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

Real estate startup HouseCanary made headlines when it secured a $700 million judgment against Title Source, Inc., now known as Amrock, in a trade secrets misappropriation case. In short, HouseCanary claimed that Amrock misappropriated its trade secrets to develop an app to compete with the very product Amrock hired HouseCanary to create—a product HouseCanary never delivered.
Continue Reading HouseCanary Weighs a Bird in Hand… Collect on a $201,000,000 Judgment or Retry the Entire Case

An employee cannot ‘walk out’ and refuse to work to avoid their notice period and the restrictive covenants contained in their contract of employment.

In Sunrise Brokers LLP v Rodgers [2014] EWHC 2633 the High Court held that an employer does not have to accept that a ‘walk out’ by an employee will terminate the contractual relationship. The employer has
Continue Reading United Kingdom Update on Contractual Notice Periods and Restrictive Covenants

In November 2012, we first blogged on the high profile trade secret dispute between Tory Burch, creator of the fashion line Tory Burch LLC, and her ex-husband, J. Christopher Burch.

In October 2012, Christopher Burch filed a breach-of-contract and tortious interference complaint against his ex-wife in which he alleged that his “ex-wife hijacked the bidding process for his 28 percent
Continue Reading Fashion Designer Resolves “Preppy Clothing” Trade Secrets Dispute

A hair salon’s motion for entry of a preliminary injunction against a stylist was denied even though she had signed non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements with the salon, and immediately after leaving her prior employment she was employed by a nearby competitor, a fact noted on her Facebook page. Invidia LLC v Difonzo, Case No. MICV20123798H (Middlesex [Mass.] County
Continue Reading Massachusetts Court Rules That Facebook Posting of New Job Does Not Violate Non-Competition Covenant

By Robert Milligan and Jeffrey Oh

In a recent federal case out of California, Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California examined the issue of personal jurisdiction in an international trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract dispute. The case, Vance’s Foods, Inc. v. Special Diets Europe Limited, et al.

Continue Reading California Federal District Court Examines Personal Jurisdiction Issue in International Trade Secret Misappropriation and Breach of Contract Dispute and Maintains Suit Brought Against Irish Company and Owner

On April 25, 2012, a federal judge in North Carolina issued a ruling granting in part and denying in part motions to dismiss involving claims for trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, and conversion in a dispute between two pharmaceutical companies in the case of River’s Edge Pharmaceuticals v. Gorbec Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. This decision confirms, to an extent, the need to

Continue Reading North Carolina Federal District Court Confirms Importance of Alleging Actual Harm in Pleadings

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently held that a former employer’s price quotations to prospective customers were not trade secrets under Oklahoma law because they did not contain a confidentiality provision, but the former employee who took advantage of those quotations on behalf of his new employer did violate his non-compete covenant.  Southwest Stainless, LP v.

Continue Reading Breach of Contract Claim May Succeed Where a Misappropriation Claim Fails

By Robert Milligan and summer associate Alana Friedman

Production companies for Criss Angel, the star of Cirque de Soleil’s “Believe” and the A&E cable television show Mindfreak, were sued in New York state court recently by a twenty-three year old illusionist who claims that Angel’s companies have failed to pay him for the use of three alleged confidential and proprietary
Continue Reading Production Companies For Star Magician Criss Angel Sued For Alleged Failure To Pay Royalties For Magician’s Alleged Use Of Confidential And Proprietary Magic Tricks