In what has been a growing trend across the country, on April 20, 2012, a New York state court has required that a plaintiff specifically plead its trade secrets in detail before proceeding with discovery. In MSCI et al. v. Jacob, Axioma, New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 651451/2011, the complaint alleged misappropriation of source code

Continue Reading In a Case of First Impression, a New York State Court Requires Specific Pleading of a Trade Secret Cause of Action Before Proceeding with Discovery

As discussed in today’s trade secrets webinar entitled "Pleading, Proving and Protecting Trade Secrets in Litigation," in an all to common theme, the plaintiff in L3 Communications Corporation v. Jaxon Engineering & Maintenance, Inc. et al., 2012 WL 1020516 (D.Colo. March 27, 2012) contended that several of its former employees devised a plan to leave L3 and create

Continue Reading Law School Exam-Type Trade Secret Complaint Survives a Specific Pleading Challenge in Colorado Federal Court

An important procedural issue that often arises in a non-compete dispute is the idea of equitable tolling. This doctrine essentially allows a court to toll, or stay, the time remaining on a non-compete agreement during the period in which the employee is in breach. Equitable tolling, however, is not always available, and the remedy is highly dependent on what state’s

Continue Reading For Whom the Employment Agreement Tolls: New York State Appellate Court Applies Equitable Tolling Doctrine In Non-Compete Dispute

Employers often condition the payment of post-employment or deferred compensation on a departing employee’s compliance with a noncompete agreement. New York is one of the few states that specifically allow for such an arrangement under the "employee choice" doctrine. This doctrine holds that an employee who chooses to voluntarily resign and violate his or her noncompetition obligations can be deemed

Continue Reading A New York Court Holds that Employee Choice Doctrine Does Not Apply to Equitable Relief in a Non-Compete Matter

In Renaissance Nutrition, Inc. v. Jarrett, 2012 WL 42171 (WDNY) (January 9, 2012), Renaissance, a vitamin and pre-mix company serving the dairy industry, alleged that two former top-level employees violated a five year "non-recruitment" or "anti-raiding" clause. In short, Renaissance alleged that these employees resigned in tandem with plans to develop a rival company, Cows Come First, and then

Continue Reading New York Federal Court Finds That Anti-Raiding Clause Is Subject to Rule of Reasonableness Under New York Law

Legislation intended to help protect the trade secrets of New Jersey businesses has been signed into law by Gov. Christie. The New Jersey Trade Secrets Act (S-2456/A-921) establishes by law specific remedies available to businesses in the event that a trade secret – such as a formula, design, a prototype or invention – is misappropriated. New Jersey was one of

Continue Reading At Long Last, New Jersey Passes Trade Secrets Act

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

Continue Reading What Does It Take to Plead a Claim for Trade Secret Misappropriation Claim Under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act?

            Once triggered by a debtor’s bankruptcy petition, the automatic stay suspends a parties’ right to commence or continue an action against property of the debtor’s estate. In general, a party can seek relief from the automatic stay for a variety of reasons, including for cause, lack of adequate protection or that the debtor has no equity in the property and

Continue Reading A Pennsylvania District Court Finds That A Non-Compete Agreement Is Not Subject To Automatic Stay in Bankruptcy

A growing number of courts across the country have required  plaintiffs to specify with particularity the trade secret that they are accusing a defendant of stealing, and that plaintiffs’ refusal to do so could result in dismissal of the claim.  See, e.g.Dura Global, Tech, Inc. v. Magna Donnelly Corp., 2008 WL 2064516 (E.D.Mich. May 14, 2008)

Continue Reading Failure to Specifically Identify Trade Secrets in a Complaint Does Not Bar a Complaint in New Jersey Federal Court

In New York, injunctive relief will not be awarded unless the plaintiff sets forth specific non-monetary harm to Plaintiff in a trade secret case.

In Systems Management Planning, Inc., v. Gordon, 23 Misc.3d 1104(A), 2009 WL 901514 (N.Y.Sup.) (Sup. Ct., Monroe Co, April 3, 2009), the court, in determining a preliminary injunction, assumed that the trade secret status of

Continue Reading To Get Injunctive Relief, Be Able to Prove Specific Irreparable Harm