On July 10th, the European Commission issued its Implementing Decision regarding the adequacy of the EU-US Data Privacy Framework (“DPF”). The Decision has been eagerly awaited by US and Europe based commerce, hoping it will help business streamline cross-Atlantic data transfers, and by activists who have vowed to scrutinize the next framework arrangement (thereby maintaining their relevance). Regardless of theContinue Reading Adequacy for the US (kind of) – But What Are the Side Effects?
At the beginning of the pandemic, concerns were raised that trade secret misappropriation might take a new form. Indeed, with large swaths of the workforce working from home, spouses, roommates, or others living in the same area had an increased opportunity to purloin confidential information that might not have been available to them previously.
But a recent case in Massachusetts…Continue Reading Secrets Exposed: Trade Secrets, Trust, and a Multi-Million Dollar Lesson
The D.C. Circuit recently held that a “Mutual Non-Disparagement” clause requiring an employer to “direct” its employees not to disparage a former employee could reasonably be interpreted as prohibiting the employer itself from making disparaging statements.
In Wright v. Eugene & Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, Dr. Terri Wright, a former employee of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation (the “Foundation”), filed suit against the Foundation after discovering its CEO, Nicola Goren, had made disparaging statements about her.
The Foundation hired Wright in early February 2018 as its Vice President of Program and Community. During Wright’s tenure, Goren criticized her “interpersonal skills” and identified “communication issues.” In October 2019, Goren fired Wright, citing the same concerns. Wright believed these alleged issues were pretextual, but to attempt to avoid litigation, she entered into a Severance Agreement with the Foundation. The Severance Agreement contained a provision titled “Mutual Non-Disparagement” that read as follows:
You agree that you have not made, and will not make, any false, disparaging or derogatory statements to any person or entity, including any media outlet, industry group or financial institution, regarding the Foundation or any of the other Releasees, or about the Foundation’s business affairs and/or financial conditions; provided, however, that nothing herein prevents you from making truthful disclosures to any governmental entity or in any litigation or arbitration. Likewise, the Foundation will direct those officers, directors, and employees with direct knowledge of this revised letter agreement not to make any false, disparaging or derogatory statements to any person or entity regarding you; provided, however, that nothing herein prevents such individuals from making truthful disclosures to any governmental entity in litigation or arbitration.…
Wednesday, June 21, 2023
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern
2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Central
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Mountain
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pacific
In today’s digital age, trade secrets are an essential asset for businesses to stay ahead of the competition. As businesses continue to operate remotely, protecting trade secrets has become increasingly…Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar! Managing Trade Secrets in a Remote Work Environment
Recently, Seyfarth Partner Jesse Coleman had the opportunity to present an American Intellectual Property Law Association (“AIPLA”) webinar titled “Working with Experts and Recent Developments in Trade Secrets Damages.” Together with Brent Bersin of FTI Consulting and Attorneys Lawrence Pockers and Jennifer Kenedy, the webinar shed light on the intricacies of trade secrets damages and provided valuable insights into the…Continue Reading Working with Experts and Recent Developments in Trade Secrets Damages: Jesse Coleman Shares Key Takeaways from AIPLA Webinar
Jesse Coleman, a Partner in Seyfarth’s Commercial Litigation practice group, will present at American Intellectual Property Law Association’s “Working with Experts and Recent Developments In Trade Secrets Damages” webinar on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Jesse will be presenting alongside other leading practitioners in the area, including Brent Bersin (FTI), Lawrence Pockers (Duane Morris) and Jennifer…Continue Reading Jesse Coleman to Present AIPLA Webinar
The District of Massachusetts recently held that garden leave payments, whereby a former employee subject to a restrictive covenant is paid by the former employer for the duration of the restrictive period, do not constitute “wages” under the Massachusetts Wage Act.…
In June 2022, a federal judge sitting in the Southern District of New York issued an order denying defendants Lionbridge Technologies, Inc. (“Lionbridge”) and its parent company HIG Middle Market, LLC (“HIG”) attorneys’ fees and costs related to their assertion that plaintiff Transperfect Global, LLC (“Transperfect”) brought a misappropriation of trade secrets claim under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) in bad faith. The 2019 lawsuit was filed roughly 15 months after completion of a bidding war for the sale of Transperfect in a Delaware court-supervised auction. One of the participants in the auction was HIG, which had acquired Lionbridge—a competitor of Transperfect—in February 2017. In its suit, Transperfect alleged that HIG engaged in “fake bidding” during the auction so that it could access trade secrets in the form of confidential pricing data and customer lists and improperly share them with Lionbridge to poach two of Transperfect’s biggest clients.
Continue Reading No Fees for Failure to Show “Bad Faith” in Prosecution of Trade Secrets Claim
A Superior Court in Massachusetts has allowed an aesthetician’s lawsuit to proceed against her former employer after it sought to enforce her allegedly void restrictive covenant.
After being terminated by defendant Vanity Lab, the plaintiff and aesthetician Tori Macaroco established her own business providing aesthetician services. Macaroco then received a cease-and-desist letter from a New York law firm, citing the contract she signed as a Vanity Lab employee that contained various restrictive covenants preventing her from “solicit[ing] any employees or patients/customers of Vanity Lab, attempt[ing] to persuade any customer, patient, or employee from leaving Vanity Lab’s services, or reveal[ing] any of Vanity Lab’s confidential information.” The letter also stated that Macaroco was prohibited from practicing as an aesthetician for one year following the end of her employment with Vanity Lab. The letter further advised Macaroco that Vanity Lab would take legal action to enforce its rights in the event of a breach of her contract.
Continue Reading Aesthetician’s Proactive Suit Puts a Wrinkle in Spa’s Attempts to Mar Her Reputation
After a four day bench trial on August 10, 2021, a Houston federal judge ruled that the conceptual designs an oil and gas manufacturing company disclosed to its erstwhile collaborator under an NDA were not eligible for trade secret protection because they were neither secret nor misappropriated due predominantly to disclosure in a prior public patent. The ruling underscores the necessity that trade secrets are—in fact—kept actually secret. Moreover, any prior patent of the party seeking to protect its trade secrets should be scrutinized for similarity with the technology or information allegedly comprising a trade secret.
Continue Reading Texas Oil & Gas Manufacturing Company’s DTSA/TUTSA Lawsuit Unraveled by Public Disclosure of Alleged Trade Secret in its Own Expired Patent