On April 11th, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the conviction and 41-month prison sentence of a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) defendant, holding that he was tried and convicted in an improper venue.  U.S. v. Auernheimer, No. 13-1816 (3rd Cir. Apr. 11, 2014).  Though we usually do not post on procedural issues like these, we certainly
Continue Reading Third Circuit Signals Pro-Defendant Interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s “Authorized Access” Provisions

Nevada and Colorado recently passed employee social networking privacy laws. Both laws prohibit employers from requiring disclosure of employees’ or applicants’ personal social-networking account login information, and from retaliating against them for refusing to provide that information.  But one or both of these statutes are somewhat different from other states’ social networking laws in that:

  1. The Colorado law does not


Continue Reading Nevada and Colorado Pass Employee Social Networking Privacy Laws

Following up on my recent posts on lawmakers working to implement social media password laws in Oregon, Washington and Vermont, I had the opportunity to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN. In the brief interview, I explain that the laws are very similar to what we’ve seen elsewhere in the country and, like those, that there are loopholes employers
Continue Reading Video Interview: Discussing Social Media Password Laws with LXBN TV

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

On May 17, 2013, a Pennsylvania appellate court, with one of its judges dissenting, ordered that the trial court award attorneys’ fees to a married couple whose neighbors wrongfully accused them of trade secret misappropriation regarding flagstone artwork. Krafft v. Downey, Pa. Sup. Ct. No. 476 WDA 2012 (Donohue, J.).

According to the majority, plaintiffs Jack and Linda Krafft
Continue Reading Pennsylvania Appellate Court Orders Sanctions for Plaintiff’s Bad-Faith Trade Secret Misappropriation Claims

On May 21, 2013, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Senate Bill 5211, which with certain exceptions prohibits mandatory employee disclosure of ‘personal’ social-networking account information and profiles. The revised bill passed the Washington house and senate unanimously, and will go into effect on July 28, 2013. Washington thus became the ninth state to pass such legislation, which
Continue Reading Washington State Passes Social Networking Privacy Legislation

On February 6, 2013, the federal Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed $15 million of a $18.1 million dollar jury verdict (onto which the trial court tacked on an additional $1.5 million in interest) in favor of a New York subway brake manufacturer on its trade secret misappropriation claim against a former licensee turned competitor.  Faively Transport USA, Inc. v.
Continue Reading Second Circuit Largely Affirms $18.1 Million Trade Secrets Misappropriation Verdict

On January 30th, the Washington state senate introduced a bill which would prohibit public and private employers within the state from requiring employees to turn over their online social-network account passwords.  Senate Bill 5211.  As we previously blogged, a number of states have passed or are considering similar legislation, which ostensibly is aimed at protecting employees’ privacy in their


Continue Reading Hands Off My Tweets: Washington State Senate Proposes Ban on Mandatory Disclosure of Employee Social Networking Passwords