From court closures and the way judges conduct appearances and trials to the expected wave of lawsuits across a multitude of areas and industries, the COVID-19 outbreak is having a notable impact in the litigation space—and is expected to for quite some time.

To help navigate the litigation landscape, we are kicking off a webinar

Seyfarth Partner and Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group Co-Chair Katherine Perrelli was recently named chair of the Trade Secrets and Interferences with Contracts Committee of the American Bar Association Intellectual Property Section for the 2020-2021 bar year.

The Trade Secrets and Interferences with Contracts Committee is focused on issues arising under federal,

The 2020 edition of The Legal 500 United States recommends Seyfarth Shaw’s Trade Secrets group as one of the best in the country. Nationally, for the fifth consecutive year, our Trade Secrets practice earned Top Tier.

Based on feedback from corporate counsel, Seyfarth partner Michael Wexler was ranked in the editorial’s “Leading Lawyers,” and Robert

Tens of millions of employees have been laid off or furloughed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the reopening process has begun in most states, many of those employees are being rehired and reactivated. For the month of May 2020, the unemployment rate actually started to decline after the massive increase over the prior few months, as businesses began the return to normal and employers who obtained relief from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) restored their workforces to pre-pandemic levels in order to secure loan forgiveness.

One thing that employers may not be considering when they rehire laid off or furloughed employees is what impact this has on prior restrictive covenant agreements with those employees. We previously discussed whether non-competes are enforceable against employees who are laid off. But what about employees who are laid off and then rehired, or furloughed and then reactivated? Are restrictive covenant agreements signed by employees prior to the layoffs or furloughs still enforceable if they ultimately leave and join a competitor down the road? The answer depends on whether the employee was technically, even if temporarily, laid off rather than furloughed, and what state’s law applies.
Continue Reading No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Return to Work May Mean Reduced Protections for Trade Secrets and Customer Goodwill

The American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secret Summit will be held virtually this year. The Summit will consist of two 45-minute presentations every Wednesday beginning on August 12 and ending on September 2. Erik Weibust is Vice Chair of the AIPLA’s Trade Secret Committee, which hosts the Summit each year, and Scott Humphrey will

As a special feature of our blog—guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Rachel Bailey, a Legal Data Expert for Lex Machina. 

You may have previously read Seyfarth Shaw’s excellent analysis of Lex Machina’s Trade Secret Litigation Report. There are some big picture trends in the report that reflect the trade secret litigation landscape in the federal district courts. A common misconception is that Lex Machina is a reports company. While we do create reports using our data, ultimately we are a platform that updates daily with analytics that allow users to make data-driven decisions for litigation strategy, business development, risk assessment, and other uses.
Continue Reading A Deeper Dive into Trade Secret Legal Analytics

The “return to normal” in courts across the country has brought with it a flurry of trade secrets decisions that address some interesting and instructive issues, both procedurally and substantively. In the last ten days alone, courts in Illinois, Massachusetts, and Texas have weighed in on issues such as the specificity necessary to assert a viable trade secrets claim, the enforceability of a restrictive covenant against an employee who is laid off temporarily but quickly finds a new role and is rehired by the same organization, and the validity of a $700,000,000 jury verdict that was based on a jury question that combined multiple theories of liability. Let’s take a look:
Continue Reading Courts Across the Country Continue to Address Trade Secrets Issues

Webinar
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

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Join Seyfarth attorneys Dean Fanelli, Dawn Mertineit, and Kate Perrelli, along with in-house counsel Julie McCarthy, General Counsel and Vice-President of Legal Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research

On June 10, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, Erik Weibust and Michael Kippins will be presenting a free webinar for the Boston Bar Association entitled “Protecting Trade Secrets in the Face of Remote Workforces, New Technology, and Laid Off Employees.”.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and in response to what many are calling

As we previously reported, CBD company Healthcare Resources Management Group, LLC (Healthcare Resources) filed an action in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida claiming trade secret misappropriation by Medterra CBD and EcoNatura, and alleging that Medterra CBD and EcoNatura worked together to manufacture and sell a CBD cream using Healthcare Resources’ proprietary formula. On February 18, 2020, the defendants moved to dismiss the case on the grounds that Healthcare Resource failed to allege that it had provided or that Medterra had otherwise acquired any proprietary information. Healthcare Resources responded arguing that its trade secret claim is legitimate so long as (1) there was improper use of proprietary information; and (2) that use was enabled by a party who had a duty to guard and limit the use of such proprietary information.  The case has now been dismissed, but not for any of the reasons the parties briefed. Rather, in a May 21, 2020, order, Judge Donald Middlebrooks dismissed the suit without prejudice for failing to secure counsel to represent it in the case and denied Healthcare Resources’ pro se request for additional time to obtain new counsel.
Continue Reading No Counsel, No Lawsuit: Federal Court Tosses CBD Trade Secret Case