It is well established that the Georgia Trade Secret Act (“GTSA”) includes a preemption clause holding that the Act “supersede[s] conflicting tort, restitutionary, and other laws of this state providing civil remedies for misappropriation of a trade secret.” O.C.G.A. § 10-1-767(a). The GTSA does not, however, preempt (1) “[c]ontractual duties or remedies, whether or not based upon misappropriation of a trade secret”; (2) “[o]ther civil remedies that are not based upon misappropriation of a trade secret”; or (3) “[t]he definition of a trade secret contained in [another Georgia statute].” O.C.G.A. § 10-1-767(b). In other words, the GTSA preempts any non-contractual claims that allege the misappropriation of a trade secret. See Bd. of Regents of the Univ. Sys. Of Georgia v. One Sixty Over Ninety, LLC, 830 S.E.2d 503, 510 n.13 (Ga. Ct. App. 2019) (“[T]he Trade Secrets Act superseded the common law tort of misappropriation [of trade secrets].”)
Continue Reading Recent Federal Court Ruling Refuses to Expand the Scope of Georgia Trade Secret Act’s Preemption Clause

Seyfarth attorneys published in IP LitigatorSeyfarth partner Jesse Coleman and associate Kevin Green authored an IP Litigator article focused on a recent DTSA/TUTSA lawsuit which involved the public disclosure of alleged trade secret in an expired patent. Read the full article from the March / April 2022 edition of IP Litigator here.
Continue Reading Seyfarth Attorneys Author Article on Texas Trade Secret Lawsuit

Robert Milligan, Seyfarth partner and co-chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes group, will moderate the “Leveraging Internal Assets in the Governance and Management of Trade Secrets” panel for The 2022 Sedona Conference. Seyfarth is also sponsoring the Sedona Conference, which is taking place May 9–10 at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver, Colorado.

Other
Continue Reading Seyfarth to Sponsor and Robert Milligan to Moderate a Panel for The 2022 Sedona Conference on Trade Secrets

On March 24, 2022, Washington state Governor Inslee signed into law Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1795 (The Silenced No More Act) (“ESHB 1795”). Washington now becomes the second state (after California) to render nondisclosure and nondisparagement provisions illegal in employment agreements.
Continue Reading Governor Inslee Signs “Silenced No More Act” Prohibiting Nondisclosure and Nondisparagement Provisions In All Employment Agreements In Washington

In the second program in the 2022 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth partners Jesse Coleman, Dan Hart, and Caitlin Lane discussed how to identify the greatest threats to trade secrets, provided tips and best practices for protecting trade secrets abroad, and covered enforcement mechanisms and remedies internationally and in the US.

As a follow up to this webinar, our
Continue Reading Webinar Recap! Protecting Trade Secrets and Enforcing Restrictive Covenants Internationally

Thursday, March 17, 2022
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mountain
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific

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Trade secrets are critical intellectual property, and the threat to trade secrets continues to increase year after year. It’s vital for companies to protect trade secrets, both in the US
Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar! Protecting Trade Secrets and Enforcing Restrictive Covenants Internationally

In the first program in the 2022 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan, and James Yu reviewed noteworthy legislation, cases, and other legal developments from across the nation over the last year in the area of trade secrets and data theft, non-competes and other restrictive covenants, and computer fraud. Plus, they provided predictions for what to
Continue Reading Webinar Recap! 2021 Trade Secrets & Non-Competes Year in Review

Robert Milligan, Seyfarth partner and co-chair of the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes practice, is presenting the “It’s 10:00 pm. Do You Know Where Your Company’s Crown Jewels Are? Does Someone Else? Trade Secrets as an Information Asset” session at the MER Conference on May 11 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The panel, which includes members of
Continue Reading Robert Milligan to Speak on Effectively Protecting Trade Secrets at MER Conference 2022

Yet another state has made it harder for businesses to implement restrictive covenants—this time with criminal penalties.

Colorado’s restrictive covenants statute already provides that it is unlawful to “use force, threats, or other means of intimidation to prevent any person from engaging in any lawful occupation,” and further states that non-competes are invalid unless they fall into one of four categories:

  1. Covenants made in connection with the purchase and sale of a business (or the assets of a business);
  2. Covenants made for the protection of trade secrets;
  3. Covenants for the recovery of expenses incurred in educating and training employees who were employed for less than 2 years; and
  4. Covenants for executive and management personnel (and their professional staff) and officers.

That has been the law in Colorado for years—but a new, draconian portion of the statute will go into effect in just over a month.
Continue Reading Colorado Criminalizes Attempts to Curb Competition

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