As a special feature of our blog—guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Donal O’Connell, Managing Director of Chawton Innovation Services Ltd.

Introduction

The purpose of this short paper is to ‘join the dots’ between a director’s fiduciary duties and especially a person holding dual or multiple directorships and trade secrets. Continue Reading Fiduciary Duties with Respect to Trade Secrets for Dual or Multiple Directors

Throughout 2018, Seyfarth Shaw’s dedicated Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group hosted a series of CLE webinars that addressed significant issues facing clients today in this important and ever-changing area of law. The series consisted of seven webinars:

  1. 2017 National Year in Review: What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete and Computer Fraud Law
  2. Protecting Confidential Information and Client Relationships in the Financial Services Industry
  3. The Anatomy of a Trade Secret Audit
  4. Protecting Trade Secrets from Cyber and Other Threats
  5. 2018 Massachusetts Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Reform
  6. Protecting Trade Secrets Abroad and Enforcing Rights Abroad and in the U.S.
  7. Criminal Trade Secret Theft: What You Need to Know

As a conclusion to this well-received 2018 webinar series, we compiled a list of key takeaway points for each program, which are listed below. For those clients who missed any of the programs in this year’s series, recordings of the webinars are available on the blog, or you may click on the title of each available webinar below for the online recording. Seyfarth Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Compete attorneys are happy to discuss presenting similar presentations to your company for CLE credit. Seyfarth will continue its trade secrets webinar programming in 2019, and we will release the 2019 trade secrets webinar series topics in the coming weeks. Continue Reading 2018 Trade Secrets and Non-Competes Webinar Series Year in Review

  1. Have trade secret protections. Built into the definition of a trade secret is the requirement to have reasonable secrecy measures. Companies that do not use non-disclosure agreements with their employees can be at a tremendous disadvantage if they decide to litigate against former employees for trade secret misappropriation. Well thought out policies, procedures, and agreements are a must to have defensible trade secret protections.
  2. Be careful who you hire and what baggage they may come with. Sometimes what appears too good to be true is in fact the case. Employers should take particular care when hiring high-level employees or sales employees from direct competitors. They should carefully review any restrictive covenants that the candidate has before extending an offer and ensure that the prospective employee does not bring data from their previous employer.
  3. Don’t be a company that has a “Do what I say not what I do approach.” Many company sabotage their own trade secret protections by requiring lower level and mid-level employees to follow policies, procedures, and agreements but then upper management, including executives, fail to abide by the same policies, procedures, and agreements—this can lead to a confused and disgruntled workforce. A culture of confidentiality, which is a staple of companies that adequately protect trade secrets, starts at the top.
  4. Protect your company trade secrets along the supply chain. In today’s global and mobile economy, companies often hire contractors, consultants, or third parties to assist with products or services. Those same third parties are often provided access to the company’s trade secrets as part of their role in the supply chain. Companies need to ensure that they have had adequate agreements and cybersecurity protections in place with those third parties to ensure that trade secrets are not compromised.
  5. Have coherent computer policies and enforce those policies. Companies conduct business via email and through the transfer and sharing of electronic files. Those files may contain trade secrets and can be easily transferred to a variety of storage devices and accounts, including computers, electronic devices, and the cloud. Companies should provide clear instructions to employees concerning acceptable use, storage, and transfer of company files and should enforce those policies. Some companies use software solutions to monitor compliance and prevent data extraction. Many trade secret cases involve the illicit transfer of company files to personal devices or accounts.

While these tips provide a good overview, it is highly recommended that you consult a Seyfarth attorney familiar with counseling or litigating trade secret matters to develop a robust plan to protect your company’s trade secrets and intellectual property.

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 Wednesday, August 29, 2018, Seyfarth Shaw Partners Katherine Perrelli, Dawn Mertineit, and Justin Beyer are presenting a webinar focused on trade secret audits. The ITechLaw webinar, titled “The Anatomy of a Trade Secret Audit,” is from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Eastern Time and will cover the following topics:

  • Identifying trade secrets and secrecy protections
  • Effective secrecy protections, including employment and non-compete agreements
  • Effective hiring and termination protocols, including effective exit interviews and termination protocols
  • Employing a comprehensive approach and trade secret protection plan
  • Managing and working to protect computer-stored data, including responding to emergency issues related to computer fraud and security breaches

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

In Seyfarth’s fourth installment in its 2018 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Robert Milligan and Scott Atkinson, along with Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade CEO Pamela Passman, focused on identifying the greatest threats to trade secrets, implementing an effective trade secret protection program, and enacting effective risk reduction processes across an organization.

