seaman v. Duke University, 1:15-CV-462, at 1-2 (M.D.N.C. Feb. 1, 2018) (A copy of the decision can be found here.) The case was brought against Duke University, Duke University Health System (collectively “Duke”), and various University of North Carolina entities and one of its executives (collectively “UNC”). The complaint alleged that the defendants had entered into an agreement not to hire each other’s medical faculty employees in violation of federal antitrust laws. With some notable exceptions it has been difficult for plaintiffs to achieve class certification in wage suppression cases such as Seaman. The ruling is a “must read” for employers, as the Court’s reasoning and conclusions make it difficult to predict whether this case will be helpful to the plaintiffs’ bar in other cases.

Background To The Case

Seaman, an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Duke, contended that she applied for a position at UNC in 2015. She alleged that she was denied consideration due to an agreement among the Duke and UNC defendants that they would not hire each another’s medical faculty employees unless the hire involved a promotion. Seaman alleged that this agreement not only suppressed the compensation of defendants’ medical faculty members, but also their other skilled medical employees. Thus, Seaman sought to certify a class consisting not only of defendants’ medical faculty members, but also their physicians, nurses, and skilled medical staff. Id. at 1-2. Continue Reading Court Certifies Class In Duke-UNC No-Hire Workplace Antitrust Lawsuit

On March 1–2, 2018, five Seyfarth attorneys will be attending the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s annual Trade Secret Law Summit in San Diego, California, one of the preeminent events for trade secret practitioners in the nation. Erik Weibust is on the planning committee for the Summit and will be moderating a panel entitled “The Ethics of Law Firm Cybersecurity,” featuring Seyfarth’s own John Tomaszewski; National Litigation Department chair Kate Perrelli will be participating in a facilitated discussion regarding various problems all trade secret and noncompete practitioners face; and Seyfarth attorneys Dawn Mertineit and Eric Barton will be in attendance as well.  Other topics will include:

  • The Trade Secret Landscape
  • Trade Secrets and Noncompetes, with a focus on the California conundrum
  • Professors Panel
  • The DTSA—Was it worth it?
  • The FBI—What is the threat?
  • The International Dimension and Extraterritoriality
  • Corporate Best Practices
  • Judges Panel
  • A case study of Waymo v. Uber

Please join us at the Trade Secret Law Summit!  Register here.

On December 6-8, the inaugural Sedona Conference on trade secrets took place in Scottsdale, Arizona. The invitation-only conference brought together outside counsel, in-house counsel, and experts to have an in-depth discussion of developments in trade secrets law.

The conference provided us with some great insights into the issues on practitioners’ and companies’ minds. After a post-conference debrief, a few common notes emerged, and we have prepared a short summary of what we consider to be a few key takeaways.  Continue Reading Report on Sedona Conference on Trade Secrets

Robert B. Milligan, Partner and Co-Chair of Seyfarth’s National Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete practice group, just finished co-editing and co-authoring a prominent new California trade secret treatise.

This Supplement to the Third Edition practice guide addresses the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA ), which was enacted in 2016.  This Supplement includes additional practical tips and strategies related to the DTSA. This is one of the first books on the new law.

This supplement addresses:

  • A general overview of the DTSA, including its history and impact.
  • The DTSA’s scope and remedies afforded by it.
  • Analysis of recent case law discussing the DTSA’s whistleblower immunity provision and employer compliance with the DTSA’s whistleblower immunity notice provision.
  • A comparison of the DTSA to the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA or the CUTSA), the Economic Espionage Act (EEA), the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and Section 337 of the Federal Tariff Act of 1930 (Section 337).

The treatise can be purchased by State Bar IP Section Members for $25 and by Non-Members for $30.

For more information, click here.

On Monday, January 29th, Faraday & Future Inc., the electric car manufacturer founded by Chinese billionaire and entrepreneur Jia Yueting, filed a one-count Defend Trade Secrets Act complaint against Evelozcity, Inc., an electric car manufacturer that was recently created by Faraday & Future’s former CFO and CTO.  The case is Faraday & Future Inc. v. Evelozcity Inc., 18-cv-00737, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Western Division). Continue Reading Start-Up Car Companies Clash in Electrifying Trade Secrets Case