On Tuesday September 22 at 2-3 p.m. Eastern, Dawn Mertineit will participate in a roundtable on “Forensic Analysis of Electronic Devices for Litigation” for the ABA’s Litigation Section. This program will discuss the importance of forensic analysis of electronic devices, both pre-litigation and during litigation. Topics covered will include scenarios in which forensic analysis will

The much-ballyhooed legal battle over trade secrets concerning self-driving automobile technology involving Uber took its latest (and perhaps final) turn last week, when engineer Anthony Levandowski was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay over $700,000 in restitution.

Embroiled in the middle of a billion-dollar dispute between tech giants, Levandowski had previously pled guilty to the single count of trade secret theft and was already facing a $179 million judgment awarded to his former tech employer. Naturally, the length of prison sentence and the amount of restitution had been of particular interest to the business and legal communities to see what kind of message would be sent by US District Judge William Aslup. But interestingly, it was another (non-traditional) aspect of the sentence that perhaps sent the clearest and most impactful message to tech companies and their employees: the requirement that Levandowski, whom the judge described as a “good person” and a “brilliant man”, must give speeches to the public entitled “Why I Went to Federal Prison.”
Continue Reading Self-Driving to Federal Prison: The Trade Secret Theft Saga of Anthony Levandowski Continues

From court closures and the way judges conduct appearances and trials to the expected wave of lawsuits across a multitude of areas and industries, the COVID-19 outbreak is having a notable impact in the litigation space—and is expected to for quite some time.

To help navigate the litigation landscape, we are kicking off a webinar

As a special feature of our blog—guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Rachel Bailey, a Legal Data Expert for Lex Machina. 

You may have previously read Seyfarth Shaw’s excellent analysis of Lex Machina’s Trade Secret Litigation Report. There are some big picture trends in the report that reflect the trade secret litigation landscape in the federal district courts. A common misconception is that Lex Machina is a reports company. While we do create reports using our data, ultimately we are a platform that updates daily with analytics that allow users to make data-driven decisions for litigation strategy, business development, risk assessment, and other uses.
Continue Reading A Deeper Dive into Trade Secret Legal Analytics

Seyfarth partners Erik Weibust, Jeremy Cohen, Scott Humphrey, and Marcus Mintz recently published an article entitled “Protecting Trade Secrets Without Breaking the Bank (or Even Negatively Affecting Profits)” in the Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal. The article addresses the use of litigation funding in trade secret cases.

The Intellectual Property & Technology Law

As a special feature of our blog—guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Hon. Elizabeth D. Laporte (Ret.)

Trade secret litigation in California is growing, in both volume and impact. The second-largest plaintiffs’ verdict in 2019 was $845 million, as reported by the Daily Journal, which was awarded to ASML, a Dutch semiconductor chip processing software company, in its case against XTAL, a company founded by two ex-employees of the plaintiff’s subsidiary in Santa Clara who allegedly worked in secret for XTAL using stolen trade secrets to get a head start in development and siphon off a major customer contract (ASML US Inc. v. XTAL Inc.). Another large verdict was a $66 million jury award, including a worldwide injunction, given to a San Jose LED manufacturer that sued a company for allegedly poaching its top scientist so that it could transfer its technology to China (Lumileds LLC v. Elec-Tech International Co. Ltd.). In these types of cases, plaintiffs have the advantage of being able to craft a compelling narrative of theft—most commonly, former employees surreptitiously appropriating the plaintiff company’s trade secrets for their own benefit in a rival venture—and to overcome employees’ general freedom to switch employers under California law, which voids almost all non-compete agreements (Bus. & Prof. Code Sec. 16600) and does not recognize the doctrine of inevitable disclosure (Schlage Lock Company v. Whyte, 101 Cal.App.4th 1443 (2002)). Moreover, trade secrets do not expire automatically; they allow broad protection without disclosure, unlike copyrights and patents.
Continue Reading Trade Secret Litigation on the Rise in California: How ADR Can Help

As we previously reported,  as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, courts across the country are adjourning most appearances, including trials, and hearing only “emergency matters,” often by teleconference or other remote methods. This presents a new quandary for trade secret and restrictive covenant lawyers, who regularly must seek emergency injunctive relief to protect their clients’ trade secrets and customer goodwill. But it does not follow that these lawyers should be careless about when to seek emergency relief; in fact, quite the opposite, they must be more diligent in that regard during the current pandemic.
Continue Reading Prior Ruling on What Constitutes a Litigation “Emergency” May Not Be a Unicorn After All

Seyfarth Partner and Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Compete Practice Group Co-Chair Robert Milligan is moderating the panel for “The Employee Life Cycle Relating to Trade Secrets” session on November 5 at The Sedona Conference Working Group 12 Inaugural Meeting 2018 in Los Angeles, California. “The Employee Life Cycle Relating to Trade Secrets” session will develop guidelines for new employers to avoid unintentionally receiving or benefiting from the trade secrets of another company and for employees to avoid unintentionally placing their employer’s trade secret information at risk of misappropriation.
Continue Reading Seyfarth Shaw Trade Secrets Attorneys Participating in The Sedona Conference Working Group 12 Inaugural Meeting 2018

Seyfarth Shaw Partner and Co-Chair of the Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group Robert Milligan, along with iDiscovery Solutions’ Jim Vaughn, spoke with Corporate Counsel Business Journal about discovery and digital forensics in the age of the cloud. To learn more about the type of evidence from the cloud and mobile devices can