A recent trade secret misappropriation action resulted in an award of compensatory damages of $41,000 and punitive damages of $40,000. Then, the plaintiff asked for more than a million dollars in attorney’s fees and costs. The defendants protested that (a) the fee request was grossly disproportionate to the damages that were recovered, and (b) the plaintiff’s billing was excessive. However

Continue Reading Plaintiff Receives Million Plus Attorneys’ Fees Award In Trade Secret Dispute Despite Small Damages Award

In a landmark decision just issued, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, ruled that an ex-employer seeking to enforce a covenant-not-to-compete against former sales personnel need only show that the time-and-territory restrictions are reasonable and need not prove, in addition, that there is a sufficient legitimate-business-interest in enforcement. 

In Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Ehlers, No. 4-09-0290 (9/23/09), the appellate

Continue Reading Illinois Appellate Court Says Legitimate Business Interest Not Necessary to Enforce a Covenant-Not-To-Compete

As discussed in our March 9th  and 17th postings, Illinois Senate Bill SB 2149 seeks to dramatically alter the landscape of trade secret enforcement and litigation in Illinois by, among other things, (a) requiring disclosure of trade secrets before a party issues written or oral discovery; (b) awarding attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party in a trade secrets
Continue Reading While Illinois Senate Considers Dramatic Alterations to Illinois Trade Secrets Act, Illinois House of Representatives Seeks to Enact Non-Competition Statute

BY JASON STIEHL

            In recent years, courts in the Northern District of Illinois have made clear that without actual harm to data, a plaintiff cannot claim “damage” under the Consumer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. 1030 et seq. (“CFAA”). See, e.g., Garelli Wong & Assoc. v. Nichols, 551 F. Supp. 2d 704, 704 (N.D. Ill. 2008)

Continue Reading Damage Assessment Not Enough: For Purposes of the CFAA, Apparently “Loss” Does Mean “Damage”

As discussed in our March 9th posting, Illinois Senate bill SB 2149 seeks to alter the landscape of trade secret enforcement and litigation in Illinois by, among other things, a) requiring disclosure of trade secrets before a party issues written or oral discovery; b) requiring attorneys’  fees be awarded to the prevailing party in a trade secrets case; and c)

Continue Reading Proposed Changes to Illinois Trade Secrets Act Pass Through Senate Judiciary Committee — Full Senate Vote Expected Within Weeks

A new bill recently introduced in the Illinois State Senate would dramatically change the Illinois Trade Secrets Act (765 ILCS 1065/1 et at.) and alter the landscape of trade secret litigation in Illinois. The bill, SB 2149, requires a party asserting trade secret misappropriation to serve on the opposing party, before commencing any written or oral discovery, a written statement
Continue Reading ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONSIDERING DRAMATIC CHANGES TO TRADE SECRETS ACT – INCLUDING MANDATORY ATTORNEYS’ FEES

In Hal Wagner Studios, Inc. v. Elliott, No. 3:09-CV-31-MJR, 2009 WL 424432 (S.D. Ill. Feb. 19, 2009), Judge Michael Reagan of the Southern District of Illinois entered a preliminary injunction against Kris Elliott (Wagner’s former general manager for its Edwardsville, Illinois office) and a number of former Wagner employees, including Elliott’s wife, Pam. The facts of the case are as

Continue Reading “Say Cheese, you’re Enjoined!”: Southern District of Illinois Enters Preliminary Injunction against Husband-Wife Team in the School Photo Industry

In Baird and Warner Residential Sales, Inc. v. Mazzone, No. 1-07-2179, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District reversed the circuit court’s determination that a restrictive covenant between Patricia Mazzone and her former employer, real estate broker Baird & Warner, was unenforceable as a matter of law. The ruling was issued in June as an unpublished order but was later published

Continue Reading Illinois Appellate Court Rules That Restrictive Covenant Prohibiting Real Estate Sales Manager From Soliciting Former Employer’s Agents Is Not Unreasonable As A Matter Of Law