Company Alleges Waffles Featured on Oprah’s Annual “Favorite Things” List Were Made From Stolen Recipe

A Massachusetts waffle manufacturer, The Burgundian, recently filed a lawsuit alleging that a potential co-venturer, Eastern Standard Provisions, submitted its Liege waffles for inclusion on Oprah Winfrey’s annual “Favorite Things” list without giving credit to Burgundian. Then, after Burgundian refused to sell its secret waffle recipe, Eastern Standard employed a “bait and switch” by selling Liege waffles from a different company while touting Oprah’s endorsement of the Liege waffles made by Burgundian and enjoying the spoils of landing a spot on the coveted list.
Continue Reading One of Our “Favorite Things” Are Lawsuits About Stolen Secret Recipes

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Trade secrets are critical intellectual property, and the threat to trade secrets continues to increase year after year. It’s vital for companies to protect trade secrets, both in the US
Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar! Protecting Trade Secrets and Enforcing Restrictive Covenants Internationally

After a four day bench trial on August 10, 2021, a Houston federal judge ruled that the conceptual designs an oil and gas manufacturing company disclosed to its erstwhile collaborator under an NDA were not eligible for trade secret protection because they were neither secret nor misappropriated due predominantly to disclosure in a prior public patent. The ruling underscores the necessity that trade secrets are—in fact—kept actually secret. Moreover, any prior patent of the party seeking to protect its trade secrets should be scrutinized for similarity with the technology or information allegedly comprising a trade secret.
Continue Reading Texas Oil & Gas Manufacturing Company’s DTSA/TUTSA Lawsuit Unraveled by Public Disclosure of Alleged Trade Secret in its Own Expired Patent

How to Issue Spot for Non-Compete, Trade Secrets/Confidential Information, and Intellectual Capital Concerns

In this fifth installment of our 2021 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth partners Robert Milligan and Suzanne Saxman discussed trade secret/confidentiality, non-compete and restrictive covenant issues that typically arise in M&A transactions. The panel walked through the keys issues in the typical M&A lifecycle and provided practical
Continue Reading Webinar Recap! Anatomy of an M&A Transaction

Suffice it to say, it’s never a good idea to deliberately violate a trial court’s order, much less do so repeatedly. That, however, is precisely what Khosrow Daneshgari did in Patriot Towing Services, LLC v. Daneshgari, et al. Notwithstanding Daneshgari’s willful contempt, the Georgia Court of Appeals recently ruled that the trial court nevertheless overstepped its authority by extending the expiration date of the parties’ non-compete agreement. See Daneshgari, et al. v. Patriot Towing Services, LLC, Georgia Court of Appeals, Case No. A21A0887, Oct. 21, 2021.
Continue Reading Georgia Court of Appeals Reiterates that Trial Courts Cannot Rely on Equity to Extend a Non-Compete’s Expiration Date

In a rare appellate decision on enforceability of non-disclosure agreements and a plaintiff’s burden to establish the existence of trade secrets, the First Circuit recently overturned a district court summary judgment order and trial verdict. This decision serves as an important reminder for both those who litigate trade secrets claims and those who draft restrictive covenants agreements.

Background

TLS Management and Marketing Services, LLC, a tax planning and consulting firm, sued its former employee, Ricky Rodríguez-Toledo, for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets under Puerto Rico’s misappropriation law and breach of his NDA with TLS. TLS claimed two trade secrets germane to the litigation, the “US Possession Strategy”—essentially a tax arbitrage strategy designed to help clients avoid higher mainland taxes—and “Capital Preservation Reports” or “CPRs,” client-specific reports with tax recommendations based on an analysis of applicable statutes and regulations.
Continue Reading Rare First Circuit Decision Invalidating NDA and Overturning Misappropriation Verdict Serves as a Cautionary Tale

We previously wrote about whether Peloton instructors are (or should be) subject to non-compete agreements owing to their prominent role as the “face” of the company. Today, we take a look at another “face” of Peloton (and other companies), as we consider the use of restrictive covenants for paid corporate spokespeople, such as actors who appear in company ads and “influencers” who use their social media popularity to promote products.
Continue Reading Preventing the “Face” of Your Company from Doing an About-Face for a Competitor

As we previously reported, on February 18, 2020, Medterra CBD (“Medterra”) filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that it had misappropriated Healthcare Resources Management Group LLC’s (“Healthcare Resources”) proprietary formula for a CBD cream aimed at treating pain. In its motion, Medterra argued that Healthcare Resources failed to allege that it had provided or that Medterra had otherwise acquired any proprietary information. Additionally, Medterra claims that even if Healthcare Resources could establish that it had provided its propriety CBD cream formula to Medterra, Healthcare Resources did not take adequate steps to protect its trade secret by mandating Medterra sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Continue Reading CBD Cream Manufacturer Responds to Motion to Dismiss in Trade Secret Litigation

In 2012, Peloton rode into the home fitness scene with its now ubiquitous at-home exercise bike, which features a tablet that allows riders to stream both live and pre-recorded classes while competing against other riders on a virtual leaderboard. Peloton built the bike, including the associated technology and software, from scratch, and applied for and obtained a number of patents between 2015 and 2019 to protect its sizable investment of both time and money.

In 2017, Flywheel, a boutique exercise studio, pedaled into the home fitness scene as well with the FLY Anywhere bike. Like Peloton users, FLY Anywhere riders stream both live and pre-recorded classes while pedaling their way up the leaderboard.
Continue Reading Peloton Surges to the Top of the Leaderboard in Competitor Spat

On February 18, 2020, Medterra CBD filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that it had misappropriated Healthcare Resources Management Group LLC’s (“Healthcare Resource”) proprietary formula for a CBD cream aimed at treating pain. In its motion, Medterra argued that Healthcare Resource failed to allege that it had provided or that Medterra had otherwise acquired any proprietary information. Additionally, Medterra claims that even if Healthcare Resource could establish that it had provided its propriety CBD cream formula to Medterra, Healthcare Resource did not take adequate steps to protect its trade secret by mandating Medterra sign a non-disclosure agreement.
Continue Reading CBD Company Files Motion to Dismiss in Trade Secret Dispute