On Wednesday, October 21 at 12 to 1 p.m. Pacific, Robert Milligan is presenting “Trade Secrets in Cannabis” for the California Lawyer’s Association. The program aims to help cannabusinesses and their counsel identify the potential trade secrets in this industry and learn how to protect them, including in these COVID-19 times. The speakers will also
In a decision of first impression issued last week, the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee held, in Gus’s Franchisor, LLC v. Terrapin Restaurant Partners, LLC, that the COVID-19 pandemic did not excuse a terminated franchisee of Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken (“Gus’s”) from complying with a temporary restraining order (TRO) and permanent injunction prohibiting it from using Gus’s trademarks, trade secrets and proprietary business information.…
Continue Reading Don’t Play Chicken With Court Orders: COVID-19 Is No Excuse for a Terminated Franchisee to Continue Using the Franchisor’s Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets
At the end of 2019, Coty Inc. (“Coty”) expanded its brand portfolio by closing a notable $600 million deal for a majority stake in reality star Kylie Jenner’s young cosmetics company, King Kylie LLC (d/b/a Kylie Cosmetics). The purchase placed the valuation of the Kylie Cosmetics at $1.2 billion. Drama soon followed the acquisition as reports questioning Ms. Jenner’s net worth (and consequently, the value of her cosmetics empire) surfaced in May 2020, overshadowing Coty’s launch of the Kylie Skin beauty line in Europe. On June 29, 2020, Coty announced a 21% investment in KKW Beauty (Ms. Jenner’s sister’s company) for $200 million. Prompted by these deals, the manufacturer behind both Kylie Cosmetics and KKW, Seed Beauty, LLC, filed two trade secret lawsuits in Superior Court in Los Angeles, California.…
Continue Reading Not so Pretty: Cosmetic Company Acquisitions Lead to Contentious Trade Secret Spat
Seyfarth Partner and Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group Co-Chair Katherine Perrelli was recently named chair of the Trade Secrets and Interferences with Contracts Committee of the American Bar Association Intellectual Property Section for the 2020-2021 bar year.
The Trade Secrets and Interferences with Contracts Committee is focused on issues arising under federal,…
The American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secret Summit will be held virtually this year. The Summit will consist of two 45-minute presentations every Wednesday beginning on August 12 and ending on September 2. Erik Weibust is Vice Chair of the AIPLA’s Trade Secret Committee, which hosts the Summit each year, and Scott Humphrey will…
As a special feature of our blog—guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Neil Eisgruber, Director in the Disputes, Compliance & Investigations group at Stout.
For decades, companies have turned to federal courts to protect valuable business assets, such as trade secrets. Legal action has expanded over the years and recent trends have set the foundation for a continuing surge in federal trade secret litigation.…
Continue Reading Trade Secret Litigation: Activity on the Rise
Continuing our annual tradition, we have compiled our top developments and headlines for 2019 & 2020 in trade secret, non-compete, and computer fraud law. Here’s what you need to know to keep abreast of the ever-changing law in this area.
1. Another Year, Another Attempt in Congress to Ban Non-Competes Nationwide
Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) introduced legislation in 2019 entitled the Workforce Mobility Act (“WMA”). The WMA seeks to ban non-compete agreements outside of the sale of a business or dissolution of a partnership.
Not only would the WMA abolish covenants not to compete nationwide, outside of the extremely narrow exceptions highlighted above, but it would also provide the Department of Labor (DOL) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with broad enforcement power. If enacted, the legislation would empower the FTC and DOL to enforce the ban through fines on employers who either fail to notify employees that non-compete agreements are illegal or who require employees to sign covenants not to compete. Additionally, the WMA establishes a private right of action for all employees allegedly aggrieved by a violation of the WMA.
The WMA contains a carve out for parties to enter into an agreement to protect trade secrets. As currently drafted, the WMA does not abrogate the scope of protections provided by the Defend Trade Secrets Act.
Presently, there are no generally applicable federal restrictions on non-compete agreements, and enacting such a law would have to pass Constitutional muster. We expect to see continued activity at the federal legislative level to attempt to ban or limit the use of non-competes.
2. New State Legislation Regarding Restrictive Covenants
Seyfarth Partner and Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group Co-Chair Katherine Perrelli was recently named a vice-chair of the Trade Secrets and Interferences with Contracts Committee of the American Bar Association Intellectual Property Section.
The Trade Secrets and Interferences with Contracts Committee is focused on issues arising under federal, state, and foreign laws…
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.
The Neglected Step-Child of IP
Trade secrets have, up until recently, been somewhat ignored. When I started to pay attention to trade secrets, some of my colleagues and contacts probably thought that I was mad.
After all, trade secrets were not included in many IP educational sessions. The subject rarely came up at IP conferences and seminars. This form of IP was not addressed by most IP Law Firms, even so called full service IP Law Firms. It clearly was not in the ‘job spec’ of many in-house IP Managers or Chief IP Officers.…
Continue Reading The Increasing Importance of Trade Secrets and Trade Secret Asset Management Explained
In Seyfarth’s third installment in its 2019 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Katherine Perrelli, Justin K. Beyer, and Amy Abeloff focused on the key provisions of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, how the DTSA has evolved since it was passed three years ago, and what to expect in the future.
As a conclusion to…