trade secrets litigationIn 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

It’s a fact pattern that repeatedly arises in trade secret cases: a company hires someone who has a confidentiality agreement with their former employer. Just before (or shortly after) being hired, the individual emails confidential information from their former employer to individuals at their new job. The former employer files suit against the individual, but also asserts a claim for tortious interference with contractual relations against the new employer.
Continue Reading Merely Receiving Confidential Information Isn’t Enough: Georgia Court Dismisses Tortious Interference with Contract Claim in Trade Secret Case

texasOn June 17, 2022, the Texas Supreme Court affirmed a lower appellate court’s decision, (which we previously wrote about here), which nixed the plaintiff’s $740 million trade secret win at trial and required the plaintiff to either accept a $201 million breach of contract win (which the defendant decried as  “jackpot justice”) or go back to trial on all claims.

Briefly, real estate startup HouseCanary brought suit against Title Source, Inc., now known as Amrock, alleging misappropriation of trade secrets under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA), fraud, and breach of contract. At trial, the jury awarded HouseCanary $740 million on its TUTSA and fraud claims and $201 million on its breach of contract claim. HouseCanary could elect to recover one or the other, and it elected to recover the $740 million. On appeal, the lower appellate court reversed the trial court decision regarding TUTSA and fraud based on deficiencies in the jury charge. The appellate court then found that the TUTSA, fraud, and breach of contract claims were inseparable, leaving HouseCanary with two options: to retry all of its claims or recover only the $201 million awarded on the breach of contract claim.
Continue Reading Texas Supreme Court Confirms that HouseCanary Must Fly Toward a $201 Million Judgment or a Retrial

A non-fungible token (“NFT”) is a type of financial asset that is made up of digital data stored in a blockchain. Clear as mud, right? The person or entity that owns the NFT records the ownership in the blockchain, which allows NFTs to be sold and traded. NFTs typically are made up of digital files such as photos, videos, and music. This can even expand to internet viral memes, like Disaster Girl, which became an NFT valued at $401,718.00. The market value of the NFT is linked directly to the digital file that it represents. And more critically, each NFT is uniquely identifiable, so in that way, is different from a cryptocurrency which is fungible.
Continue Reading NFT Company Seeks to Avail Itself of Trade Secret Protections

The 2022 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 seventh consecutive year, our Trade Secrets practice earned Top Tier.

Based on feedback from corporate counsel, Seyfarth partners Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan, and Kate Perrelli are ranked in the editorial’s “Leading Lawyers,” Joshua Salinas
Continue Reading Seyfarth’s Trade Secrets Group Earns Top Tier Ranking from Legal 500 for Seventh Consecutive Year

Robert Milligan, Seyfarth partner and co-chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes group, and associate Alex Meier recently attended the Sedona Conference on Trade Secrets (Working Group 12) in Denver, Colorado. Working Group 12 seeks to aid judges and practitioners in developing consensus-based guidelines for managing trade secret litigation and protecting trade secrets.
Continue Reading Recap! The Sedona Conference on Trade Secrets (Working Group 12) in Denver

In the third installment of our 2022 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Justin Beyer and Ian Long discussed employee mobility and its impact on trade secrets and non-compete agreements, and shared practical steps that companies can take to protect intellectual capital in today’s market.

As a follow up to this webinar, our team wanted to highlight:

• Protecting
Continue Reading Webinar Recap! Employee Mobility and Its Effects on Trade Secrets and Non-Competes

Members of Seyfarth’s Trade Secrets team recently worked on Trade Secret Litigation and Protection: A Practical Guide to the DTSA and CUTSA, a new 26-chapter treatise that explains the fundamentals and intricacies of trade secret law under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and the California Uniform Trade Secret Act (CUTSA).

Robert Milligan—Seyfarth partner and co-chair of the
Continue Reading Seyfarth Trade Secrets Team Assists with Editing and Authoring New Trade Secrets Treatise

Company Alleges Waffles Featured on Oprah’s Annual “Favorite Things” List Were Made From Stolen Recipe

A Massachusetts waffle manufacturer, The Burgundian, recently filed a lawsuit alleging that a potential co-venturer, Eastern Standard Provisions, submitted its Liege waffles for inclusion on Oprah Winfrey’s annual “Favorite Things” list without giving credit to Burgundian. Then, after Burgundian refused to sell its secret waffle recipe, Eastern Standard employed a “bait and switch” by selling Liege waffles from a different company while touting Oprah’s endorsement of the Liege waffles made by Burgundian and enjoying the spoils of landing a spot on the coveted list.
Continue Reading One of Our “Favorite Things” Are Lawsuits About Stolen Secret Recipes