The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued some expectations/guidance to industry members on FINRA’s expectations when a broker leaves for another firm. Specifically, on April 5, 2019, FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 19-10, which instructs/reminds FINRA member firms to: (1) promptly and clearly communicate to customers how their accounts will continue to be serviced when the broker servicing the customer leaves for another firm; and (2) if requested by the customer, provide customers with timely and complete answers, if known, to questions about a departing broker. Continue Reading FINRA Issues Guidance on the Handling of Customers When a Broker Leaves a Firm

As readers of this blog know, most trade secret misappropriation claims are brought in civil complaints—but a recent case out of Pennsylvania reveals how quickly the tables can turn on a civil plaintiff asserting claims against her former employer, resulting not only in civil counterclaims for trade secret misappropriation, but also in criminal prosecution. This case reveals how defense counsel can—and should—take an aggressive approach to protection of clients’ confidential and trade secret information, not only to preserve clients’ claim that such information is confidential, but to obtain critical leverage in high-stakes litigation.  Continue Reading Nursing Assistant’s “Self-Help” Attempt to Bolster Her Discrimination and Wage Claims Backfires in Spectacular Fashion

Seyfarth Partner and Co-Chair of the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group Robert Milligan contributed to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) report “Protecting Trade Secrets—Recent EU and US Reforms.”

The report outlines the differences between the recent EU and US laws and provides guidance for businesses on how to identify trade secrets and how to put in place practical measures to ensure protection. The report also includes recommendations for policymakers on the establishment or reform of trade secret protection frameworks.

The report is available as a free download on the ICC website.

On Thursday, May 2 at 12:00 p.m. Central Time, in Seyfarth’s third installment of its 2019 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys will focus on the key provisions of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, and how the DTSA has evolved since it was passed three years ago.

Seyfarth attorneys Katherine Perrelli, Justin K. Beyer, and Amy Abeloff will address the following topics:

  • What is a trade secret and how is it misappropriated
  • Brief history of the DTSA
  • Primary ways in which the DTSA differs from most state statutes
  • Best practices for clients for preparing for potential DTSA claims
  • How the DTSA has evolved over the past three years
  • What to expect in the future

Register for the webinar here

If you have any questions, please contact Colleen Vest at cvest@seyfarth.com and reference this event.

*CLE Credit for this webinar has been awarded in the following states: CA, IL, NJ and NY. CLE Credit is pending for GA, TX and VA. Please note that in order to receive full credit for attending this webinar, the registrant must be present for the entire session.

The American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) will host its annual Spring Meeting in Philadelphia on May 15-17, 2019.

Loews Philadelphia Hotel
200 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Seyfarth Partner John Tomaszewski is on the panel for “The California Privacy Act of 2018: A Review of California’s New Privacy Law and Tips for Implementing Compliance Measures” session on Thursday, May 16. Partner Erik Weibust is Vice Chair of the AIPLA Trade Secret Law Committee and helped coordinate the trade secret track at the Spring Meeting.

Find more information and register here.

 

On May 7 at 12 p.m. Central, Seyfarth attorneys Blake Hornick, Scott Carlson, and Michael Dunn are presenting a cybersecurity CLE webinar.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is promoting more robust disclosures regarding cybersecurity risks, controls, and incidents for investors, placing increased responsibility on public companies due to the “grave threats” cyber poses on the markets. With cyber high on the SEC’s agenda, boards, in-house legal teams, and CIO’s need to know how to manage their cyber-risk exposure, establish oversight, develop response plans, and prepare for disclosures.
Seyfarth’s Capital Markets and Privacy & Securities lawyers join forces for this webinar to provide timely guidance on:
  • The cyber threat landscape
  • Duties of the board in cybersecurity
  • Who the regulators are and what they expect of public companies
  • Disclosure controls and procedures
  • Risk assessments and the costs to maintain protections
  • Disclosure and reporting considerations

For more information and to register for the webinar, click here.

Seyfarth is pleased to be a Global Sponsor at ITechLaw’s 2019 World Technology Conference in Boston, May 15-17.

InterContinental Boston
510 Atlantic Avenue
Boston, MA 02210

ITechLaw is a not-for-profit organization established to inform and educate lawyers about the unique legal issues arising from the evolution, production, marketing, acquisition and use of information and communications technology.

The World Conference will feature a wide range of programs and invaluable networking opportunities that will focus on cutting-edge legal topics and will provide practical insight into the latest developments in technology law. Data privacy and intellectual property professionals from across the world will be attending.

Seyfarth Partner Katherine Perrelli will be the moderator for the “Tech Transformation of Legal Services Delivery: Opportunities, Barriers, and Potential Solutions” session on Friday. This session will focus on the current state of legal tech tools, as well as the opportunities and challenges presented by the use of tech tools in delivering legal services.

This year, Seyfarth Partner Robert B. Milligan is on ITechLaw’s Board of Directors and is the Co-Chair of the Global Sponsorships Committee, and Partner Dawn Mertineit is on the local planning committee.

For more information or to register, click here.

The Alleghany Court of Common Pleas in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, recently denied a law firm’s request to enjoin its former partner from retaining a database that contained various information used to file legal actions under the American with Disabilities Act. According to the law firm, the database was a “trade secret” of the firm, and consequently, the former partner violated the Pennsylvania Trade Secrets Act when he retained a copy of the database after being voted out of the firm in January. The court, however, disagreed with the law firm. In doing so, the court noted that the former partner had an ownership interest in the database when he was part of the firm, and as a result, the former partner could retain a copy of the database when he left. The court then went on to note that, since the data base now resided at two different law firms, the database could not be considered a trade secret under the Pennsylvania Trade Secrets Act. This case, which is titled Carlson Lynch Sweet Kailpela & Carpenter, LLP v. Sweet, GD-19-2790, is a reminder to all law firms, as well as companies in general, to be cognizant of what owners can and cannot take when they are dismissed from their firm. We will continue to monitor the case and will provide additional updates on this website.

A California federal district court recently granted a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) against a former employee for misappropriating proprietary and confidential information in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”), and company confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements. Bemis Co., Inc. v. Summers, No. 219CV00344TLNKJN, 2019 WL 1004853, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 28, 2019).

Background

Plaintiff Bemis Company, Inc. (“Bemis”) sued a former employee for trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract. Bemis is one of the largest global suppliers of flexible and rigid packaging products, including snack food bags, candy wrappers, cheese packaging, hot dog packaging, medicine packaging, and much more. Continue Reading That’s a Wrap: California Federal Court Grants TRO Against Former Employee for Trade Secret Misappropriation

Last week, the Ninth Circuit finally ruled that a former Anheuser-Busch employee cannot avoid claims filed by the brewer alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of a nondisclosure agreement, the latest in a long running saga that started when Anheuser-Busch filed suit 6 years ago. Former Anheuser-Busch employee James Clark (“Clark”) had filed a motion to strike the company’s trade secrets claims accusing him of stealing proprietary information under the California Anti-SLAPP statute (“strategic lawsuits against public participation”).  Continue Reading Former Employee Accused of Spilling Secret Beer Recipe in Furtherance of Class Action Cannot Strike Claims Under Anti-SLAPP Statute