On November 13, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, affirmed the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas’s denial of prevailing party attorneys’ fees in a matter of first impression under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”). In short, the Fifth Circuit held that a dismissal without prejudice of a DTSA case does not support an award of prevailing party attorney’s fees.
Continue Reading The Limits of “Taking the Lead Early”: A Dismissal Without Prejudice Will Not Support Defend Trade Secrets Act Attorney’s Fees

In TNS Media Research, LLC v. TiVo Research & Analytics, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155914 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 4, 2014), the Southern District of New York applied the Supreme Court’s recent Octane Fitness decision in awarding attorney fees to patent defendant Kantar.  Octane Fitness v. ICON Health & Fitness 134 S. Ct. 1749 (2014); http://www.seyfarth.com/publications/OMM050114-IP

The district court
Continue Reading Has the Patent Fee Shifting Analysis of Octane Fitness Influenced Fee Shifting in Trade Secret Cases?

On Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. Central, Michael Wexler, Jim McNairy and Josh Salinas will present Seyfarth’s first installment of its 2014 Trade Secrets Webinar series. They will review noteworthy cases and other legal developments from across the nation this past year in the areas of trade secret and data theft, non-compete enforceability, computer fraud, and the
Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar: 2013 National Year in Review — What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete and Computer Fraud Law

The California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”) allows for an award of attorney’s fees to the prevailing party on a trade secret misappropriation claim. The statute permits award of attorney’s fees to a plaintiff for a defendant’s “willful and malicious” misappropriation and to a defendant when a plaintiff makes a claim in “bad faith”:

“If a claim of misappropriation is


Continue Reading Court Awards Attorney’s Fees for “Bad Faith” Trade Secret Misappropriation Claim

The Agreement

Congratulations! You’ve just entered into an agreement to settle your trade secret misappropriation case.

Defendants will pay you money damages, and agree that you may move the court for fees and costs under Civil Code section 3426.4, based upon their alleged willful and malicious misappropriation. Defendants reserve the right to oppose and to tax your costs. Under the
Continue Reading Hey, I Thought We Had An Agreement: California Appellate Court Allows Party To Seek Attorney’s Fees In Trade Secret Case

On May 17, 2013, a Pennsylvania appellate court, with one of its judges dissenting, ordered that the trial court award attorneys’ fees to a married couple whose neighbors wrongfully accused them of trade secret misappropriation regarding flagstone artwork. Krafft v. Downey, Pa. Sup. Ct. No. 476 WDA 2012 (Donohue, J.).

According to the majority, plaintiffs Jack and Linda Krafft
Continue Reading Pennsylvania Appellate Court Orders Sanctions for Plaintiff’s Bad-Faith Trade Secret Misappropriation Claims

Last year, Sergey Aleynikov, a computer programmer, beat federal charges of trade secret theft under the Economic Espionage Act. Although Aleynikov was initially convicted, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his conviction, finding that the trade secrets relating to the source code Aleynikov had taken were not related to a product “produced for. . . interstate or foreign
Continue Reading Aleynikov Case Continues to Grab Headlines in Trade Secrets Community

Section 4 of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act provides, in part, that if "a claim of misappropriation is made in bad faith . . . the court may award reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party." The terms "bad faith" and "prevailing party" are not defined in the statute. Most of the few judicial opinions interpreting those terms as they


Continue Reading Legal Standards For Evaluating A Petition To Award Attorneys’ Fees To A Defendant In A Trade Secret Misappropriation Case

Recently, state legislatures in both Idaho and New Hampshire have proposed significant legislation relating to trade secret and non-compete agreements. Each of these bills has the potential to significantly impact employers and their hiring processes.

Idaho

In the Idaho state senate, a bill was recently introduced to amend the Idaho Trade Secrets Act. The proposed bill clarifies that trade secret
Continue Reading Idaho and New Hampshire Propose Significant Trade Secret and Non-Compete Legislation

Mattel recently appealed a $310 million award for its alleged misappropriation of MGA’s trade secrets and MGA’s attorney’s fees and costs in defense of Mattel’s copyright claim. In its opening brief, Mattel requests the Ninth Circuit to vacate or reverse the award on grounds that MGA’s trade secret counterclaim was untimely and barred by the statute of limitations. Mattel also


Continue Reading Mattel Appeals $310 Million Award in Bratz Case, Argues Trade Secret Counterclaim Was Untimely