A Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Judges A. Wallace Tashima, Johnnie B. Rawlinson, and Paul J. Watford recently heard oral argument in Anheuser-Busch Companies v. Clark, 17-15591, concerning the denial of a former employer’s anti-SLAPP motion in a trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract case. This is the second time the case has made its way up to the Ninth Circuit. We previously reported on this case in March 2017. The panel has not yet issued its decision but the Ninth Circuit’s decision could have far reaching implications for trade secret and data theft cases involving purported whistleblowing activities. Continue Reading Hold My Beer: Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Argument in Trade Secret/Anti-SLAPP Row for a Second Time

Please join us for a one-hour CLE webinar on Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern / 12:00 p.m. Central / 10:00 a.m. Pacific.

Trade secret misappropriation is increasingly gaining the attention of law enforcement authorities. This reality creates different dynamics and risks depending on whether a company is being accused of wrongdoing or is the victim of such conduct. On Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 12:00 p.m. Central, Seyfarth Shaw attorneys Andrew Boutros and John Schleppenbach will present the “Criminal Trade Secret Theft Update” webinar, the seventh installment in Seyfarth’s 2018 Trade Secrets Webinar Series.

The webinar will focus on criminal liability for trade secret theft, including:

  • Key statutes: Economic Espionage Act, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and the Defend Trade Secrets Act
  • Key elements for criminal prosecution
  • Factors that prosecutors consider when deciding whether and what to prosecute
  • How to work with federal prosecutors and their law enforcement partners
  • Civil RICO under the Defend Trade Secrets Act
  • Best practices for avoiding misappropriation and what to do when you suspect misappropriation has occurred

On Thursday, October 4, 2018, at 8:30-9:30 a.m. Pacific Time, Seyfarth Shaw attorney D. Joshua Salinas will be presenting on “The Use of the Blockchain Model to Develop and Protect Trade Secrets.” The presentation is part of the 2018 ABA IP West Conference, which runs from October 3-4, 2018, at the Renaissance Newport Beach Hotel in Newport Beach, California.

The presentation will focus on the following topics:

  • An introduction to blockchain technology
  • The promises and advantages of using blockchain technology to protect trade secrets
  • The limitations and inherent risks in using blockchain technology to protect trade secrets
  • Takeaways from the recent Cryptokitties case

For more information or to register for the 2018 ABA IP West Conference, click here.

Readers of our blog will recall that this summer, the Massachusetts legislature passed a non-compete reform bill after nearly a decade of fruitless attempts.  The new law goes into effect today, meaning that any agreements signed today or in the future will need to comply with the new law.

As a brief recap, the key provisions of the new bill are as follows: Continue Reading Today’s the Day: Massachusetts’ New Non-Compete Law Goes into Effect

In Seyfarth’s sixth installment in its 2018 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Daniel Hart, Marjorie Culver, Alex Meier, and Paul Yovanic Jr. focused on how to identify the greatest threats to trade secrets, tips and best practices for protecting trade secrets abroad, and enforcement mechanisms and remedies.

As a conclusion to this well-received webinar, we compiled a summary of takeaways:

  • You don’t want to be in a position where you’re relying exclusively on trade secrets law to protect proprietary information. When possible, execute a confidentiality agreement. This will not only protect a wider range of information, but also often helps with securing pre-discovery injunctive relief.
  • In order to adequately protect trade secrets abroad, companies should inform employees of the important nature of secret information, take steps to secure secret information and limit access only to necessary employees, and avoid liability without culpability by revising employment agreements and informing new hires of the prohibited conduct.
  • Restrictive covenants abroad are easier to enforce when agreements are narrowly tailored for duration, geographic scope, and nature and when penalties are reasonable.
  • For international misappropriation, consider whether you want to pursue relief in the foreign jurisdiction or in the United States. The Defend Trade Secrets Act and, in some instances, Section 337 actions before the International Trade Commission rules offer powerful alternatives to proceedings in other jurisdictions.

Back in 2015, we covered the divided holding of the Ninth Circuit in Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group, that a “no re-hire” provision in a settlement agreement could constitute a restraint of trade in violation of California law. After a second round at the Ninth Circuit, the case has been reversed and remanded yet again, based on the panel majority’s conclusion that the “no re-hire” provisions at issue were overbroad and unenforceable. Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Confirms “No Re-Hire” Clauses Can Constitute Unlawful Restraints of Trade in California

Seyfarth Partner and Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Compete Practice Group Co-Chair Robert Milligan is on the panel for the “Hot Topics in Trade Secret Litigation: the DTSA, Remedies, Anti-SLAPP, and Constitutional issues” session on November 8, at the California Lawyers Association Intellectual Property Institute in San Jose, California.

The “Hot Topics in Trade Secret Litigation” session will cover some of the most intriguing (and vexing) topics in trade secret litigation and will provide attendees valuable insights from the trenches. The panel will address a broad range of issues, including:

  • The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA)
  • Trade secret misappropriation as the predicate act of a RICO claim
  • Damages and entitlement of alternative monetary relief
  • Anti-SLAPP issues
  • Constitutional issues, such as the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and the Seventh Amendment

For more information or to register for the IP Institute, click here: https://calawyers.org/Sections/Intellectual-Property-Law/Education/IP-Institute

Seyfarth Shaw Partners Erik Weibust and Robert Fisher recently published a Law360 article about the new Massachusetts Non-Compete Law that goes into effect on October 1, 2018. Weibust and Fisher describe the new rules, the impact of the new provisions, and how businesses can comply. To learn more about this new non-compete law in Massachusetts, check out “Navigating The New Mass. Noncompete Morass” from Law360 here.

 

Massachusetts Federal Court Enjoins Seafood Supplier Executive from Working for Competitor After Downloading Trade Secrets

A Massachusetts Federal Court recently enjoined the former Director of Research and Development and Quality Assurance of National Fish & Seafood, Inc. (“National Fish”) from working for a competing seafood supplier based in Florida after it determined that she had downloaded thousands of documents from National Fish’s computer systems during her final days with the company.  Kathleen Scanlon had worked for the Gloucester, Massachusetts-based seafood supplier for twenty-three years when she was approached by the CEO of Tampa Bay Fisheries, Inc. (“Tampa Bay Fisheries”) to see if she was interested in taking a position as director of food safety for the company. Continue Reading There’s Something Fishy Going on Here: MA Federal Court Enjoins Seafood Supplier Executive

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals1 recently upheld the position of the California Attorney General (AG) that charities located or doing business in California must provide a copy of their unredacted Form 990 Schedule B, including the names, addresses and contribution amounts for all donors listed with the annual report filed with the AG.2 While the AG has indicated that the collected information will not be made publicly available, this is unwelcome news for charities that are concerned about protecting their donors’ identities.3 Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Reaffirms CA Attorney General’s Demand for Donor List