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

  • Building a culture of trade secret protection is essential for protecting against cyber threats. Simply having policies is not enough; companies need to follow up with training, acknowledgements/record keeping, and engaged leaders who lead by example.
  • One key part of an effective trade secret protection plan is having an effective onboarding and off-boarding process, including exit interviews. Exit interviews should typically be conducted, and employees should be reminded of their continuing confidentiality and other obligations to the company. Don’t forget to ask for any passwords to any company-owned mobile devices.
  • As companies build internal capabilities to protect trade secrets and ensure robust cybersecurity, those capabilities should be required of key supply chain partners or vendors that have access to trade secrets and should be measured and monitored to ensure they are effective.

This post originally appeared in the June edition of Cyber Law & Strategy.

Somewhere today at least one data security breach is likely to happen. It might not have been publicized and may not have involved millions of records, but there is no doubt it will happen. That is because cybercrime remains one of the most common crimes in the world, and non­criminal exposures are fairly common as well. Continue Reading Security Breach Responses — As Important and Difficult As Ever

Please join us for a one-hour CLE webinar on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern / 12:00 p.m. Central / 10:00 a.m. Pacific.

Trade secrets are critical intellectual property for most businesses. The threat to trade secrets, whether through cybersecurity or other issues, continues to increase year after year, especially with the increased use of cloud technology, social media, and the like. The alarming frequency of targeted data theft attacks leave a company’s trade secrets and confidential information vulnerable to outside threats.

In Seyfarth’s fourth installment in its 2018 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Robert Milligan and Scott Atkinson, along with Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade CEO Pamela Passman, will address the issue of cyber threats and cover the following topics:

  • Identifying the greatest threats to trade secrets and how companies fall short on protecting against these threats
  • Implementing an effective trade secret protection program
  • Enacting effective risk reduction processes across an organization
  • Meeting the “reasonable steps” requirement, including real-world examples

On Friday, May 18, Eric Barton participated in a panel discussion at the 2018 ITechLaw World Technology Conference, updating attorneys from around the globe on the latest developments in cyber vulnerabilities and crime. In today’s world, businesses and individuals face the certain knowledge that electronic systems are not entirely secure. Mr. Barton’s presentation provided “real world” guidance on how companies can encourage and promote innovation while still protecting their highly valuable trade secrets and intellectual property from both internal and external threats and attacks. Mr. Barton also detailed several recent cases that provide excellent guidance on how to best protect a company’s valuable information, as well as the impact that technological advancements have had on U.S. attorneys’ professional ethics requirements, as mandated by the ABA.

On the panel with Mr. Barton were Alexander Baranchikov, an IP attorney from Moscow, and Rodrigo Azevedo Pereira, an IP attorney from San Paulo, Brazil. Mr. Baranchikov provided an entertaining update on the latest data protection cases and developments in Russia, as well as a detailed synopsis of how the Russian legal system addresses and resolves IP claims. Mr. Pereira discussed the crisis management framework that attorneys should consider using when addressing an online or ransomware attack. Calling upon his extensive experience in crisis management work, Mr. Pereira detailed how to build a multifaceted team, as well as how to respond urgently and efficiently to limit PR damages.

A copy of Mr. Barton’s presentation is available here. The panel was extremely well received and the topics prompted various discussions among the participants. For any follow-up questions or information, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Barton directly at ebarton@seyfarth.com.

 

Seyfarth Shaw LLP is pleased to be a Global Sponsor at ITechLaw’s 2018 World Technology Conference in Seattle, May 16-18.

Fairmont Olympic Hotel
411 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

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-ranging program and invaluable networking opportunities that will focus on cutting-edge legal topics and will provide practical insight into the latest developments in technology law.

This year, Seyfarth Shaw Partner Robert B. Milligan is on ITechLaw’s Board of Directors and is the Co-Chair of the Local Representative Committee. Seyfarth Shaw Partner Eric Barton will be on a panel for the “Cyber Vulnerabilities & Crime” session on Friday. This session will focus on a broad range of issues influenced by the vulnerability of today’s data, including the protection of data in Russia, handling an online crisis, ransomware, and protecting IP. Seyfarth Shaw Partner Daniel Hart is also scheduled to attend and participate at the conference.

Please stop by our table during the conference to learn about our Intellectual Property, Corporate, Global Privacy & Security, and Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Groups.

For more information click here: https://www.itechlaw.org/seattle2018